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As the year comes to a close, I find myself reminiscing about the year that was. As is true for all things in 2016, my year in running wasn’t always memorable for the best of reasons, but it was memorable none the less.
2016 Recap: My Year in Running
My top 5 most memorable running related moments from 2016.
Armstrong Redwoods Trail 9k (May)
Armstrong Redwoods is a trail run up in wine country that I really love. I’ve done the 9k the last few years as a race to keep me motivated in the gap between my spring marathon and starting training for a fall marathon.
This year it was a little rainy, so for most of the run, I was brushing up against foliage that had been weighed down with rainwater. What I unfortunately didn’t realize was that a fair amount of that foliage was poison oak.
If I even see poison oak, I start itching.
A week after the run, my left arm started to itch. A few days later, my entire upper arm was a weeping, oozing, itchy mass of rash. I am used to the rash on my legs, it’s a necessary evil as a trail runner who reacts to it. However, this was the first time I’ve ever had the rash on my arm.
Now that I know to wipe down my arms with Tecnu Poison Oak Cleanser as well as my legs, it is hopefully also the last time I ever get the rash on my arms.
Bad Bass Trail Run Volunteering (July)
The run is in July and it was a broiling hot day. I spent most of the day manning the ice bucket – sponging ice-cold water on runner’s heads.
I enjoyed it way more than I should have.
Read my full Bad Bass Trail Race Volunteer recap.
I was a pacer for the Santa Rosa Half Marathon in August. The conditions were perfect for running, and I totally nailed by pace. I was pacing the 2:20 group and finished in 2:20.04.
It doesn’t get much closer than that.
Read my full Santa Rosa Half Marathon recap
Skyline to the Sea Trail Marathon (October)
The forecast was for unseasonably hot weather, but it turned out to be perfect, at least as long as we were under the Redwood tree canopy.
I may have done an epic face plant leading to an epic nose bleed about ten miles in, but that just left me feeling like a super hard-core badass. And the good news is after using every laundry trick I know (which admittedly isn’t many), I finally got the blood out of my running skirt!
Added bonus: even with the face plant, I took nearly ten minutes off my personal best time on the course.
Read my full Skyline to the Sea Marathon recap
Saratoga Trial Run Volunteering (November)
Cold (by California standards), windy, and rainy. I was so glad: 1) to not be running 2) to be volunteering at the finish where there was shelter and 3) that the race directors had a BBQ extravaganza under the shelter where I was stationed.
A rainy day in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the redwoods, with BBQ, a beer (ok, more than one), and the company of the trailing running community? It’s a pretty great way to spend a day.
2017: What I Am Looking Forward To
The 2016/2017 2-Year Marathon
I will run a half marathon on New Year’s Eve 2016, and another half marathon on New Year’s Day 2017 (so it takes 2 years to run a marathon – get it?). I usually don’t do anything to celebrate New Years, this is as festive as I will ever get.
In 2017, the Oakland Marathon (my current hometown) is being run on my birthday, which I am unreasonably excited by. I will likely be a pacer for the race itself, which makes me in equal parts excited and nervous.