I love linkups! It’s a great way for me to discover new blogs and (hopefully) for others to discover mine–assuming they won’t hate it, ha ha. I recently started following Courtney’s blog , Eat Pray Run DC, and she’s got a great linkup for sharing your best running experiences of the year. Of course I’m going to add a few geocaching bits in as well (I hope that’s OK with Courtney!)
Best race experience: Richmond, my first full marathon. It was full of ups and downs, but running 26.2 miles and crossing that finish line made all the aches and pains worthwhile.
Best run: That’s a tough one. I’m kind of assuming she means a non-racing run. The one that popped into my head first was my 16.5-mile run this summer in Sunset Beach, but I think I’m going to have to go with a training run I had on Labor Day Weekend. I started with a 5.8-mile run alone in the dark, and met up with a group for a long run. I had planned on running 17-18 miles that morning, but ended up running almost 19. I felt great both during the run and afterward, and made some new friends as well! (Best run in a race? The J. Brian’s Taproom 15K. I finished in 1:32:36 with a 9:55 pace. I don’t think I’ll be able to beat that anytime soon.)
Best new piece of running gear: My Saucony Bullet Capris. Last spring when I went to a meetup for Another Mother Runner, Dimity had a pair with her as an example of one of the awesome Saucony products you could get with the gift card they were giving away at the event. I went to my local running store and bought a pair. I LOVE them! They’re so comfy, and they have pockets on the side and the back to store just about anything you need to take with you. After running the Hokie Half and the Richmond Marathon with them, I ordered a pair of their bullet tights for colder weather, which are equally awesome. (Runners-up: My Galloway run/walk/run timer and my Bluez 2 bone conducting wireless headset.)
Best running advice you’ve received this year: GO FOR IT. ‘Nuff said.
Most inspirational runner: There are so many!! The friends I’ve met along my running journey who have encouraged me; old friends and family members who (like me) took up running later in life; people I’ve met online and through my ever-growing list of favorite running blogs and podcasts. So, if I had to pick one…I suppose it would be Scott Jurek, who broke the Appalachian Trail speed record last summer. (I blogged about him at the time, as a matter of fact.)
Favorite picture of a run or race this year:
(When my husband ran and walked with me the last two miles of the Richmond Marathon.)
Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Hmmm, that’s a tough one too. I’m picking the Star 10K in Roanoke, except next time–hopefully this year–I’ll do the half. (Yes, that would be the Blue Ridge half. Someday I’ll do the full.) Sarah wrote a great training plan for me with just the right combination of hill training, speedwork, tempo, and long runs. I felt so good at the end of the race (1 flat mile, 2 miles uphill to the Mill Mountain star, 2 miles back down, 1 flat mile to the finish) that I probably could have done the half, and frankly wished I had. I’ll likely use pretty much the same training plan except make the long runs and hill workouts longer.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Well, for one thing, I’m happier and healthier because of running, and I know nothing is impossible. I’ve also learned (I think) to find a healthy balance between running, family, work, and my everyday responsibilities. I guess my words would be joy and balance And… GO FOR IT.
Now for the geocaching part:
Best geocache found: Operation Combination (GC5916Y), a way cool gadget cache in Orange County, Virginia that’s pretty easy to figure out.
Best geocache found while running: The Crocodile Hunter’s CRIKEY Cache (GCA19) on Bird Island, South Carolina. I ran three miles down the beach, hiked a little bit on the dunes (which you’re allowed to do there), and ran three miles back. It was the run that made the cache so awesome, and the fact that it had been there since 2001. (Read more about my running and caching at the beach last summer here.)
400th cache (found June 5, 2015): You Mad Bro? (GC3EPFG). As of today I’ve found 485. If geocaching were a race, I’d be in the back of the pack.
FTF (first to find): Finding Bigfoot (GC60Q1M), Aug 3, 2015
DNFs (Did not find): 29. I went back and found a few of those, but not many.
Total caches found in 2015: 120. Like I said…back of the pack.
What were your running and/or geocaching highlights of 2015?
Head on over to Eat Pray Run DC and join the linkup!