Best Race Experience
This one is a tie between the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. The WDW Marathon was my first 26.2 and I couldn't have asked for a better day. Even though he was sick, Matthew and I crossed the finish line smiling- and after having ran 22.4 miles in the three days before as part of the Dopey Challenge! And this race is where we first met Nathan, Steff, Jeff, Lauren, Dani, Justin, and a whole bunch of other cool people.
|Being a marathoner is the absolute coolest.
The city of Pittsburgh- and the awesome friends we have there- totally stole my heart. The half marathon course was challenging but super fun. It was like all of Pittsburgh was having a party and there happened to be a race running through the middle of it. The crowds and spectators were incredibly encouraging. We also met Lauren H., Gloria, Chelsea, and some other amazing Pittsburgh peeps and got to spend lots of time with friends. It was such an inspiring and uplifting weekend.
|Nothing but love.
I was lucky enough to PR lots of distances this year including a sub 2:30 half at Shamrock which I'm still super proud of and can't believe happened.
But none of those were my best run. My best run was the first one post-stress fracture. After almost four long, painful months of not running, when I was finally able to run, it was the most glorious feeling. If runner's high exists, I felt it on December 6, 2014.
|It was cold, wet, and rainy but also glorious!
Best New Piece of Gear
Gymboss Interval Timer. If you run/walk, you NEED this timer. Affordable, easy to use, and works off its own battery so it won't drain your phone.
Best Piece of Running Advice
Listen to your body.
There's no reason to push yourself every run. Sometimes you've just got to back off when your body is telling you to.
Most Inspirational Runner
While all the runners I know inspire the heck out of me, this year's most inspirational runner title goes to my dad. We first started talking about him doing the 2015 WDW Marathon around Christmas last year- that was also when he started getting back into running thanks to the run/walk method.
|Finishing the Sole of the City 10k together in April.
When he finally decided to do the marathon, he downloaded the training schedule to his calendar and started chipping away at it. Over the last few months, he's run in the pouring rain, freezing snow, and crazy humid heat- but he's stuck to the schedule. He's done all his long runs and in less than 10 days, he'll toe the line of his first marathon at age 58.
|At the Mission 10 Miler earlier this year. Snow, hail, and freezing rain in March. Good times.
To say I'm proud would be one hell of an understatement. This is a man who took a ten year hiatus from running and is now in marathon shape in just one year! He's my running hero and I cannot wait to watch him run in Disney. While I'm still sad that I can't run this one with him, it gives me great joy to think about him becoming a marathoner. His persistence and dedication to his training inspire me and I know I'll rely on that inspiration when I start training for distance running again.
In summary, my dad kicks ass and I'm just so damn proud of him.
|After a particularly hot August training run.
- Coach Jeff
- My speedy friends: Chelsea, Steff, Lauren, Dani, Nathan
Sum Up the Year in a Few Words
Not what I expected, but filled with friendship and love.
Seriously, this year was full of some of the most supportive and loving people I've ever known. I never would have made it through my injury if it weren't for my running ohana.
So there you have it, 2014 in a nutshell. Injuries, new distances, awesome friends- overall, pretty neat! Bring on 2015 :-)
QOTD: What's your favorite running memory from 2014?