Time to look back on the year of 2o12. A year of much, much change. A move across the country, a new job, a new relationship. Major events in my life. Here’s how the running went down.
January – in the early part of the month, I prepared to make my cross country move from Atlanta back home to San Francisco. I had a new relationship and was brimming with excitement. I was also full of angst and upset over a job I voluntarily departed. Leaving Atlanta was a big decision as my years there were so rich and significant in so many ways. And yet, It was time to go. To move on. In more ways than one.
By January 23, I was on the road, headed west. Over the next 10 days, I drove some of my belongings across our great country and stopped in a few places to stretch my legs and breathe in the air. I was able to run some miles in Oxford, Mississippi; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Flagstaff, Arizona (2x); and Las Vegas, NV (treadmill). My favorite runs were in Flagstaff. The temperatures were cold and my breathing labored in the higher elevation town, but i still loved it. A great little town in Northern Arizona.
January Miles: 75
February – February 1, I touched down in the bay area. Specifically, Petaluma, CA, where I would make my new home. Surrounded by old friends and a new love, I was pretty darn happy. And, for the first time in many, many years, I was without employment. That lasted all of about 2 weeks until I landed a new one and a great one, at that!
My feet and legs went to explore the streets of my new town in ways that I had never done before. I ran all over Petaluma and found that it was mostly flat and to to get any kind of hills, I had to seek them out. This was in stark contrast to Atlanta where hills are everywhere and flatlands are hard to find. It was refreshing to run in a new place and find my way around and notice new things. I spent the last weekend of the month in Ashland, OR and was able to run there as well. A post-snow run day was pretty fun.
Februray Miles: 54
March – I had signed up for a trail race so i needed to get some proper training in for this upcoming event. The only place to run trails in Petaluma is Helen Putnam Park. A good park to run in with mostly single-track, but it is not that big of a space so to run long miles (+6), you will be going over some of the same trails more than once. I was getting settled in to my work environment and looking for a place to live.
March Miles: 71
April – in preparation mode for a 7 mile trail race in Muir Woods which was mid month. A fantastic race. Just love running in that area. After the race, I began using a training program NIKE had designed for me to help me break 2 hours in the half-marathon distance. I started incorporating intervals and very specific strength training exercises into my training. Also started fooling around with Tennis and found I really enjoy it. But, wow…patience, patience, patience is needed on the court.
April Miles: 35
May – A month of shorter, faster runs. Continually saw my pace in the 8:30-8:40 per mile mark and was happy with this. Traveled to NY for work for a week and was very tough to keep up the running due to very long work days. Not fun sitting all day and then being too wiped out to exercise, but I did a little. A bit more tennis and more interval training.
May Miles: 52
June – at the beginning of the month, I had flown back to Atlanta to visit clients and also gather the rest of my belongings. I had to drive a Penske Truck from Atlanta back to SF. My 2nd cross country trip in 6 months. Whew!!! It was definitely not as fun or as fast as driving my BMW!! I took a different route this go around and ran in Dallas, Texas; Amarillo, Texas, and Las Vegas, Nevada. I was so happy when I got home and had NO MORE DRIVING TO DO! I joined a great local gym and was feeling good about my fitness level.
June Miles: 54
July – Early in the month was the heart of my 1/2 marathon training. I was feeling good about my pace, but wasn’t sure i had gotten in enough in enough long mileage. Prior to race day, my longest run was only 10 miles. But, otherwise, i was feeling good going into race day and knew I would have to push hard and trust myself. Race day was on July 29th and what a day it was. My previous best had been 2:01 and change. I achieved my new PR on July 29th at the SF Half Marathon with a finish time of 1:58:42. I was over the moon delighted. Can’t tell you what this meant to me. And to be back running in my hometown, with my love at the finish line…nothing better. A magical day!
July Miles: 65
August – bought these superfly new Nike shoes. Nike Flyknit. Super light, awesome and fun to run in.
Fresh off the high from the race, I wanted to run another one. The NIKE SF WOMENS MARATHON was coming up in a few months, but already sold out. Luckily for me, I entered into a raffle for an entry and won. Decision made. I was going. OMG. I had about 8 weeks to prepare and was definitely nervous about the quick back to back. (although I realize some people run marathons every weekend, this was a lot for me, especially since I pushed my body so hard for the Half.) I got myself in gear and kept my expectations in check and went took to the roads.
August Miles: 70
September – full on training for full marathon mode! And, I celebrated my 42nd birthday!! Again, was feeling good overall, but did not get in super long runs. Longest run pre race day was 16 miles. However, I felt steady and solid and mentally ready to keep pushing. It helped that i scaled down my expectations. All I wanted was to toe the line and be there and have a decent finish. A PR was out of the question.
September Miles: 111
October – Race month. The big day was Oct 14th, again in San Francisco. Another fantastic race experience. I actually was feeling pretty strong until around mile 20. I was also on good pace until then so I know my long run of just 16 miles was what had hurt me. Had I been able to get in an 18 or 20 miler in during training, i think I would have had a better finish time. However, I was still fine with the 4:24 finish. My 8th marathon was done and I was super happy!
Later in the month, spent some time up the north coast in Sea Ranch and Gualala. Small, quaint little communities. A great quiet get-a-way! And, I even went swimming for the first time in ages!
Last but not least, The SAN FRANCISCO GAINTS won the WORLD SERIES. I had been at Game 7 of the NLCS and that is a time I will never forget. Bottom of the ninth inning, the game was already won, cold & rainy at the park, everyone soaked and just screaming at the top of our lungs. What a freakin’ blast!
October Miles: 66
November – I tried to take it easy during the month and really rest, but that didn’t happen. I “should” have taken maybe 2-3 full weeks off, but I didn’t. I had some days where I wasn’t truly enjoying myself, but i still didn’t rest. On the positive side, I had an awesome Thanksgiving holiday. One of the best I have had in many, many years. Surrounded by love, new and old friends. A happy day.
November Miles: 52
December – last month of 2012. not a whole lot to say. Some running, but not a lot and some of the runs were uninspiring. A few were great and those were back on the trails at Helen Putnam Park. Rainy, cold days and it felt great! Unfortunately, late in the month, I noticed my chest was hurting. Weird, i thought. Well, a week or so later, I developed some kind of flu or something and am still recovering from this about 10 days later. I think I am at the end of it, but there’s no way I can run. I tried that and got set back even worse. I will wait for some good signs from my body and not push it. Its tough as I am becoming excited and anxious about getting back out there and trying to reach new goals. But, I cannot afford to get re-sick, so slow and easy is the plan for right now.
December Miles: 48
As I recapped this year, i am surprised to find i only participated in 3 races. It seems like I trained for more than that! Looking back, I found real value in the NIKE TRAINING PROGRAM. I believe it helped me increase my overall fitness and I enjoyed the program. For that race, I really needed to focus more on speed and I did and it helped me reach my goal! Highlight of the year in my running world. I’m continually learning about quantity versus quality. It’s so important and I know I have more to learn. I would like to spend more time cross training with cycling, swimming, tennis and maybe even yoga. I have more and more thoughts swirling in my head, but that will be for later. I’ll end this now, grateful for the year. Grateful to be alive and with an abundance of love and goodness. Need to be sure to continue to let it all in and believe i deserve it. That’s the challenge.
Thanks for following along and wishing you all the best in 2013. Go Get After IT.