I always tell myself I am not going to do another one of these “Year of Running” posts, but then I start reading other runner’s yearly posts and decide to jump in to. And I am happy I always come around to do this post because it really is a great way to reflect on the year in terms of running.
2017 was one of my best years of running yet – I hit some huge milestones for myself – and I am excited to take this energy and love for running into 2018. I will be sharing my running goals for 2018 at the start of the new year, so for now I want to take a look back on the year of 2017 in terms of running.
Linking this post up with Courtney of Eat Pray Run DC!
Best Race Experience
Hands down the Detroit Free Press Marathon. Besides it being my first marathon (which is a race I will never forget), I also realized the power of crowd support. I vividly remember coming out of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and hearing hundreds of screaming people cheering me on. All along the first half of the course it was like that, but for some reason I remember that moment so much (probably because I was soooo ready to get out of the tunnel!). The second half of the course did not have as much crowd support, except through Indian Village and on Belle Isle, but I realized how much having people cheering you on can really help you keep going, even if you want to do everything but that. I now want to run large races just for all the crowds! I loved smiling and waving to those who took time out of their own day to cheer runners along.
And like I said, the Detroit Free Press Marathon was my first marathon and it was a blast, even when I was hurting BAD. I loved running through Canada and the city of Detroit and being able to call that experience my first marathon is unforgettable.
How do I choose just ONE run out of the whole year? I mean, not every run is rainbows and butterflies, but I do have a lot of feel good runs. You know those runs, when everything just clicks and you just want to keep running and scream about how freaking awesome running is? If I had to choose just one run that I would call my best run it would be my Oiselle Team meet up in downtown Detroit with my Volée crew. It was my first meetup with the team and we all instantly clicked. I loved running through Detroit and chatting with the other ladies about all things running. I was able to get advice for marathon training and the Detroit Free Press Marathon in particular from those who had been through it before and it gave me just the boost I needed to keep training hard.
Plus we were all matching in our fly style and enjoyed tapas and sangria after the run <3 Perfect summer evening and best run!
Best new piece of running gear
My Nathan Handheld Waterbottle. Training for a marathon during the summer (and a rather hot fall) is a large beast to tackle. It takes a lot of work outside of just running to stay healthy and in marathon shape. Hydration was a huge focus for me, especially since I was tackling all new distances. Upon recommendation from a Volée teammate, I bought the Nathan Handheld Waterbottle and immediately loved it. In the past when I used hydration on a run, I had waterbottles that fit right into my flipbelt, but I wanted something a bit easier to use (especially since I was using it during my actual marathon). I would fill up the waterbottle the night before my run and fill it with Tailwind and freeze it overnight. That way when I ran, I had ice cold water all along the way. Definitely my best purchase of the year!
Best running advice you’ve received this year
Make your easy runs easy, so you can make your hard runs hard. I can’t say I have heard this from just one person, because I have heard this advice from so many running experts and coaches… and it is SO true. Once I really took my easy runs easy and slowed down the pace, I was able to kill it on my hard run workout days. At first it was hard to slow down on my easy runs, but once I did, I felt so much better to run faster on days I had workouts. Who knew slowing down could actually make you faster?!
Most inspirational runner
SHALANE FLANAGAN. I think the fact that I was crying as she crossed the finish line during the NYC Marathon says it all. Her NYC Marathon race was so inspirational to me and it really made me inspired to set some big scary goals for 2018. I loved seeing her journey back from an injury earlier this year to come back and finish first female in NYC. So freaking inspirational.
Favorite picture from a run or race this year
This picture is one I always look at when I look back on the Detroit Free Press Marathon. My brother’s girlfriend took this at mile 13.1 of the race and I was feeling GOOD. I was not expecting to see some of my family at that point so when I heard them screaming my name, I instantly got excited and wanted to show them just how good I was feeling.
What is funny about this is that if you look at the pictures from when I saw the rest of my family at mile 15, I look entirely different. No smile, no wave, I just wanted a refill in my waterbottle and to keep on trucking along. That halfway point hit me, and it hit me hard…
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat
I don’t want to make this a whole post on the Detroit Free Press Marathon, but I guess it kind of is. The marathon was a major highlight of my year, and something that I worked so long and so hard to accomplish. It was my favorite race experience and even though the last half of the race was extremely difficult, I would repeat in a heartbeat, no question about it. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but the most rewarding thing too.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?
Chase down your dreams. I never thought I would ever run a marathon or even break 1:50 in the half marathon (that was another highlight of my year!), but once I set my eyes on a goal, I chased after them. I worked my butt off this year to chase down what I wanted and to build a life I am proud of — running and non-running related.
I broke 1:50 in the half marathon. I ran a full marathon. I finished my five year program at the #1 teaching program in the country. I got my first teaching job. Life is hard, but life is good. My wildest dreams are coming true, but it hasn’t been without a lot of hard work.
2018, I am ready for you. BRING IT.
Past Year of Running Reflections:
- What was the highlight of your year?