The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
If I had to give a one word summary of the year, it would be "risk." More than once, I put myself out on a limb, so to speak. I forced myself to be uncomfortable. I accepted challenges and made myself vulnerable. So maybe a better word would be "growth." Here's how 2012 went:
January: I ran my 3rd full marathon, the ING Miami. I nearly cried several times, but almost broke out into full sobs at mile 23 when I did the math and realized that I would be cutting nearly 30 minutes off my marathon PR. I also drove myself to the race and back home (for this stress case, that was a BIG deal). Lesson learned: the marathon really is about mind over matter. I believe the mind is the mvp of any successful marathon. I also applied for a reality, obstacle race based t.v. show called "Unbreakable." The application process required me bragging about myself on video, which was WAY outside of my comfort zone.
|Photo courtesy of Nuvision Action Image|
February: I completed my second Super Spartan Race. My goal was to place in the top 10 females; I didn't but did place 3rd in my age group and 15th woman. I felt that I raced my best, but struggled again with bad calf cramps in the last 2 miles. Calf cramps have plagued me twice before in marathons. I believe they are a result of sodium imbalance. Lesson learned: Never under-estimate the power of proper fueling and electrolytes. AND as hard as I had trained for this race, it was not nearly enough.
March: A week after the Spartan, I ran the Miami Beach 13.1. Not the smartest planning on my part, but I was going after the "Big Three" medal-- running the Ft. Lauderdale 13.1, the ING, and this race in one race season. This was my most frustrating race to date. I had underestimated the number of participants (I had run the same race 2 years prior), and therefore arrived way too late for parking. I finally found a spot about a mile from the start. Running to the starting line and making a quick detour into a restroom, left me arriving at the starting line just as the "gun" went off. I dodged walkers for about two miles before finally catching up to similarly paced runners. Things were looking better until my iPod battery died at mile 6. *Sigh* My legs were really feeling the Spartan of the week before, so I walked through water stops for the last 3 miles or so. It wasn't my fastest 13.1, but actually wasn't my slowest, either. And I got some major bling. Lesson learned: before scheduling races, flip the calendar page and check not just the race month, but the week before and/or after.
April: By this month, my racing season had taken its toll on me. My legs felt battered, tired and sore. My left knee had been especially bothering me. I had injured it walking (?!) the streets of Chicago back in November and had managed to train through. Since the pain was not going away, I finally had to rest. I ended up taking 3 weeks completely off-- the most I had taken off since I started running back in 2007. Lesson learned: Rest is just as important as scheduled training.
June: I took advantage of a Living Social deal and ran a local 5k with obstacles race. It was a fun event, and a handful of friends from work ran as well.