How Was Your Year of Running?

I love the end of the year in the running blogisphere.  Everyone takes a step back and shares the highlights of their year.  It's nice to reflect on the things that went well.  I find it incredibly motivational to read about other people's experiences so I'm excited to participate in Miss Zippy's #yearofrunning13.  I'm looking forward to reading about everyone's 2013.  Amanda asked 6 simple questions.  Some of which were very easy for me to answer and some of which required a bit more thought.  This year seems very surreal on so many levels, I don't think I've processed it all just yet.

Without further ado, here are her questions:

*Best Race Experience:  It was Boston, hands down, despite the horrible events of that day.  I executed the perfect race.  I ran happy and I reminded myself to be grateful even then the going got tough and I wanted to stop.  I really took in the atmosphere of the race and the support of spectators.  They are the ones that really make that race what it is.  I can't begin to describe the difference that made in my day.  I crossed the finish line with a P.R by over two and a half minutes.   I'm really looking forward to going back next year and celebrating the amazing city that is Boston. 

*Best Run: #BostonStrongTO:  This was a run I organized a week after Boston.  Brian at Pavement Runner came up with the idea and asked me if I would be interested in heading up a Toronto edition.  I jumped at the chance.  There were probably about 50 people that came out to run around High Park in Toronto's West End.  The outpouring of support and camaraderie that was shared that day still warms my heart and probably will for years to come.   

*Best New Piece of Gear:  My Garmin 910xt.  I am such a data junkie and this thing gives me SO much info it makes my head spin.  The best part is, I can use it for all 3 sports (swim, bike & run) because it is completely water proof.  Best $$ I spent this year for sure.

*Best Piece of Running Advice I Received:  Ironically, it's the same as Miss Zippy's and even more ironic is the fact that I got it from reading her blog, ha ha.  She spoke very highly about MAF training and after reading up on it, I decided to try it on my long runs only for about 6 weeks in my down time after Boston, leading up to my triathlon season.  It was difficult to slow down that much but I did find that by the end of my first 4 weeks, I had actually gotten faster at the same low heart rate.  It's definitely something I'd try to incorporate into my training if I have significant down time after an event, or, heaven forbid, after coming back from an injury. 

*Most Inspirational Runner:  Emily Eliason a.k.a Run Emz.  I've never met her but from what I see over the interwebz, I think she has the most gigantic heart.  She comes across as ray of sunshine, always positive, always grateful and incredibly humble. Plus anyone that can run over 100 miles on a treadmill for 24 hours straight is amazing. 

*If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?   Self discovery, respect, grateful, beyond expectations.  All of those words sum up my 2013 running year.