Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - A Year to Remember

It's been a reoccurring sentiment in my posts over 2013 that this has been an amazing year!  I fell in love with running all over again this year.  The beginning of 2013 was incredibly stressful with work and instead of losing my mind and my temper, I turned to running as an outlet.  Running actually rewards you for your hard work and acknowledges all of the extra blood, sweat and tears when you step up to the start line of the big race. 

After spending the first half of the year training for The San Francisco Marathon, I really thought that was going to be it for the year.  Little did I know how much that race would change and inspire me.    This year has been so awesome but what happened last week?  Out of complete nowhere my right knee flared up.  Seriously?  I'm not talking just a little niggle of pain, I'm talking I wasn't able to make it through a mile before I was in tears with pain.  So after only being able to run twice in the last ten days and working to rehab this sucker, I woke up today in a pity party kind of mood.  This blog was originally started to just document my races so that I have a journal to keep with me over the years.  Today I realized that it also serves to remind me of just why my knee might hurt and maybe I shouldn't be so upset with it.

Let's do some math for 2013.....

1) I've run 12 races
  • (2) 10k's
  • (2) 15K's
  • (7) Half Marathons (NYE Race tomorrow will make #8 and 13 races overall)
  • (1) Full Marathon

2) If I hadn't switched between 3 different GPS devices I could tell you how many total training miles run, but if I had to guess (based on training plans) it's somewhere between 900 - 1,000 miles.

3)  Spent over $1,000 in race registrations.

4)  Burned through about 5 pairs of shoes.

5)  I'm not even going to attempt to calculate what I've spent on things that keep me running such as sports chiro, cryotherapy, and the occasional massage.  Willing to bet I could have spent a week in Bora Bora, but I digress....

If I'm being honest this is the first time I've ever done the math and quite frankly it makes me a little nauseous because this doesn't even include travel expenses or my husband's total.  >gulp<  (I'm so thankful AdvoCare is truly my running fund.  The products fuel my body and my bank account to make all this happen.)  But you know what?  I don't regret a single second of it.  I got to run in New Orleans and San Francisco this year!  The memories that were made on those trips, the ton of laughs shared, you cannot put a price on.  Every race has it's own story and each one I can look back and smile on.  There were some that were downright terrible and I asked myself multiple times while out on the course, "Why the hell am I doing this?".  Those memories were quickly trumped by the many great races I had where I couldn't stop smiling the entire race.  I proudly display all of my medals because to me they are better than any race photograph I could pay way to much money for print and hang on the wall.

Outside of just the races, 2013 lead me down a path to help others with their journey. 
  • In August I became certified as a running coach through the RRCA!  Hands down one of the best decision I made for my running.  Even if you aren't looking to have a running coach business, getting certified and the knowledge gained during certification is worth every penny and every minute of your time.  
  • Over the summer I was seeking a way to give back and use my new found coaching skills so that I could give back my time and give back to a sport that has given so much to me.  The opportunity presented itself in September when I was selected to become a Girls On The Run coach!  Being able to spend 10 weeks pouring into a wild group of 5th grade girls was so much fun and something I hope to do again.      
  • In December I was selected to be a guest blogger on one of my favorite running and motivational pages, The Daily Runner.  Such a fun thing to be a part of!  If you missed the article, here you go.     
The best thing about my 2013 recap and totals?  They don't even include our race for New Year's Eve!  The New Year's Double (part one) starts tomorrow and that will make race #13 and #8 half marathon for the year.  New Year's Day will mark race #1 and half marathon #1 for 2014!  I honestly cannot imagine a better way to end 2013 and kick off 2014.  So as I sit here wallowing in pity over my hurt knee I can't really be too upset.  The races won't produce the times I would like because I'm going to take it easy on this ol' knee, but that's not what these races are about.  The New Year's Double is the icing on the cake for 2013.  I'm going to use those 13.1 miles on New Year's Eve to reflect on what an incredibly blessed year it has been.  The 13.1 miles on New Year's Day will be a battle to the finish I'm sure, but I look forward to spending those miles with my husband, and the running friends that were put in my path this year.  Banged up and taped up knee and all, bring it on 2014 and lets start this year off the right way!

Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope you can look back on 2013 and find the positives and look forward to an incredible year of new opportunity in 2014.

Run happy!  #happyrunner        

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