In many ways, 2016 was rough. I know many personal stories of struggle and loss. Then there was the U.S. election and other international events leaving us questioning what is going on in the world.
But if you will indulge me a little, I want to share about what has been going on in my little running bubble over the past 12 months. For me, running has always provided a little escape away from worry and dread into hope and motivation. Let’s focus on some positivity.
Best race experience: Ottawa Race Weekend
In May, I ran a marathon for the first time.
The race experience in Ottawa was just amazing. I wholeheartedly recommend Ottawa Race Weekend to anyone considering a fun, spirited, energetic and flat goal race. This year will be huge with the run corresponding with Canada’s 150th. My husband and I made it into a couple’s getaway weekend and we would love to make the trip again — perhaps next time with our little guy — so we can take in more sights and enjoy the nation’s capital. As long as Ottawa can promise to turn down the heat!!
Best run: Stroller running
I finally bought a new-to-me B.O.B. stroller which has encouraged more stroller running with my two-year-old. Combining my love of/need to run and enjoy time with my son is truly priceless (why didn’t I buy one sooner?!). We even ran a 5K race together this fall. To think about it gives me goosebumps. We were sailing down Manawagonish Road in our neighbourhood, which I’m sure Silas recognized. The experience must have been so cool for him. And not a bad time, either: 28:30!
A close second would have to be my new half-marathon personal best at Moncton’s Legs for Literacy in October. 1:59:47, baby!
Best new piece of running gear: massage stick
Man, when I think back to all the $$ I spent on running stuff this year, it’s a little frightening. Three or four pairs of good shoes, Lululemon and Lole clothes, a water belt, race registrations, etc, etc. But the very best thing I invested in was PHYSIOTHERAPY. Oh goodness, am I ever glad I went during the weeks leading up to my marathon. Rob saved me. I’m sure I’m not the first person to say it either. He told me to buy one of these torturous sticks, so I did, and continue to poke and prod my lower extremities after runs, though probably not as much as I should.
Best running advice received this year: “Let pain be your guide, but don’t let it stop you.” My physiotherapist said that. He also told me that I could heal/get stronger while continuing to run.
Best advice I can give: You will feel better after 10 minutes. Drink more water. Get more sleep.
Favourite picture from a run or race this year:
So many photos in my library bring back good memories.
Sitting in the frigid Bay of Fundy after a long run was pretty classic!
But it’s got to be my Ottawa finish line photo! After running 42.2 km in extreme heat and humidity, I made it to the finish. There is noooooo feeling like this, folks.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Not going to say Ottawa because running a marathon in 40 C with humidex is not something I want to repeat.
Maritime Race Weekend was absolutely stunning. The weather was simply perfect for a half-marathon. The run was well-organized and so much fun. I want to go back!
Worst running moment: I had a few very painful, long and lonely long runs leading up to my marathon. It was in cold, damp spring weather and my IT band was throbbing in pain. I trained by myself. I had many moments of doubt in those two-three hour runs, but refused to give up. I walked a lot, my pace sucked, but I got through it. And was stronger for it.
Favourite medal: I received many beautiful medals this year but Ottawa is my fave!
Summing up the year in a few words: I ran a marathon! What?! I have come a long way. Every year gets better. Running makes me more balanced in other aspects of my life.
The “Year of Running” is hosted by Courtney from Eat Pray Run.