My 2012 Running and Triathloning Recap

Happy last day of 2012, friends!  How are you spending the last 24 16 hours (and counting) of this year?  Will you set resolutions for 2013?  Even though I’m not one to set goals when the clock strikes midnight (you don’t have to wait for a new year, month, or week to make a change), I do like reviewing what happened this year–on the running and triathloning fronts, of course.  Seeing which races and distances proved successful—and which turned into struggle fests—I can better make my 2013 training schedule and race calendar.  This post has been circulating the running, triathloning, and healthy living blogs recently—and a big thanks to Miss Zippy for conceptualizing this idea—so with the new year only hours away, it’s time to reflect on 2012.

Best race experience?

Running:  The Seneca7 (during pre-Fitness and Frozen Grapes days). (The Boilermaker 15-K was a close number two!)

seneca-7-finish-line

This seven-person relay race around Seneca Lake promised everything—running (three legs and double-digit mileage for the day), eating (the swag bags contained nut butter and chocolate!), and lots of laughing.  At the beginning of the day, I didn’t know everyone on Team Run-On Sentences, but there’s nothing like running 77.7 miles to bond people.

seneca7_medals

It was literally one of the best days ever, and four of the original Run-On members are looking to get a team together for 2013; I’ll keep you posted!

Triathloning:  Cazenovia Triathlon.

caztriathlon

It was my first triathlon in my hometown—I got to swim in “my” lake, bike on “my” hills, and run on “my” roads—and my family showed up in full force!

caztri_signwithauntjulieuncleshaun

caztri_fans_2

Even though I completed brick workouts in the weeks leading up to the event, doing a true triathlon ignited a passion in me that I thought died during collegiate basketball.  After I crossed the finish line, I was totally hooked; deciding to give this triathlon thing a “tri” (sorry, couldn’t help myself) was a huge turning point for me, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me in 2013.

Worst race experience?

Running:  Tromptown Run (half-marathon).  In hindsight, training for my first triathlon and half-marathon simultaneously wasn’t the best idea.  Doing my first multisport event provided enough of a challenge (not to mention a learning curve!) that I could’ve done without increasing my mileage; if I hadn’t spent so much time running, I could’ve worked more on my swim and bike.  Anyway, this race itself proved to be my toughest run (mentally) of the year.  On the bright side, I can only improve, and looking forward (wayyy forward), I know I can and have run 13.1 miles … for when I train for a half-Ironman.

Triathloning:  Honestly, I didn’t have a disappointing triathlon (thanks to low expectations—ha!), but the swim portion of the DeRuyter Lake Triathlon ended up being especially brutal.  Wind and choppy water equated to my slowest swim split of the season.

deruyter-lake-triathlon-swim-exit

Again, that just means there’s room for improvement.

Best piece of new gear?

Running:  Mizuno Wave Elixirs.

new-mizunos

I’ve been an ASICS girl for the longest time, but I’m really glad I switched over; these sneaks feel so light!

Triathloning:  As a swim-bike-run rookie, I had to get all the necessary gear—tops and shorts, wetsuit, bike, everything.  Today, especially during the winter, I’m grateful for my CycleOps Fluid2 trainer.

cycleops-fluid2-trainer-with-road-bike

If I didn’t have this apparatus, I wouldn’t be riding regularly.

Best running/triathloning advice you received?

Running:  “Run the mile you’re in.” (I think I read it in Runner’s World.) While running, it’s easy to get caught up the distance or time remaining.  During the summer, heading out for a 10-mile run seemed daunting, so I’d break it up into smaller chunks.  Sometimes, I could handle running five and then another five, or maybe eight plus two, but there would be those days that making it to the next mailbox was the goal.

Triathloning:  A lot of running advice translates to triathloning—don’t try anything new on race day, always have several (“A,” “B,” and “C”) goals and races, etc.  Overall, though, I’m still learning so much about the sport, and my cousin MB has been great putting up with all my questions and offering tips.  Most recently, she told me about her general fueling strategy on the bike.

Most inspirational runner/triathlete?

