Saturday, December 29, 2012

Running in 2012

(Questions originally on Miss Zippy.)

Best race experience?

My first half marathon, the Hippie Chick Half last May. I ran the first 2 1/2 miles without stopping to walk and at about a 12:30 pace - both of which were very impressive for me at the time. (Even now it's not a bad run if I manage at least that.)

A couple years ago I could barely imagine finishing a 5k, much less a half marathon. I learned a lot about myself and my limits, how much we restrain ourselves thinking it's the most we can do, but our bodies are actually capable of doing so much more if we let them!

Best run?

A 4.35 mile training run in October. My usual route, which is a 3 to 4 mile loop (depending on small loops or out-and-backs I add on), has a hill about a mile into it, which I had previously always walked up at least the last tenth of a mile or so. I had had runs where I ran the entire time before and after that walking break, but always did have that one break. This time I ran the entire hill, even though by the top I was running extremely slowly, plus I hit almost all the traffic lights as they turned green, so I didn't have to pause until the last light just a block from the end.

Best new piece of gear?

Brooks Utopia arm warmers.

These are the perfect length to just meet short sleeves when I have my thumbs through the thumbholes. Although they don't hold up to the rain very well, in dry conditions they are really warm and cozy, made of a super soft fabric. Down to about 40 degrees I can go running in capris, a tee shirt, and these arm warmers. They're easy to roll down or take off and tuck into my waistband once I warm up.

Best piece of running advice you received?

Breathe. While running my first half with a friend, she pointed out that when I was struggling, I was also taking very shallow breaths. Focusing on slow, deep breaths has greatly helped as I've worked on increasing my speed and endurance.

Most inspirational runner?

I'll say Meb, cause I keep coming across articles about him, including one in the most recent issue of Running Times, and he sounds pretty awesome.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Redefining limits.

About a third of these are from 5ks in 2010 & 2011, the rest are 2012 races.

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