Monday, December 31, 2012

Jumping on the year in review bandwagon

Before I begin my review of my year in training, racing and pacing, I would like to put out my main goal for 2013: I am going to invent an app that allows me to blog by thought. See, I write a TON of great blog posts in my brain, while falling asleep, driving my son to school, running on the treadmill...everywhere but sitting at my computer. So my main goal for the new year is to figure out how to get those untyped blog posts directly from my brain to the blogesphere. Genius, right?

Now that that is taken care of, I will proceed to my top 5 moments of 2012.

1. Overcoming the injury of the century. Actually, I overcame my injury again, and again, and again. Let's face running terms this has been a rough year. Any year that involved multiple stints in the boot of shame and traveling with said boot and a bone stimulator in tow to races and vacations "just in case" is a little rough. But as the year closes out and I tally up my whopping 1513 running miles (that is 4.14 miles per day for you math-y folks) I am actually enormously happy with my training year (and really optimistic about next year). Despite innumerable internal pity parties I never once let my injury get the best of me and I trained my arse off throughout the whole debacle. I discovered that I can still swim almost as fast as I could when I did Ironman Canada in 2001, I made new friends while I aquajogged for hours on end, I rediscovered my abdominal muscles and my glute medius and I made the acquaintance of a couple of fantastic and talented chiropractors. Most importantly (and certainly most cliche-y) I discovered I am much, much tougher than I had ever imagined. Had you told me previously that I would spend this long injured and STILL stay in shape I would have laughed at you. But I did it! I sincerely hope I never have a layoff like this again but if I do I am totally ready for it. (Although I do need a new swimsuit...mine is a teeny bit see through after all that swimming and aqua jogging!)

Thank goodness for Dr. Kormanik's Alter-G!

with this as my number, I
KNEW it was going to be
a great day!
BCTC team representing
in CA!
2. The Napa Valley Marathon. When I left California in August of 2011 some of my wonderful teammates and I decided that we would meet up at Napa in 2012 to run together. The promise of this got me through some lonely early months in Durham and ultimately became the base of my running partnership with my fantastic Bull City/Oiselle teammate and running bff Ellen. As my injury dragged I changed my race plans from "break 3:10" to "pace Ellen to a BQ". Unbeknownst to me that change ended up laying the groundwork for the most fun marathon I have ever run. Despite the fact that I toed the line really, truly not knowing if I would be able to finish I also showed up completely relaxed and devoid of the internal pressure that we runners tend to tote along with us to marathons. During the week surrounding the race I got to stay with and visit my wonderful friend Jenny, I saw all my old teammates from FoMo, including our fantastic tangent-running pacer Ralph, our amazing cheerleader Tara and, of course, my CA running bff Andy and I was privileged to run side-by-side with Ellen as she scored a whopping 11 minute PR and a ticket to Boston. It was, undeniably, the perfect running vacation.

celebrating Ellen's BQ!

3. Becoming a LUNA sponsored athlete. In mid-April I got a text from my best friend Carrie saying something along the lines of: "There is a new LUNA sponsored athlete program. They are looking for women who finish in the top 10 of their age group and are interesting. You ought to apply to is the contact person's info." It is no secret that I am enamored with the LUNA a lifelong athlete and huge advocate for women's participation in sport I have always loved LUNA's mission and there is absolutely NOTHING to not love about their products. But be sponsored? Me? I figured it was a huge long shot! Honestly, I don't know that there is anything particularly interesting about me...I am a stay at home mom and 21st century housewife, I run, I get injured, I cross train, I train with my friends, I pace some of my friends, I race. But with the encouragement of my husband I put together a running resume and threw my (running) hat into the ring for consideration. Months passed. Okay, a month. But it felt like eons. One morning during a 5:30 a.m. run with my friend Carter I said "I don't think I am going to get it." The very next day I got an email...and then a call...and much to my delight and surprise I am now beginning my second year as a LUNA athlete. I feel so incredibly blessed to be a part of the LUNA community and I am really excited to represent them as I race (injury-free) this coming year! The sponsorship was a huge jolt of confidence when I needed it most and it has inspired me to become more involved in my running community by beginning to coach Girls On The Run, laying the groundwork to establish a GOTR chapter at my son's school, pursuing my USATF Level 1 coaching certification and setting up a mom's running group, also at my son's school. I am SO grateful for LUNA's continued faith in me and I can't wait to meet all the other amazing athletes at Summit this spring!