Runner:  How can I pick one runner?!  Everyone has overcome obstacles, challenged themselves, and pushed past their limits, which sounds inspirational to me.

Triathlete:  Again, same thing. (Although I do have a total soft spot for Craig Alexander now.) Each triathlete has a story to tell, and each has a unique journey that lead them to the swim start.  Inspirational people are everywhere; you just have to look.  I’ll freely admit to tearing up while watching the Ironman World Championships in Kona–crossing the finish line means much more than swimming, biking, and running.  And after being inspired by these athletes, how can you not want to do it too?

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Challenging myself, going outside my comfort zone, and ultimately making a lifestyle change.

Running/triathloning ups?

Tackling new distances—like my first 10-Kvolunteering at the Ironman 70.3 Syracuse and with New York Runners in Support of Staten Island, and finishing my first sprint triathlon.

Running/triathloning downs?

Where I was mentally during my half-marathon; and honestly, the end of the triathlon season bummed me out.  In terms of confidence, I hit a turning point during my third tri, and I felt like I was starting to somewhat figure out what I was doing.  That’s off-season motivation, though!

Surprise of the year?

The fact that I started triathloning—and having people call me a triathlete.  I still can’t wrap my head around it sometimes!  If you told me one year ago—when I was a wee college senior—that I would be swimming, biking, and running after graduation, I probably would’ve looked at you in complete disbelief and had a good laugh.  Now, though, it seems like such a logical transition, and I can’t picture myself not triathloning.

Let’s hear about your 2012:  favorite race?  Best piece of new gear?  Surprise of the year?

28 responses to “My 2012 Running and Triathloning Recap

  1. Mizunos are the best! Great re-cap. Happy New Year!

  2. Great work on all of your runs this year! I love your Mizuno shoes too!

  3. Awesome year! 2013 will rock it too!

  4. I absolutely love that you’ve become a triathlete! It’s so fascinating to read about. I have a goal of completing a sprint triathlon, probably this year. Matt wants to do one also, so I’m hoping he’d be a good buddy to train with. And I love that quote, run the mile you’re in. I always tend to look ahead at what still needs to be done, rather than just relaxing and living in the moment. That’s probably why I hate long distance running so much! Maybe if I changed my attitude about it and just run the mile I’m in, I’d feel differently.

    • Training with a buddy definitely makes it less intimidating–and more fun! You two should totally do it! 🙂 And yeah, I can get so overwhelmed running longer distances, so breaking it down into mini-goals helps it seem more feasible.

  5. Great race recap of 2012!!! My favorite was definitely the Brooklyn Half Marathon! I didn’t actually run many races this year, but this was my first half and I can’t wait to add more to my list! 🙂

  6. This has been such a big and exciting year for you! I can’t wait to see all the races in 2013!

  7. What a great recap, Carrie!

  8. What a great year!! It’s nice to have a whole year behind you that you can be proud of. Great job!

  9. this is awesome, you are such an inspiration for that voice inside that tells me triathlons are way too tough to ever give it a shot. It just takes that one chance to try it. who knows what you will do in 2013!

    • When I first thought about doing a triathlon, it seemed scary and intimidating–and that’s when I knew I *had* to try it! It definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone, and I’m so happy I tried it. 🙂

  10. Wow! Amazing races 🙂 I wish I knew how to ride a bike so I could try a tri, too! 🙂

  11. What an inspirational post. I actually didn’t realize your blog was on the aire of the newer side. You always inspire me to want to do a tri but that darn biking!

  12. What a great year of accomplishments and even the ones you pointed out as not so good, sound pretty amazing to me. The main point is you were out there doing them and not just talking about what you’re plans are. You’ve been a great motivation and your outlook is awesome. Keep up the great work and here’s to hoping my 2013 can look anything close to your 2012 accomplishments. Happy New Year and I wish you all the best!

  13. Sweet shoes!!!

    Happy New Year!

  14. Great year! I hope you guys are signed up for Seneca7 already, it sold out! Glad our team is in 🙂

    Looking forward to 2013!

    • I saw the news on Facebook yesterday! That’s great for the race, but that means we’re out. 🙁 I’ll just have to race vicariously through you!

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