In general, this was a much more difficult year than 2017. It started with a struggle and saw me scratch quite a few races that I had hoped to run. It also involved a cortisone shot to the knee. Not the first, but hopefully the last–this one really hurt. Overall, I ran 1255 miles (or 2020 KM) over 217 runs. I ran in only two countries: the United States & Canada but added a few new states to the mix: South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky.
Races: I didn’t get to race as often I had hoped this year. Mostly, this was because after Richmond, I dealt with a series of small injuries that just kept getting in the way of consistency. I did manage to run two half-marathons (Run Hard Columbia & Tryon, winning my age group in both); the Chattanooga Yeti Nightmare 10 mile trail run, the Spartanburg Turkey Day 8K (snagging a pair of the coveted socks!); two 4 milers: the Tread Nightly/Tread Brightly races two 5Ks (Greenville’s St. Paddy’s Day Dash and Bash & a cross-country course, also in Greenville), and the BMW two-miler.
Best run: The 10 miler I ran at Big Bird Camp. This was my first double-digit run in a while, and I got to share the course with some of my favorite Oiselle teammates as well as a few Olympians (!). There was a brutal hill in there, but mostly dirt road through the central PA countryside and some of the most cheerful aid stations on the planet more than made up for it.
Worst run: This distinction will go to the 1200m x 4 in Hilton Head that brought the knee issue to a head. I made it through the workout and hit my paces, but halfway through my cool-down, my knee got angry enough to make me stop and walk the rest of the way home. OOF. That also resulted in my scratching the Bridge Run and the Ville to Ville relay that I’d signed up for already.
Best new piece of running gear: Koala Clip. The Koala Clip is a small pouch that clips on to the back of a sports bra. It fits right between the shoulder blades and holds a phone (and possibly a key or ID). Since drowning my iPhone SE in August, I struggle with pockets that are big enough for my phone (the iPhone X). Enter Koala Clip. I put the phone in, tuck it under the back of my bra, and I’m good to go. The pouch is not something that is easy to get in and out of while running, so it has cut down on the pictures that I’ve taken on various runs, but it allows me to have my phone on me so that I can listen to my audiobooks or in case of emergency. Game changer. Also, it’s creator, Kristina Powell, is also Volée.
Best running advice you’ve received this year: DO YOUR CORE.
Most inspirational runner: DESI.
Favorite picture from a run or race this year: See left. I could have chosen any number of pictures from the Bourbon Chase or Big Bird camp, but I opted for this one of the women in van 1, whom I got to hang out with for my birthday weekend. I love them all.
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: The Bourbon Chase. No question. I didn’t run this race. Instead, I drove one of the vans for the Oiselle Masters Women team as they chased a random assortment of other runners over the course of 24 hours, many of which were dark and rainy. I was a late addition to the team, but I’d do it again in the heartbeat. I had such a good time cheering for these women and getting them from point to point, and I came away with several new friends, who also happen to be badass #FasterAsAMaster Oiselle runners.
If you could sum up the year in one phrase: Teamwork makes the dream work. Totally cheesy, but also totally true for 2018. My best times were the times that I shared with my team. Even the Bridge Run, which I didn’t do, was a fun weekend because I got to hang out with a couple teammates in Mount Pleasant. The Bourbon Chase and Big Bird Camp were two of the most inspirational weekends I’ve gotten to enjoy in a really long time. I can’t wait to see what 2019 will hold!