Best race experience?
The Gulf Shores Half Marathon might be the best half I've run. Ever.
I mean, really, how many races have parrots and Parrotheads at the water stops?
The Blackwater Trail 10k ranks high on my "most memorable runs" list. I was nervous about racing in thick, swampy woods where it's easy to get lost, but once I got going, I had a great time.
My marker-spotting skills were sharp enough that I became the de-facto lead runner in our pack, and I was the only person in the first 2 waves of runners who didn't get stung by a swarm of bees.
Winning a $10 age group award didn't hurt, either.
Best new piece of gear?
Um... do new shoes count? I don't think I've purchased a single bit of running gear this year... Oh wait! My t-shirt from the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans half marathon is my favorite new piece of gear because when I wear it, I can tell the story about how I ran behind the sag wagon!
Best piece of running advice you received?
This year I gave more advice than I received, but a reader did stump me with a question about treadmill running... Her dilemma: feeling unstable and not running in a straight line on the 'mill.
I sent the question out into Facebookland and the Twitterverse, and readers responded with some excellent advice:
- Post a quote (or image) about six inches above eye level in front of the treadmill and focus on that. This works like using a visual focus point in yoga to keep you centered and balanced.
- Set the incline to a higher level and set the 'mill to a slow speed. It will feel more stable.
Most inspirational runner?
Meb Keflezighi's grace (both in physical form and in attitude) are an inspiration, and Alysia Montaño's Olympic quote is one that will stick with me for a long time...
“The flower is.. to me, means strength with femininity. I think that a lot of people say things like 'you run like a girl.' That doesn't mean that you have to run soft or you have to run dainty. It means that you're strong. We are the givers of life."
Alysia Montaño (after winning the women's 800 meter race to qualify for the 2012 US Olympic team)
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
This was the year of "MORE."
I raced more, traveled more, and spent more time recovering from injury* than any other year since I started keeping records back in 2003...
I'm beginning to think 2013 should be the year of "more rest."
Then again, maybe not. There are races to run and places to see!
*Important note: "More" running did not cause "more" injury. I pulled my calf muscle while weight lifting.
How would you answer these questions?
(Answer in the comments section below, or write your own post and share the link in the comments section.)