Running year in review – 2014

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Where my feet have taken me this year!

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This isn’t totally accurate – I haven’t worn my watch for every run, so I’d say I’m probably closer to 1,800 km this year – an improvement over last year’s 1,362!

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No surprises here – Fridays and Mondays are my cross-training/rest days usually, and I am definitely not an evening/late night runner!

Looking back on 2014…

Races: 8 (from a 5K to a 50K)

Injuries: 4 (groin strain, popliteus strain, plantar fasciitis, quad pull)

New pairs of shoes: 5 (Asics GT-2000-2s, Mizuno Wave Inspires, Mizuno Wave Rider 17 – awful! for me anyway -, second pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires – love ’em -, Brooks Ravenna 5s)

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Mizuno love! The Wave Inspires. Supportive and LIGHT! My favourite, favourite shoes

Favourite race, experience: Boston, hands down. I still get chills when I watch videos like this

Favourite race, running: Run for the Toad 50K. It was my first ultra, I placed fourth overall for women in the Canadian National ACU Championships and the race went off perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better race (although I could have done without the post-race cramps and dehydration!)

Most exhilarating finish: Boston

Most disappointing finish (at the time…perspective makes you realize it’s really not that horrible!): My 1:30:05 finish at the Harvest Half marathon in September. I wanted that sub-1:30 so badly, but this year just wasn’t my year. I got my half-marathon time down from 1:46 in 2013 to 1:30:05 in 2014, but I’m going to have to keep working at it. Elite runner Krista DuChene was at the finish line at this particular race, and she saw how disappointed I was. “It only makes you hungrier,” she told me, sharing a story about her own disappointment the first time she ran Boston. Wise words to remember! Looking back, I’m really proud of my half-marathon PB and I’m ready to crush it in 2015!

Favourite race shirt: the Harvest Half! I’ve got a billion blue race shirts, so a green one with a cool corn cob on it (who doesn’t love corn on the cob?) was something different and unique. Plus I love the v-neck!

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(and I fail at knowing how to rotate this image…)

Craziest weather: that time I ran 22K in a white-out blizzard with 90km/h winds. I wish I was exaggerating. At several points, I thought they would find my frozen, embalmed body in a snowbank six months later. It was BAD (yet also, weirdly, super exhilarating and I felt so bad-ass when I dragged myself back to my apartment and collapsed in front of the fireplace).

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Bundled up.

Best race expo: Rock and Roll Chicago – free massages, the chance to drive a new Honda Civic, awesome selection of running apparel/accessories (and decent prices!). Boston’s expo was awesome too, but overwhelming and I felt bad about dragging my family – especially my brother – there so I just ducked in and out. But in Chicago my friend Kelly and I really took our time, spending a few hours there before leisurely walking back along Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront to our hostel to meet our two other friends. It was awesome.

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My friend Jess and I at the Chicago expo

Best new running friend: Mary Anne, a woman I initially met through church. We realized we were both runners, and since then we’ve met up at three races this past fall, including my last race of 2014 – the Georgetown Egg Nog Jog. She is one of the most resilient, dedicated runners I know, and her goal-setting and commitment to running is so inspiring! After the race we went back to her place and she showed me the 80+ medals she has from racing, including a marathon medal from my birth year, 1988! Looking forward to more races in 2015 with Mary Anne!

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Most inspiring elite: Shalane Flanagan. I love how gutsy she is! She recently had a great interview with Runner’s World about the recent doping scandal (heart = broken over Jeptoo) and once again, I loved everything she had to say. Embarrassing thing to admit: when I’m racing (or even just doing a tough workout), I try to channel my inner Shalane. It actually really helps motivate me!

Biggest running fail: putting water in a ziploc bag and tucking said bag in your sports bra because you can’t find your hand-held water bottle and you’re heading out on a 22 mile run DOES NOT WORK. The water will gradually seep out of the ziploc bag, making it look like you’re lactating and leaving you with no form of hydration. Just a heads-up. Either find your water bottle or stash water along your route ahead of time.

Favourite workout: I don’t exactly love doing it, but love how it really gets you ready for hills: 2 mile warm up, 10x600m hill repeats, with downhill jog, 2 mile cool down. Whew!

Favourite running song: Love lift me – Amanda Marshall. Man, that chorus. When it kicks in you just want to fly.

Top running message: in the words of Dave McGillivray, the race director of the Boston Marathon, “my game, my rules.” Not every race is going to be your best race or a PB. Sometimes you’re not going to have the time or desire to train for a big race or run every day. That’s fine. Running is for you, it’s personal, it’s hopefully going to be something you can do forever, and you get to make the rules. You get to choose, and I choose to run happy. 🙂

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Looking forward to what 2015 has in store running-wise!

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