The World Through My Shoes is my look at living this incredible gift God has given us. As a busy wife, mother and daughter I relish the alone time I receive on my early morning runs. It is in the stillness of those predawn mornings where I often am inspired. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Striving Forward

A few stolen moments of quiet and I contemplate the last year of racing.  Putting this year behind me, I look forward to the promise of a new year just a few days away. 

This past year has been a difficult running year for me.  Starting the year with a horrible ankle sprain, having my first A-game marathon crumble in the heat of summer sun, then my second fall to leg cramps and finally my last of the year consist of torrential rains, urban flooding, winds and hamstring issues - all of them contributing to the toughest racing year I've faced.  In open honesty, my mental fortitude is thread bare strong.

Not all of 2012 was disappointing.  I set a new PR in my 5k time by dropping 1 minute 18 seconds off my previous best; proving at 43 years old one can still get faster.  My time was a 22:58 and it snagged me 4th (out of 53) in my age group.  Trying something new that race, I refused to look at my watch and ran strictly on how I felt.  Needless to say I was shocked to see how well it worked for me.

July holds the annual Chuckanut Foot Race and my favorite of all local races.  A tough 7 mile trail race which climbs uphill for roughly 6 miles and finishes with a nice downhill (read : speedy) last mile.  Always aiming to do this race in under an hour, I had only done it once before.  Once again I didn't look at my watch and let my body dictate my speed.  It worked.  I succeeded in a new PR with a time of 59:18, beating my previous best by 22 seconds.

These are the nuggets I hold onto as I lay this year down and head into 2013.  The last 18 days I've spent healing my hamstring and salving my heartbreak over goals not met.  I've done a lot of quiet reflection; a lot of soul searching.  

As one to always have a plan - a goal to work towards - my calendar holds only two races next year.  The Tacoma City Marathon in May boasts the 10 year Marathon Maniac Anniversary.  With so many fellow Maniacs around it will be the fun I need to energize my running again.

The second race I hope to run will be the Chicago Marathon.  This will be my first world major marathon and I look forward to the entire experience as well as spending time with my running friends. 

Any marathoner will tell you the lessons learned with every race are invaluable.  26.2 miles is never easy but always worth it.  Even when the run, the race, the year does not turn out like you hoped for or trained for, you still lace up your shoes and run.  You run to forget and you run to remember.

Right now I lace up my shoes to remember why I love this sport and that I am a much stronger runner, a much stronger woman, than I was before I ran my first step.  The difficulties and the hearbreak of this year will become the stepping blocks I build upon for next year.

2013, I'm ready.

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