2012 in Review and Goals for 2013

I can’t believe today is the last day of 2012! I had so many great moments this year so I’m really sad to see it come to an end.  For those of you that are curious, I did manage to drag my sick butt out of bed Saturday and get a very cold and hilly 12 mile run in.  Although, I think I probably should have stayed in bed.

Here’s a bit of humor to start your day off with.  Saturday morning, I couldn’t see while I was driving to meet my running girls but I chalked it up to the fact that I got up ridiculously early (4:45); turns out I was wearing my husband’s contacts.  It was a 45 minute drive to where we were running and I was already 1/2 way there so I did what any reasonable person would do.  I ran 12 miles with basically beer goggles on.  Did I mention that his prescription is -5.25 (basically blind) and mine is only -1.25?? On the drive home I kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t get pulled over.  I was pretty sure the “I’m not drunk, I’m just wearing my husband’s contacts” plea wouldn’t amuse a cop. Oy!! Ok, now that you laughed hysterically, let’s get back to your regularly scheduled New Year’s Eve post.

Happy-New-Year-2013-HD-Wallpaper-6Photo Source

I think what I’ll remember most about 2012 is that I feel like I finally rediscovered the person I was before my brother was killed.  It’s been so nice enjoying life and not carrying around unnecessary emotional baggage.

A lot of rediscovering myself had to do with rediscovering running this past year.   As of January 1, 2012, the furthest distance I had raced was a 10k.  I was just starting to get back into running and, with only one 8 mile ‘long’ (ha!)  run under my belt, I made the decision to run a marathon in memory of my brother.  10 short months and several races later I conquered the Marine Corps Marathon.  I didn’t start blogging until June so I thought it would be fun to recap some of my favorite fitness accomplishments from this year.

2012 – A Year of Fitness Firsts  

  • I ran my first 15k in February, the Double Bridge Run, in Pensacola, FL.  This race really is the one that flipped the switch in my head from someone who dabbled in running to ‘hey, I’m a runner.’
Taken at the Double Bridge Run 15k in Pensacola, Florida.  This was an amazing run! I was so happy to run it with Mary, my running inspiration - she's a beast on the road! (And also happens to be like a mom to me.)

The Double Bridge Run 15k in Pensacola, Florida. Luckily, I’ve learned how to take better race pictures since then.

  • I ran my first ½ marathon, Roll-n-Roll in New Orleans, LA.  I experienced quite a bit of marathon envy watching the marathoners split from the half-marathoners.  I wanted to call myself a marathoner so bad I could taste it at that point.

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This is me ignorantly thinking that kayaking 2 miles would be a breeze. HA!

This is me ignorantly thinking that kayaking 2 miles would be a breeze. HA!

  • I ran my first ever beer run.  It was a 4k which added to the quirky fun.

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balloons

  • I set PRs in my 5k, 10k and ½ marathon.
  • I RAN MY FIRST MARATHON!! Need I say more?

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  • And finally, my legs logged 1,247 miles in 2012!!

The human body never ceases to amaze me with what it can do when you set a goal.  To go from very little fitness to running a marathon in 10 months is something that I’m very proud of.  Not just because of the physical aspect of it, but also because I conquered that annoying voice in my head always telling me “you won’t ever…” or “you can’t…”

2013 is going to be another great year that I get to tell that dumb voice to shut it.  Now that I have a solid year of running and my body is used to the abuse I give it, 2013 is going to be the year of focusing on speed.

2013 Goals

  • Run a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon.  Realistically, I’m only 4 minutes away from that happening so this is kind of a default goal.  My real goal is to run a 1:55 (or better) 1/2.
  • Run a sub 25 minute 5k.
  • Run a sub 50 minute 10k.
  • Run a 4:15 marathon. (Hopefully I’ll get this one in February.)
  • Improve my running form.
  • Weight train consistently.
  • 6 pack abs!!

Personal 2013 Goals

  • Continue to grow in my spirituality – super important to me!
  • Give back more; donate my time to various causes.
  • Focus less on me and more on others.
  • Continue to encourage others on their paths to healthier lifestyles.
  • Find a better balance between clean eating, running and life in general.

Super Ambitious Goals (AKA ones that probably won’t happen but I’m going to try anyways)

  • Compete in my first triathlon.  I really, really, really want this one to happen but, realistically, the cost associated with getting into the tri world is a bit prohibitive.  That and the swim scares the daylights out of me.
  • Run my first 50k.  I’ve been researching these this week and unfortunately most of the ones in the South are in the spring and registration has closed.

Question: What did you accomplish in 2012 that you are super proud of?  What are your goals for 2013?

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Just “Du” It

This past weekend I was able to check another goal off of my {Before I Procreate} list.  Yay!  #9: Race in a duathlon.  This weekend was Jackson County’s Bicentennial Duathlon in Ocean Springs and I knew I just had to take advantage.

My running buddy Lorena signed up, too, which made this race even better!

It was an “easy” duathlon made up of a 2 mile run, 2 mile kayak, and finished with another 2 mile run. 6 miles total.  Easy, right? HA! Wow, did I underestimate this duathlon.

This is me ignorantly thinking that kayaking 2 miles would be a breeze. HA!

The race didn’t get started until 8:15 and the weather was a balmy 86* with 99% humidity.  Suicide weather for a runner whose not acclimated.

Ready. Set. GO!
Bonus points if you can spot Lorena and me. (It’s pretty easy…)

Pretty soon we were off on our first two miles.  This part was effortless and before I knew it I was at the staging area pushing my kayak into the ocean.  At this point I was pretty pleased with myself.  I had maintained a great pace on the 2 mile run and now I only needed to kayak two miles.

We looked like a little line of ants.

About 5 minutes into the kayaking portion, I knew I was in trouble.  It had been almost a year since I last kayaked and I apparently thought I was much better than I actually am.  I struggled with the current to keep the kayak straight and I really started to feel the heat.  I may or may not have considered swamping my kayak just to cool down…. I shouted some words of encouragement to others kayaking and I was comforted by the fact that I wasn’t the only runner struggling.

I’m about 500 yards from the shore in this shot. YAY!

Finally, after almost 40 minutes I could see solid ground.  Yes! As I pulled my kayak up onto the beach I realized just how soggy I was.  I seriously felt like I had peed my pants – obviously, I was wet from the ocean; not because of incontinence – and my shoes felt like they weighed a ton.  I didn’t care.  I was so ready to get my legs moving again.  I took off and hit my running groove and coasted back to the finish line.  A volunteer was handing out cups of Gatorade and I believe I proclaimed my undying love for him; I think I may have been a bit delirious.

It took me 1:17:00 but I had finished my first duathlon (8:45 pace on the run  portion and 42 minute kayak).  I was so happy to finish and actually ended up taking 3rd in my age group.  I really want to venture into the world of triathlons so this was kind of like getting my feet wet.  I’m a big fan of baby steps.  Rome wasn’t built in a day. Also, I need to hit the gym big time to increase my upper body strength.

My pretty trophy.

What’s something you’ve been wanting to accomplish in life? Tell me in the comment section; I loving hearing people’s goals!