Friday, January 4, 2013

You can't climb back up if you don't first fall down.

The past year has been one of awesome gains, amazing trips, and forever friendships.

My awesome job as manager at Riverside Runners got even awesomer at the beginning of September when we moved our store to a bigger location down the street (affectionately known as "Uptown Riverside Runners") because we were busting at the seams in our old store. How lucky was I to be part of a new page in the RR story--a campaign to inspire movement in our community and everywhere!?

Uptown Riverside Runners, #inspiremovement

I set PRs in almost every distance; from 800m to 26.2 miles and everything in between.

I ran my second and third marathons (Pittsburgh in May and Richmond in November) faster than my first.

I went to Chicago in June all by myself and ran in the Chicago Women's Half. The race started in Grant Park...way cool to run in this big of an event and it be only women. Made for a little more of a competitive edge because everyone I passed was a girl!

Chicago Women's Half, June 2012
In August, I visited my friend Sarah in Oregon. She and I used to teach 2nd grade together in Lynchburg, and then she moved to Oregon in September 2010. I always wanted to visit her and the opportunity to do just that and run Hood to Coast* all came together in 2012! What an awesome experience! The trip was full of memories--from staying in downtown Portland and visiting Adidas HQ and then Nike HQ in Beaverton, to seeing Mount Hood up close and personal, to driving across the state of Oregon in a van with a team of 5 other goofballs who were so much fun, to finishing the race on the beach in Seaside, to driving down the coast with Sarah, Ryan, Abigail, and Hank (including seeing Haystack Rock), to spending several days in Newport where the Knapps had made their was a trip I'll never forget.

*Hood to Coast is a 200-mile relay race from Mt. Hood to Seaside, Oregon. You run the race in legs, with 12 people per team, 2 vans, 6 people in each van, and each person on the team running 3 legs for a total of 36 legs. It's one of the most amazing ways to see part of the state of Oregon.

Starbucks was brewing "Hood to Coast" that morning

Up close and personal with the summit
The girls of Van 1, with Mt. Hood behind

Sarah and I right before my 2nd leg of the race

Most of the team after our finish in Seaside

Hanging on the beach in Seaside


Prior to HTC and through July, August, September, and October I was training pretty hard for what would have been my most anticipated marathon experience of my life. I was selected to run in the New York City Marathon through the lottery. I found out in April. I was already training for the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, so I was kind of surprised when I got in (my plan would be that I probably would only want to run one marathon each year). But I trained hard and was very ready for NYC, which was supposed to be the first Sunday in November. Then Hurricane Sandy hit.

Of course, plans changed. While Gregg and I were on our way to NJ to spend the weekend at my brother-in-law's before NYC, the marathon was cancelled (this was Friday) due to all the damage and tragedy from Hurricane Sandy. I was really bummed out, but understood why the city decided to cancel. We tried to make the best of the weekend and helped out with donations of clothes, linens, and shoes that we had brought with us. It was a neat weekend to be in NJ & NYC and spend with our family. We were lucky to have had that experience.

Jackie, me, and Maddie in NYC

Maddie, Gregg, me, Don, Chris, Sarah, and Jackie in Sayreville
To make up for all the training and no marathon in NYC, I signed up for Richmond the following weekend (November 10th). I didn't really know what to expect because it had been kind of a crazy weekend in NYC (just exhausting from feeling upset about what happened to NYC with Sandy hitting to feeling upset about the race being cancelled to feeling tired from travelling to not knowing what to run the week in between...) I was also lucky enough to end up with a migraine on Friday morning the day before Richmond. It seriously seemed like no cards were in my favor and that maybe I just shouldn't run a marathon this fall. Then we made it to Richmond Friday night and we had a really good dinner at the Strawberry Street Cafe with my brother-in-law's Aunt Nancy who we were staying with in Richmond, and had a good night's sleep.

When I woke up Saturday before the race, I felt as ready as I could be. And despite all the craziness in getting to this marathon, I was ready. I ran eleven minutes faster in Richmond than I had in Pittsburgh in May. It was a really really exciting and fulfilling and emotional day. I ran with the "NYC 26.2" shirt that I had made by an amazing Etsy artist, Firedaughter, and was supposed to wear in NYC. I felt so much positive many people who would read my shirt and be happy that I was there to run. It was just a really cool experience. I'm not happy that NYC was cancelled, but I understand. I am happy that I was able to run Richmond.

What. A. High.

I'm a lucky gal.

right before the start of Richmond

Kevin, me, Felix, Freda, and Jeff--all Lynchburgers!

me, Jeff, and Felix post-race; can you tell I'm stoked?

proud Richmond finisher!
Following the Richmond Marathon, my running plans were semi-slim. I would run the Turkey Trot in New Jersey while we visited Gregg's brother and fam for Thanksgiving. I would run the Peaks of Otter Christmas Classic 5k in Bedford. But other than that, I was kind of on the chill-out and recover plan. After those races, I didn't do much running. Especially in December. In fact, I barely wanted to run. And that is okay...they say it's a day of rest for every mile after a marathon to I took most of those days and just didn't do much structured running. I wanted to eat cookies and bake and shop and decorate for Christmas. So I did those things and worried less about running.

Then, in December, I felt kind of like I was putting on the pounds. It's funny how we all have our own perceptions of our imperfections. Especially women...and even though I probably didn't gain much weight--if any--I was just not feeling myself. I felt like I hit a really big slump with not running much for 6 or 7 weeks.

So last week, I decided that I had fallen far enough. In 2010, I created this "project3sixfive" blog to chronicle my goal of running every day for a year. I didn't exactly keep up with the blog like I had planned, but I did run every day for over a year (450+ days) and became a much more consistent runner. In 2011 and 2012, I ran and trained and got faster and everything was super.

For 2013, I just felt like I wanted to change my running schemes. So I decided that I wanted to run everyday for a year again. Climb back up from falling down. Jump back on the wagon. Pound the pavement (and maybe some trails with Chels). Run everyday. See where it takes me.

So I'm doing it. I'm back. Watch out 2013. I'm coming for you.

But all of this to say that 2012 was a really great year.

I ran better and faster than I ever have before.

I ran in Richmond, Chicago, Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, Williamsburg, Lynchburg, Greensburg, Flemington, and from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon.

I ran with new friends in 2012 who will be more than just running friends forever.

The second that moves 2012 to 2013 happens quickly. With just a blink of an eye, one year is over, and a new one has begun. New Year's Eve 2012 ended with some gals I could call my sisters. What a difference a year friends and all.

Me, Cheslie, & Cheyenne: New Year's Eve 2012
Gregg and I on New Year's Eve

1 comment:

  1. What an inspiration! You have certainly motived me. I've run all 7 days of 2013 and feel great about it. Keep running and keep POSTING!