Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Highlights

If my life were a television show, and I had the opportunity to recap 2012 in a highlights episode, this is what I'd want you to know about. Here are my Top 12 fitness accomplishments of 2012.

  1. Completing 23 events. One half marathon, a couple 10Ks, a couple 8Ks, two triathlons, a midnight bike ride, and a goodly measure of 5Ks mixed in. I set out to finish 12, and I damn near doubled it. Pretty amazing, if I may say so myself. (And I may.)
  2. My first half marathon. I wasn't as fast as I would've liked. I didn't run as much as I would've liked. But I finished, and I got a medal to prove it. And I signed up to run it again in 2013!
  3. Running repeats. In 2012, I did several races for the second time (Sweetness, Midtown, Monster Dash, 3.14 Run for Pi, Warrior Dash) and some for the third time (Hot Chocolate and Santa Run). I won't do all of them every year, but it's kinda neat to realize that - if I want to - I can set up an annual streak for any of these races.
  4. Swim. Bike. Run. I completed two triathlons! The Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri and the SheRox Sprint Triathlon. I must admit, I'm impressed by this, because I learned to swim in January of last year. I love that I can call myself a triathlete!
  5. Finishing unfinished business. In 2011, I signed up for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K, but I couldn't complete it due to injury. This damn near broke my heart, because the race is the unofficial kickoff of the racing season in Chicago, and I was sidelined. So in 2012, I signed up again. And I ran it. And I finished. And that felt amazing.
  6. Weird races. One of my repeats this year was the Warrior Dash, which is a 5K obstacle race. You run, you climb, you crawl through mud. Believe it or not, that's not intimidating to me anymore ... so I signed up for another obstacle race - Run for Your Lives, where you run from zombies. We dressed in kilts and ran like hell. Both were awesome experiences, and I'll do both of them again if I'm able!
  7. Two wheelin' it. I have a bike, and I love it! I'll never be competitive, but I sure do enjoy getting out there and riding. (Sometimes, I even put my helmet on the right way.) One of the nicest attributes to living where I live is that I'm just over a mile from a great bike trail. From there, I can head just about anywhere ... and it's a great way to spend a weekend morning in the summer. (Or, a midnight ride in July.)
  8. Speaking of the midnight ride ... 2012 brought a couple of great opportunities to be active at night. (Not that way. Jeez ... get your mind out of the gutter!) First there was the Chase the Moon bike ride; 20 miles at midnight, the perfect way to end my sister Jenn's 50th birthday. Then, there was the Firefly 5K, when we dressed in fairy wings and took to Montrose Harbor. So much fun; I have got to find more events like that, because I really enjoyed the nighttime aspect of it all.
  9. Running island girl. I spent the first week and a half of October in Hawaii (bliss!) and I ran almost every day. On a path along Waikiki Beach, or along the coves of Ko'Olina ... it was incredible. I loved being able to do it, and feeling the dedication to myself and my health to work of at least some of the incredible food I was eating out there in paradise!
  10. Packing gear. Several times this year, I hit the road. Either for a race (the Fat Ass in Springfield, or the Zombie Run in St. Louis, and of course the half marathon at Disney) or just for the sake of  travel. And each time I found myself packing my running gear, I thought how extraordinary it was that I would be making fitness a priority. It's an amazing thing when you realize you're packing more running shoes than regular shoes.
  11. Completing the streak. Just before Thanksgiving, Runner's World magazine introduced the concept of the holiday run streak. At least one mile, every day, from Thanksgiving until New Years. I did it! Some days were really tough (like when it was windy and I wasn't at the gym) and some were fabulous (like running two Christmas-theme races in a kilt and a green wig). Feels great to accomplish that.
  12. Loser! But what feels better is actually losing weight over the holidays. While I put on a few pounds at the end of the season, overall I took off a significant number of pounds, and that is incredible to me. Some of it is likely due to my dedication to the streak, but some was just tracking my food and sticking with it. Pretty awesome, yes.

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