Top Ten Running Moments of 2013

Well with the end of 2013 approaching I thought I would do some review posts. I think I’ll do them in “top 5” style this year. And of course, what is the main thing I blog about? RUNNING! So of course I’m going to start this series with my top running moments from 2013. Running is definitely the biggest category on my blog with over 200 posts! I originally just wanted to do five but when I started going through old blog posts I knew I couldn’t keep it to just five! So here are my top 10 running moments from 2013 🙂

2013 has been a big running year for me! I ran 10 races in 2013, two of them being pretty big deals (Squamish 50 and the Chicago Marathon). I also ran more miles than I ever have before: 1,084 miles / 1,744.5 km and still going strong with 13 days left in the year.

So, my top ten running moments from 2013 are (these are in chronological order not in order of favourites)…

1. Running barefoot on the beach in Mexico 

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When Eric and I visited Cancun way back in February (seems so long ago now) I went for a 40-minute barefoot run along the beach on our last day there. Nothing can compare to running right next to the ocean as the waves splashed onto the shore, and often onto my legs. Also running barefoot was a very cool experience – one that left my calves extremely sore! I definitely hope I can spend more time running on the beach in the future.

2. My feature in iRun Magazine 

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Opening iRun magazine and saw that my photo was featured on a double-spread was the craziest and coolest thing ever. So glad other people also appreciate the beauty of my “backyard” running trails!

3. Friendships 

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You guys, I spent 237 hours running this year. That’s 9 full days. Over a week straight of running. 90% of that time I had great friends by my side. I have a few friends I spent hours and HOURS with this year — all while out on the trails or road. They supported me as I trained for my big races and were out there to meet me at 6 am day after day after day. A special shout out to my friends Tara and Carmine. Tara was my weekday run partner, meeting me at 6 am three or four days a week for a run before work and Carmine was my overall training partner who ended up running the 50 km race with me! I don’t know what I would have done without her by my side for those first 40 km of that tough tough race.

Also Sam, Norman, Chris, and Solana (long distance support!) were all big supporters of me through my running this year and also made great running partners. I would not have completed my big races without these people and the friendships I’ve consequently formed mean so much to me!

4. The beautiful view from the top of Cinnamon Ridge

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Holy moly did I ever groan and whine when Norman and Carmine took me (dragged me?) on this “run” (more like climbing straight up a mountain side). But this view we got from the top? I’ve never seen anything like it before. Just one more moment when I am so grateful from where my feet can take me, and they showed me some really stunning views this year.

5. Stumbling upon “our” Waterfall

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One day Carmine and I decided we were bored to death of our typical trail loop so we did an out and back on a new-to-us trail. Well what do you know, we stumbled on a waterfall right at the end of the trail. I remember that Friday morning so clearly, I was in the middle of ultra training and so burnt out and tired. Stumbling upon our waterfall was like the trails giving me a little treat, something to remind me how much I love this sport and to keep me going. We continued doing the waterfall run (as we now call it) a few times a week after that and it’s one of my very favourite routes.

6. Finishing Squamish 50 km

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Of course this had to be in here. Never in my life have I worked so hard for something or dug so deep. Not just during the 10.5 grueling hours I spent on my feet during the race itself but all the hard training I put in leading up to it. Finishing that race was the biggest physical accomplishment of my life thus far and probably the biggest thing I accomplished this year.

7. Running the Chicago Marathon

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There is no other way to describe those five hours other than FUN! l had so many great moments out there on the course running one of the biggest marathons in the world with almost 40,000 other people by my side. I can’t even fully describe to you the feelings that overwhelmed me when I was out there. Such a joy for this amazing sport and all these other people running alongside me. It was incredible. I have never had so much fun running a race in my life. I was undertrained and my feet hurt but I had a smile plastered to my face the entire day right until the end!

8. Seeing the sunset over Vancouver

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When I went to Vancouver mid November for work I was burnt out on life. A crazy year of running and a busy fall at work had made running the last thing I wanted to do. I forced myself out the door for a run along the seawall when I was there and was lucky enough to witness the sun setting over the ocean and the city as I ran. The only word to describe this run is magical. I was blown away by the beauty around me and it made me fall back in love with running.