arm warmers with thumb
holes? Thanks Oiselle!
4. Becoming a Oiselle Ambassador. While standing on the starting line at Napa I saw my FoMo teammate Christy Slye, who happens to be the VP of sales for an amazing women's running apparel company called Oiselle. This brief encounter set into motion a chain of events that included me practically breaking the bank to procure an entire new running wardrobe of gorgeous clothes that actually fit my xxs frame, learning how to tweet (who knew I could say anything in 140 characters?!?!) and getting 75 new amazing women as teammates when I was chosen to be an ambassador for the Oiselle. For those of you who haven't heard of Oiselle...please stop reading my wordy blog right now and go over to their website: There you will find some of the most flattering women's running apparel ever created. Founded on the premise that it has to be possible to make a more flattering short than the here-unnamed ubiquitous running short (you know the one...every third woman at the gym is wearing them!), Oiselle has done a phenomenal job at creating both technical running apparel and casual running-related clothes that are flattering, comfortable and truly designed for runners. And the women who run the company are just as awesome as the clothes they make.

We made a little time to hang
out with Kara Goucher in NYC
5. The whole NYC Marathon experience. I know, I know...this is on many folks list of worst moments in 2012. But I thought it was fantastic! A little bit surprising and sometimes stressful, but fantastic nonetheless. Yes, it was disappointing. Yes, the whole situation is riddled with controversy. Yes, I am 100% tired of hearing people complain about it. And yes, at the end of the day it was a good reminder to all of us runners that our desire to run 26.2 miles on a certain day in a certain place is trivial. But all of the ridiculously negative and hurtful Facebook comments skewering runners, all the uncertainty, all the disappointment of having a race cancelled just days before race day was worth the moment on Ellen's face when we arrived at Central Park on race morning to find thousands and thousands of runners...running. Together. And having a wonderful time doing it. I know that the race cancellation had been much more stressful for Ellen and it just made me inordinately happy that this amazing display of humanity was able to trump all that stress and disappointment. In addition to that, we had the best. roommates. ever. Christy, Rosaura and Cynthia were relaxed and positive and just all-around fun to spend time with. And then there were the Oiselle get-togethers! I can't imagine a better group to commiserate with after a major marathon gets cancelled. And running in Central Park on a cold November morning with a bevy of Oiselle teammates was undoubtedly one of my favorite runs of the year. As much as I wish that I could turn time backwards and make it so Sandy had never occurred, had not destroyed so many homes and taken so many peoples' lives, I am enormously grateful for the experience I ended up having this November in New York. 
This says it all. Thanks
So there you have it. 2012 is in the books. With all the time I spent NOT running I easily could call it the worst year in my 20 years in the sport. But thanks to the support of my amazing running family - Ellen, Andy, Carter, my Bull City teammates, my new coach, LUNA, Oiselle, and many others - I can actually say that this has been one of my most satisfying, fulfilling years on record.

On a non-running related note, I want to go on the record and say that, without a doubt, the one thing I am the most grateful for in 2012 is that Carrie, my dearest friend of over 35 years, ( is finishing the year brain tumor-free. That alone trumps all the running, racing, pacing, and sponsorships as the hands down best thing about 2012. Enough said.


Since I am a notoriously lazy blogger I am just going to go ahead and put out a few things I am looking forward to in 2013. If I don't do it now it may not make it into "print" until May :) So without further ado...

1. Disney Princess Half Marathon. My dearest friend from high school, Carter, decided that the best way to celebrate turning 40 is to don a tutu and tiara and run her first half marathon. I am so excited to pace her and run alongside her during this great adventure! And what's not to love about a race that encourages women to tackle this distance? Orlando, here I come!

2. LUNA Summit. Spending a weekend with all the amazing LUNA Chix and LUNA sponsored athletes in one place AND getting to see Carrie...I wish I could just fast-forward to April! 

3. Boston! My 5th time on the starting line here...every single one has been an adventure. I have made it to mile 22 and then taken a luxury ambulance ride to the hospital for a 5 day stay, I have run it on NO  training whatsoever and had a great race, I have run it with my wonderful friend Stacy in memory of our dear Patrick Caurant in the aftermath of a nor'easter. I can't wait to see what the adventure is this time! One thing I know for will be fun! Any marathon in which I am pacing my friend and Oiselle teammate Ellen is bound to be entertaining and delightful.

4. Turning 40. I cannot wait to turn 40! Sorry, I know most of you are totally sick of hearing me say it, but it is true! In just under 6 months I don't have to race all the young ladies any more and I cannot wait. I understand that turning 40 is kind of stressful for a lot of people but I am just plain ecstatic. Thank you running!

5. Who knows? If I learned anything this past year, it is that running, like the rest of life, is surprising and unpredictable. I can honestly say that I can't wait to see what happens next.

So there you have it. Five highlights from 2012 and five things I am looking forward to in the New Year. Thanks for reading along, and Happy New Year!

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