Best Race Experience - MCM, hands down. I got the BQ I had been shooting for, and I'm not sure if I could've executed a more evenly run race.
Best Run - There was one five miler I ran while training for MCM. I hadn't planned on making it a tempo run, but something just clicked when I took off, and the whole thing ended up being a sub-7 pace. I've never had a training run at that pace before.
Best New Piece of Gear - This pair of Nike tights that I bought in November. I needed a new pair of tights, and happened to find one with a zipper pocket (which I wasn't expecting). They're also super-comfortable, and cover my whole legs!
Best Piece of Running Advice You Received - Eat more during your marathons! During the Eugene full, I took my first Gu too late, and was ready to kill someone by mile 14. After thinking about what went wrong, I realized that I took too few Gus during the race. So for MCM, I took 4 Gus instead of 2. Problem solved!
Most Inspirational Runner - Any of the 2013 Boston runners are amazing. But for me, I have to go with my biggest runner cheerleader of the year (and partner in Eugene '13 madness), Erin. Most of what I learned about my running this year (both physical and mental) was the result of some advice of her's.
Sum Up Your Year of Running in a Couple Words - Informative and incredible. Or in the words of George Santayana, "Those who cannot learn from the past are condemned to repeat it."
And now for a preview of 2014...
Kaiser Half (the three-peat) - My friend Ryan is joining me again for it, and now that Erin's in the Bay Area, I coerced her into doing it as well.
Newport Marathon (marathon #9) - A few guys from Portland Frontrunners are doing this. Also, I convinced Erin to trek to Oregon for this one. Capped at 1,000 runners, and along the bay for most of the race? Sounds amazing!
Santa Rosa Marathon (marathon #10) - Running? Free pancakes, watermelon, and bottle of wine for all finishers? Post-race party involving more wine? Sold! (Actually, I first convinced Erin to sign up, and then dragged my feet until NYE, because the price was going to increase the next day. Also, active.com sent me a coupon for $10 off, so I'm taking that as a sign that it was meant to be.)
And possibly a few shorter races.