Monday, December 31, 2012

Year-end Review

This has been a year like no other in my life!  Running has become a huge part of me, and it has begun to define me in wonderful and unexpected ways.  It's the best medicine I could ever ask for, both physically and mentally.  My only regret is that I waited until I was in my mid-40s to discover my deep passion for all things running and for all who enjoy the sport as much as I do!

I'll try my best to summarize the year of running through the lists, bullet points, and photos below...

The Stats:

Total miles run in 2012:  2,432
Most miles run in a week:  70
Most miles run in a month:  258
Number of 18+ mile training runs:  14
Total number of racing events:  19
Weight: 112.5 beginning of the year; 112.0 end of year

The Races:

Marathons:  2 - Albany Marathon (4:00:16) and Marine Corps Marathon (3:53:56)
Trail Marathons:  1 - Twisted Ankle Marathon (5:43:01)
196-mile Ultra Relay Race (team of 12):  1 - Southern Odyssey Relay
Half Marathons:  5 (1:40:13 PR)
15Ks:  1 (1:10:15 PR)
10Ks:  5 (45:23 PR)
5Ks:  4 (24:30 PR)
For full details on the races, please see my race history page.

The Highlights:

  • earning a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon during my second marathon (a sweet bonus that was not even a blip on my radar screen at the beginning of the year)
  • earning a spot in Corral A of the Peachtree Road Race 10K for the first time on my 20th year running it
  • running the Peachtree Road Race with my husband (whose time I actually beat this year!) and with SO many of my best buddies
  • experiencing the joy of success in winning PRs on every single distance of race this year
  • earning several race awards
  • having some training days where I felt truly fabulous from start to finish
  • training with my 9-year-old daughter and running her first 5K with her
  • meeting so many wonderful running friends online and in person
  • running long runs and training daily with several very special friends (you all know who you are!)
  • traveling to Charlotte, NC, to run a half marathon with a friend I met online through her blog, and then having her visit me to run the Twisted Ankle marathon
  • having a tremendous support group via Daily Mile; being inspired there by some truly terrific athletes; and seeing everyone who stuck with their running throughout the year make progress
  • participating in racing events with Adventure Runners and Running Divas, as well as many Daily Mile and Tallahassee friends
  • frolicking around and running at all hours of the day and night with the five other people in my van at the Southern Odyssey Relay
  • walking into the choir room the day after both my marathons and being treated like a celebrity!
  • praying with Francis before our runs and races
  • talking with other runners about anything and everything (Hello, nice to meet you.  So, we're going to be doing this run for a looong time.  Time me your life's story!)
  • getting gloriously and severely spray-painted in bright multi-colors as I dashed through the Color Run 5K
  • running with new friends from different countries and enjoying listening to their super-cool accents as the miles melted away
  • attending an event hosted by the ladies of Another Mother Runner and being spotlighted on Sarah and Dimity's wonderful blog
  • purchasing a flowery double-ruffle running skirt from Lululemon after seeing Sarah display it on a tweet (LOVE that skirt!)
  • keeping myself injury-free, even when the miles piled on, and seeing my legs get slim and toned, even while getting to eat more calories
  • experiencing an eagerness to run at an extremely high level all year long, through any kind of weather and even in the early, dark, cold winter mornings
  • celebrating with friends on their successes, commiserating them on letdowns, and motivating them as best I could through training
  • enjoying watching the seasons change on my beloved Silver Comet Trail
  • feeling strong support and love from my family as I pursued goal after goal

Race Bling!

There were only a few of what I'd consider low-lights:

  • running my first marathon through a severe thunderstorm with buckets of rain, thunder, high winds, and puddles everywhere :-(
  • leaping over what I thought was a gnarly root in the trail marathon and discovering in mid-air that it was a 3' rattlesnake!  Still having nightmares....
  • losing my MCM race number in a prior hotel, discovering it the night before the marathon, suffering anguish, lack of sleep, and less-than-stellar race results
  • falling several times on trails and busting up hands and knees
  • tripping over a speed hump (of all things) and severely bending back two fingers a week before my first marathon

Major OUCH!!!

