Best race experience: This year was full of excellent race experiences. If I had to choose, which as part of a “list” I do, I have to go with the Disney World Dopey Challenge . If you’re not familiar with the Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World, it’s four races, increasing in distance, over the course of four days. Day one, we ran a 5k, day two 10k, day three a 1/2, and the fourth day we ran a full marathon. All of these races are through the Walt Disney World property. I was able to see the “backstage” areas of Epcot and Magic Kindgom – which as a normal person I would never have been able to see. Also, having my medal put around my neck after 48.6 total miles by Minnie Mouse was pretty sweet! 🙂
Best run: This year was full of difficult runs. One that stands out to me is the North Face Endurance Challenge 10k in Algonkian Regional Park. I ran this year on Sunday, after running Ragnar Trail Richmond the Friday and Saturday right before. I had ZERO goals except to finish the race. When I started out, my legs were warm and ready to go – so I started to run harder than I would normally on a trail. I ended up with a shiny trail PR for the 10k distance.
Best new piece of running gear: For this question, we have a tie. My Oiselle Verrazano Bra and my Reebok Floatride Run shoes. The Verrazano by Oiselle is the only bra I’ve run in where I felt like the *girls* weren’t going to escape. Also, this bra doesn’t make me feel like I’m being choked either – which is a HUGE win on long runs. My floatrides were given to me by Ragnar as part of an ambassador package. I was a bit skeptical as they were so light I didn’t think they would hold up for me. The first run I took in the floatrides felt amazing, so I figured I’d train for Marine Corps and see what happened. I ended up loving these shoes so much that I wore them for the Marine Corps Marathon. First time I’ve run a full with no blisters!
Best running advice you’ve received this year: Your pace, your race. So many times this year I was more worried about “keeping up” with the runners around me. This caused me to burn out early and not enjoy the race. When I ignored everyone else around me (pace wise) and stuck with what was comfortable to me, I had a blast!
Most inspirational runner: Again, we have a tie. First off, Shalane Flanagan. HUGE HERO! Watching her WIN the NYC Marathon made me cry. If you haven’t watched this finish, you need to. Especially around 2:14 😉 #effyes. Secondly, Bart Yasso who is retiring this year. Bart is an amazing human being who I had the chance to meet. He is inspiring and keep me on my feet!
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: While Marine Corps wasn’t my favorite race experience, I was thrilled with the pictures that I got. I love that you can see the majesty of DC behind me – and that I’m smiling!
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Marine Corps. Marine Corps Marathon is a race that I will try to do every year.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Rough and character building.
Wishing you health and happiness over this holiday season!