Running In 2012: Q&A
The 2012 year-in-running Q&A caught my attention after being mentioned by three amazing runners – Ashley, Jess, and Melissa. The questions got me reflecting on the year’s experiences. Since it was quite unpredictable and unprecedented (for me), I decided to follow suit and offer up a few words to give the year its due credit. And then, to finally say farewell as I look ahead to 2013.
I’ve added my responses to the questions originated by Miss Zippy.
Best Race Experience: Pensacola Marathon
Anyone who followed my fall marathon season is probably scratching their head thinking: Really? Pensacola, the race that was never meant to be. It was my last-minute backup plan to the canceled New York City Marathon. It was also the race in which I had 20 fabulous miles at target pace before a stress-fractured foot stole my Boston Qualifying time from me. Why, then, would it be my best race experience? Because it was real life. The Pensacola experience taught me that even with quality preparation, the unpredictable’s still a very real factor. The events that unfolded here afforded me more life-lessons than I would’ve received had I easily achieved my goal.
This run came 13 weeks into New York City Marathon training. It was my last, and longest, training run prior to taper. In the beginning of training, I’d struggled with the idea of running five 20-milers. By the time this long run rolled around, it was my sixth 20+ miler! I ran this with Jess, and it was a defining moment. I realized that not only was my Boston Qualifying time (3:40) a real possibility, but that I had the ability to blow that time out of the water. It was when I confidently ushered in my “A” goal time of 3:35.
Best New Piece of Gear: Generation UCAN
UCAN isn’t necessarily gear, but a fantastic product. It came highly recommended by endurance athlete friends of mine (think triathletes, Ironmen, and an Olympian). How could I refuse trying it after they’d touted its benefits. It was a wise switch, mid-training, on my part. The slow-release starch eliminated my need to carry and consume copious amounts of gels. It saved my stomach; and it helped me comfortably get through 15 miles of my long runs before needing to refuel. I can’t sing its praises enough!
Best Piece of Running Advice Received: “Things don’t just fall into place. You MAKE them fall into place.”
Those are words that came from a dear friend at a pivotal moment in training. I’d struggled with a plethora of emotional obstacles in the early weeks. My confidence was faltering, my training paces were consistently off. Then I took control and turned a corner. As my confidence increased, my training strengthened. Or, was it the other way around? Either way, those words made me realize I owed it to myself to take credit for the hard work I’d done. Things indeed didn’t just fall into place. It was my effort and determination that enabled the change I needed most.
These ladies are a constant source of encouragement – not only by their words but by their actions as well. Their training, running, and outlook on life are galvanizing! You can’t talk to them and not want to do your absolute best. I’m thankful the New York City Marathon brought them into my life.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
2012 was the gateway to infinite potential.