9. Decorating our Christmas Tree

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On December 1 I headed out with three of my running friends and a big bag of Christmas decorations to decorate the “Christmas Tree” on our normal trail running loop. There is one tree we pass about halfway through that loop that looks like the perfect Christmas Tree and in the summer we talked about decorating it. It was so much fun to finally do it and I feel giddy every time I think about someone new stumbling upon it. Our group is heading out to do that loop on Saturday and run past our tree one more time before Christmas Day!

10. Running 1 mile every day

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What better way is there to finish up this year of running than the #mileaday challenge? So far I have succeeded in running at least 1 mile every single day outside. I dread it on some days, but usually once I’m out there and always by the time I’m done I’m so so happy I did it. It has been the perfect way to finish off this epic running year.

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This blog post is lengthy enough as it is so I’ll end with this, a sentiment I’ve echoed before on this blog; running has changed my life so much for the better. I am so so grateful for the experiences it has brought to me, which are so much more than just fitness. I am very grateful for a great running year in 2013 and I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store!

What are your top running or fitness moments from 2013? 

14 Responses

  1. You had a lot of great running moments in 2013! And to go on exceeding 1,000 miles this year! That is a great accomplishment!

    Well, you know 2013 was not my running year for me. I looked at the ‘top moments’ of 2013 that facebook puts together and the first one was when I announced i was going to run Chicago in October. It’s definitely been a heart breaking year for me for many reasons, but the absence of running is one of those heartbreaks. I keep saying I hope I am back at it soon, but it just keeps looking further and further off. 🙁 But that said, I’m glad it’s been a wonderful running year for you. Just don’t take it for granted like I did…

  2. Heather says:

    WOW! You always amaze me and this year was no different. It is so cool you were able to hit over 1,000 miles this year!

    Ha, I have ZERO top running moments for this year because of my feet. The only thing I can think of was running Peachtree on July 4th, but it was a very slow year. 2014 though………..

  3. I don’t often comment on your running posts, but I read every single one of them. Actually, I drool over every single one of them, because you are lucky enough to run with some pretty darn amazing backdrops. Stunning. You definitely accomplished some pretty remarkable things this year – it’s been so very fun following you (and even cheering, once) along your journey!

  4. LG says:

    Oh running, how we love thee. :0) That’s quite a collection of great runs and memories you’ve got there! Awesome!!!

    Perhaps you already have this on your radar, but would you be willing to do a post about favorite products from 2013? Anything like cleaning products, makeup, kitchen, clothing or fitness gadgets or…whatever! The consumer in me loves those posts, lol.

  5. Leigh says:

    Running has created some amazing memories for you in 2013! I love that you and your running friends decorated that tree. So fun! I know I would smile if I passed by it 🙂

  6. Kelly says:

    I love this post because it’s just so clear how much FUN you have had running this year! You’ve been in so many beautiful places with clearly such great supporters and running friends 🙂

  7. Sherry Sim says:

    Love this and you know why ♥

  8. Beautiful pictures! I love that you decorated a Christmas tree!

  9. Running has definitely been VERY good to you this year!!!! 🙂

  10. Becky says:

    NINE full days of running?! Holy cow! And when I read that first one I was like “the beach?” and then remembered your trip – that DOES seem really long ago!

  11. What an amazing, amazing year of running!

    I also ran barefoot on the beach for the first time and it was such a cool experience. I can’t wait to do it again when I vacation in a couple of weeks.

    Congrats on all your awesome accomplishments. Can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring you!

  12. Travel Spot says:

    Wow, it’s been an excellent running year for you! I am glad that I got to be there for one of your top 10! You really have impressed me with how you handle life and work and running and still keep a smile on your face the whole time. Even after the 50k you were still smiling!

    Running has been an interesting journey for me this year as well and I will have to do a similar post… thanks for the reminder!

  13. Nikki says:

    So nice to relive these moments with you Amber! I can’t believe I missed that iRun article though! Must go back and read that post. Also glad to have been there to see you finish Squamish. Congrats on an awesome year in running!

  14. Nikki says:

    So nice to relive these moments with you Amber! I can’t believe I missed that iRun article though! Must go back and read that post. Also glad to have been there to see you finish Squamish. Congrats on an awesome year in running!