2013 was a pretty darn good year for running. I kicked off the year recovering from an IT band injury and ended it with a strong New Years Eve track workout that made me realize just how far I've come this year.
It was a year of firsts: my first race as a Master (40+) runner (where I finished as the first female master), my first 8k, my first 1st-place overall female finish.
Total mileage was 1,240, by far the most miles I've ever run in a year.
I didn't race much, as I was mainly focused on rebuilding base mileage and training for the Chickamauga Marathon, but the races I ran were all great experiences. The marathon was superb: a beautiful course, a fun family trip, and a new personal record.
The last race of the year was the Round the Bay Relay. Last year when I ran this race, I had to take the shortest leg and I had to walk parts of it because of my injury. This year, I picked the last leg, which included three bridges and some traffic-dodging, and I felt wonderfully alive and strong. Running with five mother runner friends made it even more fun.
I'm looking forward to 2014. My goals are not time-related, although I am due for some new personal records in every distance. My most challenging running goal is to stop obsessing about the numbers. I love running, and that should be enough. I have been beating myself up every time that I don't meet my goal race time, and that just ruins the fun.
My next goal is to share running with others and make it meaningful. I was recently matched with a virtual running buddy at "I Run 4". Ciaran is six years old and he lives with cerebral palsy, along with several other challenges. I am already quite smitten with him. We cheer each on, and I hope to earn him several medals this year.
Race-wise, I am planning on the Tallahassee Marathon in February and the Pensacola Run Rock n Fly half marathon in March. After those races, I'm looking forward to just running for fun through the summer and growing our fledgling running club Run 30A. I've got some friends whispering about the Chicago Marathon this fall, so that's on the radar too.