Never in a million years would I have believed how this year would unfold for me. This time a year ago, there was no plan to run a marathon (or three!). No grand dream of running the Boston Marathon. No idea what a Ragnar Relay was. No sponsor offering support. No goals bigger than running a couple of races for fun. No website…
Crazy how things change and how our goals and dreams evolve over time.
It has certainly been one heck of a ride and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, the people I’ve met along the way, the things I’ve achieved… and even the things that didn’t go quite right because I’ve learned a lot this year.
My races in 2013 included:
3/17/13 Shamrock Run, Portland, Oregon 15k 1:13:47 7:55 pace
4/14/13 Vernonia Half Marathon, Vernonia, Oregon 13.1 1:43:55 7:56 pace
5/11/13 Hippie Chick Half Marathon, Hillsboro, Oregon 13.1 1:44:05 7:56 pace
7/4/13 Foot Traffic Flat Marathon, Sauvie Island, Oregon 26.2 3:49:04 8:44 pace
8/23-24/13 Hood to Coast, Oregon
9/1/13 Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, Dundee, Oregon 13.1 1:43:58 7:56 pace
9/7/13 The Color Run, Portland Oregon 5k (no time or pace, just a heck of a lot of fun with my daughter!)
10/6/13 Portland Marathon, Portland, Oregon 26.2 3:42:42 8:30 pace
11/8-9/13 Ragnar Relay Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
12/1/13 Seattle Marathon, Seattle, Washington 26.2 3:41:33 8:28 pace
Besides the racing (or relaying as the case may be), I was honored with some great opportunities throughout the year. Some of the highlights include:
- Being featured on Oregon Live’s Run Oregon blog as their featured runner of the week.
- Getting invited to be a VIP at the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon in September, which of course means that I got to drink more wine! That race also provided me the chance to meet one of my idols, Olympian Kara Goucher, which was beyond awesome!
- Winning a race entry giveaway on Run Danielle Run, which allowed my daughter and I to run the Color Run. It was a totally new experience and my daughter and I had a blast. I have to tell you, almost four months later, I still have orange dyed powder in my left ear!!
- Volunteering time to help Fit Right NW with set-up for their fashion show which yielded free passes to the event. It was such a great production and evening. I was really impressed with the whole experience and look forward to next years show.
- Receiving one of the highlights of my year which was an invite to run a Ragnar Relay with Nuun Hydration and Pro Compression in November. I did not even know what Ragnar was before then. I had never traveled outside of Oregon for a run. It is hard to describe what an amazing weekend it was. I met so many wonderful people and loved representing two fantastic companies. Without a doubt, one of my favorite running adventures EVER!
- Being gifted on of the most generous gifts ever: sponsorship. Nearly all of the races I ran after July were made possible by Z.P. Transport Inc. and two wonderful people who I am so grateful to have in my orbit. They have changed my life and given me the opportunity to take chances and reminded me that I can believe that dreams do come true.
- Loving my first coaching gig. I had such a great time as an assistant cross-country coach for a local middle school team and I’m fairly certain that there will be more coaching in my future.
Besides those highlights, I also marvel at discovering what I, and my body, is capable of. I run faster in my mid-thirties than I did in my 20’s! I ran three marathons in five months and my time improved with each one. I’ve discovered things about myself… things I didn’t know I wanted, or could do… until I dove into my training and began to follow my heart.
More so, I found so much joy in witnessing both of my children discover running this year. My daughter ran her first half-marathon in July and my son ran his first season of cross-country. As a parent, when your children begin to follow your lead, you can’t help but feel like you’ve done something right!
I ran my final run of the year this morning bringing my yearly total to 1,510. (125 miles for the month of December.) While I didn’t track the first two months of 2012, I roughly finished the previous year with around 800 miles. That increase shows how much of myself I have dedicated to running this year. It also reflects a passion that sometimes surprises me but continues to grow. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
Then there are the people who have support me this year. And there are so many! But I just want to thank a few here. From the bottom of my heart, please know how thankful I am for you Ron, Makenna, Russell, Mom, Dad, Omma, Papa, Trudi, Allison, Meredith, Woody, and Linda! Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me, cheering for me, driving me, funding me, holding me up when my legs wanted to fail… whatever your role, please know how grateful I am!
I’m super excited about what is to come. Without a doubt, 2014 is going to be a great year and I look forward to sharing my vision with you soon!
Until then, have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Make time today to reflect and take stock while you celebrate the passing year and all that you have to look forward to in the coming one. Above all, please be safe!