2012 was a big year of racing and learning lessons. First the stats (hey, I am a mathematician), then the lessons, and the next post will be some of the best memories!
- 19 races - 1 50M, 5 50Ks, 5 Marathons, 1 25K, 3 Half Marathons
- 1306 miles ran (beat 2011 by 300 miles)
- PRed the Marathon distance 2 times and took my time from a 5:34 in 2011 to 5:21 in 2012.
- PRed the 25K distance by 10 minutes.
- PRed the Trail Half Marathon distance by 18 minutes
- Ran my first 50 mile
- Ran for over 8 hours 6 times and for over 6 hours 8 times!
- Big travel and racing leaps are worth a little anxiety. I travelled some the last couple years but typically with other runners and when alone, they were nice safe road marathons. In 2012, stepped further out the comfort zone and ran the Gorge Waterfalls 50K not knowing anyone else when I signed up, and the Chattanooga Stage Race.
- I can endure. Cross Timbers Trail Marathon was a beating thanks to the weather. Oklahoma City Marathon was a mentally and physically painful nightmare the week after an 11 minute marathon PR.
- I realized a strength can be the ability to run in the middle of nowhere alone for hours. I consider this a piece of my trailrunning, ultrarunning skill arsenal. I might not be fast, but I am okay with the complete silence of running for hours alone and not knowing if the sound of a broken branch is a squirrel or a Sasquatch.
- Medical problems can be hidden and rear their ugly head in the middle of a race. Iron deficiency in May and June caused two DNFs after oxygen problems, trouble breathing, and terrible fatigue.
- A DNF doesn't mean you are a bad runner or a bad person.
- Strength training / strengthening biomechanical inefficiencies / balance work is vital to me as an endurance athlete and a trailrunner. I did 3 hours a week with my trainer Donnie through the whole year with few misses.
- Roll with the punches. I'm a planner - this isn't something that comes easily to me. Bad snowy weather derailed a planned high altitude road marathon in Colorado, so I substituted in a high altitude trail half marathon and set a new PR.
- I had my first big LOST moment at a trail race. It felt like an initiation to something every trailrunner needs to experience. I spent 8-10 minutes at Hells Hills 25K off-course and still managed a PR.
- Every trail race is so different, I have so much to learn, and I don't know that I'll ever feel like an "expert." But I think that makes for a smart trailrunner, and it's why a lot of us like trailrunning. There's no one-rule-fits-all, every course is different, every race is a complete mystery until you are out there.
- Choosing destination races you want to do without waiting for a group, and not doing the races everyone just does as part of a group, can be very isolating while still fulfilling. Managing the balance is difficult.
- Be me, not everyone else. This was the year everyone became a triathlete. This was the year every ultrarunner did a 100 miler. This was the year a lot of runners did their first trail 50K, or ROAD 50K, and decided they were an expert ultrarunner or trailrunner.
- Volunteering can be way more inspiring than you could ever believe. I volunteered at the Mecca of ultrarunning, the Western States 100 miler, and THAT, not comments or encouragement from any ultrarunner friends, was what actually made me decide to do my first 50 miler. It was so inspiring, and I wanted to be a little part of that.
- Some gear is worth the cost. I'm not a gear junkie or into the latest running fashion, but in 2012 I invested in the Garmin Forerunner 910XT and the UltrAspire Surge hydration pack. I love them BOTH. Neither were inexpensive, but both were well worth getting! I also bought a treadmill, the X9i Incline Trainer by Nordictrack, and it helped with the high mileage needed as a mom training for a 50 miler.
- I did a better job of balancing running while race directing. In December 2011, 5 miles run before New Years Double. In December 2012, 55 miles. Along with some running accomplished before The Showdown Half Marathon.