Quite normal this time of year to do things like this. Looking back helps us set our goals for the upcoming year. Notice I didn't say resolutions. Nobody goes through with those. For me, this was a great year running-wise. I started in late March and have not stopped since. it was a real struggle just to get out and run and frankly, I was scared I wasn't going to stick with it. But here we are at the end of 2012 talking about the best runs of the year. Wow. Good thing the World didn't end either. I didn't want all that work to be for nothing. I mean, the whole point of this is to eventually run a Marathon.
You might not recognize some of these runs as they happened before I started blogging about it. But without further ado:
10. May 19, 2012 - 4 miles: This was the first time I had ever run 4 miles in my entire life. I was surprised at how manageable the last mile was as opposed to when I first ran 3 miles which was murder and actually took several attempts to run the whole way. It was on this run that I really felt I could do this (run longer distances)
9. June 26, 2012 - 3 miles: The entire year, I ran on a treadmill only once and it was on this run. I discovered one thing: Running on a treadmill is SO much easier than running on the road. I was in Florida on a work thing and not wanting to risk getting lost again (See #9) I decided to run on the Fitness Center's treadmill. Now that I think about it, I traveled 4 times in 2012 and ran in three of those trips. That, folks, is wanting to run.
8. May 4, 2012 - 2.2 miles: This run is memorable for two reasons: I was on a mini-getaway/work thing in Florida and even though I was just starting to run, I felt it was important to continue my training even while traveling. The other reason is that I got lost. Big time. It was a beautiful course around several Disney hotels: The Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Swan and Dolphin. It was a bit dark though and ended up on some road where only trucks were passing by and ended in a Cast Member only area. I eventually found my way but it sure was interesting.
7. April 26, 2012 - 2.0 miles: This pretty uneventful run is memorable because it was the first time I ran with proper running shoes. Boy did it make a difference. The recently retired New Balance 1123's gave me 208 miles of faithful service and sent me on my first trip to a running store, an experience I will never forget (Check it out here). Fit Girl, I'm still waiting to run into you while on a race.
6. August 26, 2012 - 3.1 miles: My first race. Popular Bank's 5K was a total disaster in terms of strategy, planning and training. But man, was it fun! Adrenaline absolutely took over and everything went out the window but the minute I crossed the finish line I was plotting how I was going to run a better race next time and it felt so good when they put the medal around my neck. I had officially gotten "The Bug".
5. August 28, 2012 - 2 miles: My very next run after my next race. I called it "My first Zen run" on the blog. I was sore, tired and hurting but I went out anyway. Best thing I ever did. Forget about how good it was physically, mentally it helped me collect my thoughts which were all over the place after the race. People often talk about the mental aspects of running and how running helps them think and stuff but I had never understood that until this run.
4. May 19, 2012 - 4 miles: With this run, I logged 10 miles in a week for the first time. These numbers can seem trivial, especially to runners who log 50 mile weeks and more but for me it was a big deal. At the same time it made me think about how for someone who wants to run a Marathon (me) 10 miles a week is still a long way to go.
3. November 18, 2012 - 3.1 miles: The Give a 5K for Diabetes race was the craziest of the year by far. Mainly because I arrived late and unprepared but it was such a big improvement over my first race. Not to mention the fact I ran the entire thing. ( I had to stop during my first race. Again details here)
2. November 27, 2012 - 2 miles: It's not every day you get to run on a moving cruise ship at 3:30 in the morning! But that is exactly what I did on this run. The Disney Fantasy has a jogging track and its big. 2.5 laps-equals-1 mile big. When you are on vacation, especially a cruise, you want to relax so it is totally justifiable to feel like not running. But I ran. The word "freak" starts to come to mind...
1. November 30, 2012 - 3.1 miles: The Castaway Cay 5K is the race that started me running so, having accomplished the goal of running it this year is reason enough for it to be at the top spot but it's more than that. Emotionally, it was an accomplishment to know that I was able to keep this "running thing" going long enough to get to this race and also, finishing the race and not going into "accomplished mode" but actually planning races for next year and beyond. Thinking about the future. A future where I run. I also PR'ed. How cool is that?
It was a tough year filled with many challenges but that is exactly why I'm so happy with my running. I was able to run despite those challenges. It's very easy to get lost in the worries and problems of life but think about this: Without our health, there can be no life to worry about. We often don't take care of ourselves because "we got to think about our family" but I tell you: Letting your health go to waste is truly not thinking about your family. If you leave things like obesity and laziness run rampant in your life, how long do you think you are going to be there for the ones you love? Sure, death comes to us all and you never know when it's going to happen but why tip the odds in its favor?
Anyway, hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that you will have an even better new year. Hopefully 2013 will be an incredible year for your running, your lives and your families.