According to my Strava profile, I ran 1679 miles and set three PRs in 2017. But numbers alone do not tell the story of a year of running.
2017 had its lows in running – I dealt with plantar fasciitis for a few weeks and am taking time off of running right now to recover from a diagnostic laparoscopy – but overall, this was a really good year of running. I’m linking up Courtney of Eat, Pray, Run D.C. to share the highlights of my 2017 in running.
Best Race Experience
California International Marathon. I love the marathon and I love this marathon in particular. It’s not just the PR that makes this race an incredible experience: it’s the course, the spectators, the other runners, the volunteers and race organizers, and that beautiful thing they have in California called sunshine.
Running along the snowy Deschutes River Trail in Bend, Oregon with my husband Ryan.
Best New Piece of Running Gear
Ruffwear Slackline dog leash. This leash is durable, easy to adjust on the run, and features a talon clip versus a standard leash clip for extra security. The leash can be adjusted for hand-held or waist wear. Ollie ran hundreds of miles with Ryan and me this year and this leash kept us both safe and comfortable during runs (even when he saw a squirrel).
Best Running Advice You Received This Year
Train to your strengths.
I am an endurance runner, not a speedster. Speed workouts are hard for me and honestly, I think I would end up injured more often if I did traditional track workouts like 12 x 400. Over the past year, I found that doing longer repeats (1K to 1 mile) at 10K pace rather than shorter repeats at 5K pace or faster worked really well for my body – and I saw improvements in all of my race times. There’s no exact formula for getting faster.
Most Inspirational Runner
This question is tough because I could give so many answers. The elites, especially Shalane Flanagan and Sara Hall, inspire me, but personally, I find the most inspiration in other runners I know. Both Laura from Mommy Run Fast and Jesica from rUnladylike inspire me with their journeys. Both of them are strong, fast women who train smart and have not just really awesome PRs, but the sustainability and longevity that we all aspire for.
Favorite Picture from a Run or Race This Year
This photo from the Snohomish Women’s Run 10K. Achieving big running goals is not physically comfortable or always picture perfect. The last 1.2 miles of this 10K were painful and when I crossed the finish line, I just stood there, my heart pounding and my breathing still heavy, thinking “sh*t that hurt!”
Race Experience You Would Repeat in a Heartbeat
Placing second overall at the Snohomish Women’s Run. Being in the very front of the pack was an unusual experience – the lead woman was easily a minute ahead of me and the next was almost a minute behind me, so I had no one to pace off of. I relied on just whatever I had that day, both mentally and physically, to push me when I was really, really uncomfortable (10Ks hurt). But everything I gave on that course was so worth it to place in the top three overall!
If you could sum up the year in a couple words, what would they be?
I am stronger than I think.
How was your year in running?
Pick one of these questions and answer in the comments!