Christmas has come and gone. I had a fabulous couple of days with various family members and Santa was indeed good to me. I can’t wait to try out some of the running gear I received. But now it’s time to gear up for 2014. To get ready for the new year, I will be reviewing my 2013 over the next few days. Today I will be continuing my Five Things Friday series with the Five Things I Learned in 2013.
1. Listen to your body. This is probably the biggest lesson I learned this year. I know in my head that I need to be aware of what my body is telling me while I am running, but I don’t always follow my own advice. This year in running was trying at times. I started having pain in my foot back in the spring, but I still continued training. By the end of the summer, I had developed plantar fasciitis and it hurt to run any distance which left me sorely unprepared for a couple of fall races. Had I done a better job of listening to what my body was telling me, I may not have suffered quite so much.
2. Running injuries are extremely annoying. Speaking of the injury mentioned in number 1, I have to say the plantar fasciitis I dealt with this year was just plain annoying. After I completed my Disney races over Labor Day, I took an entire month off to rest and heal. While the month off did help tremendously, it was the most aggravating time of my life. I wanted nothing more than to get out and go for a run but I was sidelined. It paid off in the end as I am now training for a spring race and have almost no pain in my foot.
3. Perserverance pays off. The highlight of my year in running was completing the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland over Labor Day. I ended up walking half of the 10K and the ENTIRE half marathon, but I stuck with it and managed to complete both races and earn the much coveted bling. I also proved to myself that I am much stronger than I previously thought.
4. Themed 5Ks are a great way to get friends and family interested in running. I have been trying forever it seems to convince family members and non-running friends to run with me. Even if it is just a 5K (which is a great starting point for those who are non-runners). I was finally able to convince my 17-year old cousin to run a 5K with me in Atlanta in December. We completed the Duck Dash 5K and got to meet Jep from Duck Dynasty (she is a HUGE fan). After it was done, she informed me that she wanted to run some more races (5Ks only) with me, beginning with the Color Run in April. I am so thrilled.
5. Running bling is awesome. It was a good year for race bling. I ended up receiving 6 medals this year: the Princess Half Marathon, the Disneyland 10K, the Disneyland Half Marathon, the Dumbo Double Dare, the Disney Coast to Coast and the Digital Running Interstate Challenge medal. All in all, it was a great year for my running and I learned a lot about myself in the process. I can’t wait to see what next year will hold!