2012 Goals:

  1. Run at least 1,800 miles this year.  BLOWN AWAY at 2,436!
  2. Run in at least 1 race per month.  Got in at least one a month, for 19 total!
  3. Run a marathon.  Did two!
  4. Run a time that served as a qualifier for Corral A in the Peachtree Road Race 10K. Qualified via a 10K, but later even qualified in every race distance except the 5K (What can I say?  Short runs are just not my thing.).
  5. Stay injury-free.  Managed to do this!  Hallelujah!
  6. Have fun.  Had way more fun than I even dared hope!

It has been such a successful year that, in looking ahead, I'm not at all sure what to hope for in 2013.  These goals are almost all going to be stupendously challenging, but I am daring to aim high!

2013 Goals:

  1. Run 2,500 miles in 2013.
  2. Run two marathons.  (The first one is coming up in early February.  My A goal is a 3:30.)
  3. Run an ultra distance race.
  4. Run a 1:38 half marathon, preferably at the Berry Half since a friend and I sort of have a friendly challenge going on.  :-)
  5. Earn a mug at the Peachtree Road Race 10K.  To do that, I need to aim for a sub-43-minute 10K.  Yikes.
  6. Train for another 5K with my daughter and help her place in her age group.
Having fun and staying injury-free are, of course, on my list for every year!

Photo Review

Starting the year off right, racing beside John at the Resolution 10K
Tartan Trot 10K where I met sweet & hilarious Tad
Berry Half Marathon where I shaved 16 minutes of my half marathon time & won 3rd in my AG
Hanging with Adventure Runners after the race
Flashing some leg before the Albany Marathon
Getting to meet super-inspiring Danielle & running the NC Half with her!
Getting light-headed & pink-toothed at the Color Run 5K
Meeting Sarah of Another Mother Runner in person!
Winning 3rd place & earning Peachtree-qualifying time at the Run the River 10K
Training with my daughter on the Silver Comet Trail
Watching her mighty dash to the finish line of her first 5K!
Trail running with buds (12 miles were completed after I bloodied my knee in a fall)
Three Musketeers (Danielle, Tom, & I) at the Twisted Ankle Marathon
Francis, looking serene, after generously pacing me to a new PR on the Dawsonville Half (truly, a highlight of my year!)

Tad, helping me through the excruciating last quarter mile of the Possum Trot 10K
1st Place AG & 10K PR of 45:23 at the Possum Trot!!
Hubby & friends, ALL in Corral A before the Peachtree 10K  (I got to run with the big kids!)
Hanging out with the gang in Piedmont Park
Enjoyable moment with fellow Running Divas, reuniting at last with sorority sister, Laura!
Feeling the heat at the Alien Half on a late August afternoon
2nd place Master's female at the Chick-fil-A 5K
Smiling after pulling a 1:40:15 at the hilly Allstate Half!
At the start line of the Southern Odyssey Ultra Relay
At the finish line of the relay, 28 hours later, and still smiling!
Digging deep for some mojo at mile 18 of the Marine Corps Marathon
Showing off gorgeous marathon medals with fellow Leon HS grad, Steve

Running in the Tallahassee Turkey Trot 15K with awesome ultra buddy, Gary


  1. what an amazing year you had, Gail! Here's wishing you all the best with meeting (and no doubt exceeding!) your goals in 2013!!

    1. Thank you, Bill! I sure do appreciate the encouragement, and I wish you best with your 2013 goals as well!

  2. Loved reading this Gail!! You had an amazing running year and captured it perfectly in pictures! What a difference a year can make! You are such an inspiration! No doubt you will exceed your goals in 2013! Looking forward to following your training and celebrating all of your successes in the year to come!

    1. Thanks, Kristin! You know I feel the same way about you!

  3. Replies
    1. Running has been a tremendous blessing in my life. I have SO much to be thankful for. My cup runneth over!!

  4. Wow, what a great year! Looking forward to seeing what you do with your marathons next year. You are going to rock 2013!

    1. Thanks! I really appreciate your comment and your support!

  5. hi gail, i just rediscovered your blog. i found it last year about this time while training for the twisted ankle. i didn't see that race on your schedule. i have decided to try it again and i am actually looking for a girl to do a few long runs with - maybe fort yargo? i am in the athens area. do you know of anyone?
    good luck with your running.