Wonderful Indonesia

Best of 2015: Running

Ten years ago, in 2006 (*whoa! ten years!), I said to myself, “self, you need to get your butt in gear” and I signed up for the Bridge to Bridge Race in San Francisco. It was a 7k and I finished in 43 minutes, which is just under a 10 minute mile. Before signing up for this race, I was a lackadaisical runner. I would run three or four miles once or twice a week if I was having a good week. I think my longest run at the time was about 6 miles. But I got it in my headthat I was going to run the Mardi Gras half marathon in New Orleans, which is in February, and this was step number one.

Fast forward to almost ten years later and my “self” of those days would never fathom where my running journey would take me. This year, I ran about 1,800 miles, which is not the most number of miles that I have ever run in one year. I also had some struggles with motivationand I had my first DNF which probably was part of the problem. I had a couple of injuries. I would not say it was my most productive running year. However, I feel that this year was more about quality over quantity. So, without further ado, the best of 2015 running.

1. Going to Yosemite:In May I went with my family to Yosemite Valley and in August, I went with some friends to the Tioga Pass area. Both times I had a great time running around, seeing things from a perspective that not a lot of people get to see Yosemite from, and enjoying the fresh air and the outdoors. I love the Sierra Nevada mountains and hope to plan many more trips into their midst in the coming years!

Cathedral Lakes (photo credit: John)

Half Dome (photo credit: Dad)

2. Winning top female in my age group for the Pacific branch of the USATF:This was unexpected actually, as I don’t really keep track of the standings, plus they are a bit confusing to interpret at times. However, right before the last race of the season, my friend told me that I was currently second and that all I had to do was beat the first place girl at this race. I spent the whole race checking to see where she was and to make sure that she did not get in front of me. In the end, it was just enough to secure first place in my age!

John Muir Trail (photo credit: John)

3. New friends and good friends: I say this every year, but there is just something about endless hours of running with someone that really cements a friendship. You see the good, the bad and the ugly and usually you still stick around. I still run a lot by myself, but have been lucky to meet a lot of new friends as well as firm up relationships with a lot of existing friends. I love it when time spent together with friends can be outdoors instead of at a bar or something!

Pacing at San Diego 100M (photo credit: Chris J.)

4. Pacing: This goes hand in hand with number three, but there is something so satisfying with pacing someone! They are doing their best and they have a goal and they are tired and it’s the middle of the night and it’s cold… I never have anything to do with their success, but it sure is a great feeling to be part of it! This year, I paced a friend who ended up getting 10th overall, another who got 2nd overall, and one unofficial pace with a friend who finished UTMB. I also helped crew for a couple of friends and it is also very inspiring. I am so proud of all of them and so honored that they chose me to be there with them for their big day.

Multnomah Falls, OR

5. Road Trips! This was a favorite last year as well. So much so, that we added flights to our “road” trips! I spent many hours in the car this year, on the way to Auburn, Squaw, South Lake Tahoe, San Jose, Marin county, Sonoma county, Yosemite and more! In addition, I flew with friends to Portland OR for the Gorge Waterfall 100k, and I went to San Diego to pace a friend at the SD100. All were fun times and it’s good to get out and see more of my state as well as to explore other states in the name of running (**and beer).

Taylorsville, CA (photo credit: Mom)

6. Dad’s first half marathon: This goes hand in hand with number 4, but I thought it deserved a spot of it’s own. My dad ran his first half marathon this year and I could not be more proud! He did excellent, scoring first in his age group and 7th overall! I “paced” him, if you could call it that, because I could barely keep up with him! He ran at just over an 8 minute mile pace!

So there you have it. This year of running has been more of an emotional one, in both good ways and bad. I wasn’t the fastest; I did not run the most miles, but I had a lot of fun. I also know that the good definitely outweighs any bad, no matter what! Here’s to a great 2016 full of running and friends and road trips!

What were your favorite active moments of 2015? What’s on your fitness agenda for 2016?