Today I kicked off 2014 in the best way I could possibly imagine: a long trail run with my hubby by my side, enjoying being outside, the beauty of nature and reflecting on just how great of a year 2013 turned out to be. I am SO blessed! I am thankful for another year of training, learning and growing. It's funny to think back on 2013 and reflect on the successes, struggles, and surprises life has presented: I've pushed myself in ways I've never thought possible, achieved lifetime goals, stepped outside my comfort zone and discovered aspects of myself I never knew. I'm starting the new year happy, healthy, injury free with big goals for 2014, a pretty cool coach to help me get there, the BEST husband a girl could ask for, a healthier perspective towards the balance that is life and sports (and a new house!). What more could I ask for?
The highlight of my year was without a doubt the Mountain Masochist 50 Miler... it was the pinnacle of my training, the culmination of a year's worth of training and building, one of those "pinch me because I can't believe it happened" type moments. Finishing with my husband by my side = PERFECT. I also had so many wonderful stepping stones along the way: I set new PR's in the mile, 5k, and 1/2 marathon. I survived three back-to-back 50k's without injury or burnout. I fell in love with trail running and enjoyed sharing mile after mile with my dear hubby. And somewhere in there too, I rediscovered the joy that is triathlon!
|Scenes from the Lynchburg Ultra Series|
Good and bad days alike, I still love all aspects of training and racing!
Numbers are cool, but when I think about success, I don't really count the miles I've run, times I've achieved, etc, etc. It's been a year of growing and stretching, both physically, mentally and spiritually...that to me marks success. As I ran this morning, I reflected on just how beautifully messy my life can be, yet I've learned to embrace the struggles, laugh at my silly mistakes and generally not sweat the small stuff. I'm more optimistic, more patient, and more balanced than I was in the start of 2013. I've learned to be less independent and accept support for others, to let go of control and just let life be... I'm hoping that will all work to my advantage as I look to tackle some new goals for 2014!
Preview of 2014
I'm certain that 2014 will be another fun year of training and racing! I've got some pretty fun goals ahead of me, some of which scare me to pieces... but that's okay! While my husband is making another round of the ultra-marathon series, I'll be setting aside ultras for a while and going a bit of a different direction. My general goal for 2014 is to race less, train more and build strength and endurance. I'll be kicking off my racing season with the Blacksburg Classic 10 miler in February and the Shamrock Marathon in March. Yup, I'm finally running another road marathon in March and I'm pretty pumped!!! I feel like so much has changed since my last road marathon and I'm interested to see how it plays out. There are other goals for later in the year... but we'll get to that later :)
Tomorrow begins 10 days "off" ... not exactly the most traditional training regime :) Really, we're heading to Haiti for our medical missions trip and we're both pretty excited to put our knowledge and energy towards serving others and to see how God uses us down there. Wish us luck!