2013 Recap: A Year That Asked Questions.

I guess 18 days into the New Year would be the perfect time to finally post my recap of 2013.  It took me a while to finish this because being Liz Hurley in 2013 was quite the roller coaster. Here we go! 

I’ve seen this quote flying around on Twitter and Pinterest a lot lately –

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer”

– Zora Neale Hurston.

For me, 2013 was a year that asked a lot of questions.  It was my freshman year of life.  I’ve come to love that saying, because the same way freshman year of high school is a little awkward, the same way freshman year of college rocks your world…freshman year of life (your first year in the “real world”) takes everything you thought you knew about yourself, and life, and throws it out the window.  When I qualified for Boston in Fall 2012 I was sure I was going to slowly, but surely, work my way toward a sub 3 hour marathon with no hiccups or delays.  2013, was definitely full of hiccups, and earlier in the year I would have said it was a 12 month delay.  Looking back I realize I did so many races that were totally out of my comfort zone, and made TONS of new amazing running friends. 🙂 Rather than write a tale of how sad and empty my training log was January – April of 2013, I will tell you how absolutely amazing the last 6 months of the year were.  

Here are my most amazing running feats of 2013:

1) July 2013: Grandfather Mountain Marathon – This was probably one of my favorite races to date.  I absolutely love Boone, NC and I am planning to do this race again in 2014.  It had a totally different feel from any other road marathon I have done, it was smaller, attracted a different type of runner, and it was all about the experience.  You essentially climb from start to finish, starting at the ASU track and finishing in McRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain at the Highland Games.  The finish alone is worth the 26.2 mile climb/run… just think of running 26.2 miles to see large men in kilts wrestling one another in a field as you cross the finish line next to them.  I loved that you can’t really compare your time at any other marathon to your time on this course, because it is hilly, to say the least. And I needed this sort of race after spending most of the spring nursing my hip flexors. Compared to my usual marathon training I ran VERY low mileage and still, as I climb up measly hills in Raleigh, NC, I wonder how the hell I finished this marathon. 

Pre Race w/ Maddy (my sister)

2) October 2013: Ragnar DC, Bull City Race Fest Half Marathon, Eno River 11mi – October was full of festivities! The only weekend I didn’t race was the weekend around my birthday.  1) Ragnar Relay DC was the best thing I’ve ever done…if you have never done a relay race (I had not) I highly recommend it.  I also recommend you join a team where you know the least amount of people.  I rode around Maryland/DC for 2 days in a van full of women I had just met and I have never had more fun.  Our team came in first for women and 11th overall.  We crushed it.  #teamShittensFTW. 2) Bull City Race Fest was a half marathon EMPOWER sponsored, I ran it at around marathon pace. I had run the same course a few years back, and I did run it faster, so that was nice.  Finally, I ended October with my first long(ish) trail race.  3) The Eno River 11 miler with my coworkers.  It was so much fun and definitely sent me into a trail running frenzy (Run at the Rock 14mi in December, Little River Trail Run 10mi in January).  We racked up and took home so many of the awards, they are super cool! (see pic below)

EMPOWER Team w/ our awards from Eno River
EMPOWER Team w/ our awards from Eno River

3) November 2013: Ridgewood Turkey Trot 8k – benefitting the MS Society. See Race Recap HERE.

4) December 2013: Run at the Rock (14 miler in Burlington, NC)- See Race Recap HERE. And the start of Boston training. Oh yea, and I was the 2013 female beer mile champion!

So my running year was (in my opinion) relatively uneventful, but I did learn a lot in 2013 about how important it is to take care of yourself.  I adopted “believe in the power of positive thinking” as my motto for EVERYTHING. I truly believe when you are happy, and you are grateful for what you have, and focus on the positive, good things are more likely to happen to you….and you generally just have more fun doing everything and anything. I really spent some time learning how to have a positive outlook even when it doesn’t seem like things are going my way.  And sure enough, by the end of the year I was back to running over 40 miles a week.  Here’s to 2014 being the most amazing, kick ass, PR-tastic, race filled year yet! 


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