Well its the last day of 2013! I think this year has gone really fast, but I also feel like so much has happened. Overall, I would say it was a really good year. I have been thinking lately about my year in running. I feel like I am a much different runner than I was a year ago, for several reasons. Not only did I change my running form and switched to a more minimal shoes (versus the most heavy-duty-stability shoe plus orthotics), but I also really learned about why it is important to have a strong core and how all those muscles impact running. I took control of my injuries (through most of 2012 I was plagued with piriformis problems, and jumped around between chiropractors and physical therapists who weren’t really helping). I found an amazing chiropractor who has changed everything. I never felt like he was trying to find a quick fix and get me out of his office. He has helped my learn about my imbalances and how they can cause pain, and the different options to manage these issues. He never said “stop running”, and he always listened. Not only was he a chiropractor/physical therapist, it also felt like running therapy. I have also started doing my own research about running, how to become a stronger runner, and how to improve my nutrition to recover faster and run stronger. This year, my overall mindset about running has shifted. But back to the highlights of 2013…
The Houston Marathon
This was a “highlight” but it was also a real challenge. As I said, 2012 was the year of piriformis pain. I had signed up for the Houston Marathon (January 2013) the previous June, with the assumption that my injury would be gone by then. The plan was for my husband and I to run the marathon en route to our honeymoon in Hawaii. I started training in the fall of 2012 even though I was still dealing with some pain. I kept my training to a minimum but got the miles in. I wasn’t psyched about how my training went, but knew I would make it through the 26.2 knowing there was 2 weeks of Hawaiian beaches at the finish line. Not only did I struggle through the training, but race day was much less than ideal. It was pouring rain and much colder than normal for Houston in January. I think it was in the 30s when we woke up and was in the 40s and SUPER windy during the entire race. By some miracle, I ran a personal best that day. Looking at the race pictures, I cringed. My form was AWFUL! Heel striking, arms flailing out the side, hips dropping all over the place…and so while on my Honeymoon I started reading about running form.
This book was a great starting point to learn about the muscles involved in running and exercises to improve form. Its one thing to have someone tell you to do an exercise, its another thing to understand why you are doing it, how it should feel, and how it will help you to run.
Honeymoon in Hawaii
A true highlight of 2013. We spent 2 glorious weeks relaxing in Oahu and Maui. With the marathon behind us, there was no pressure to run. But how could I resist with a view like this?
We attended 7 weddings this year, only one of them being local, which meant a lot of traveling. It was awesome to see couples I have known for a long time celebrate their love for one another.
In total I ran 10 races this year. Some did not go as planned. Others were unexpected personal bests. I got awards in all 4 5ks I ran. I ran and finished every race I signed up for. My races in included 5ks, 10ks, a 10 miler, half marathons, and marathons. (You can see more about my races on the Races Page)
You can read more about our anniversary weekend here
2013 was a great year, but I think 2014 will be even better! There are many exciting things to look forward to, and some goals that I hope to achieve (more on that later this week!) The great thing about running is there is always room for improvement.
What was one highlight of 2013 for you?
What is your proudest running accomplishment of the year?