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Twelve in 2012
1. What was your greatest personal accomplishment in 2012? I won a marathon. Not a big one, not a fast one, but wow, a win. Something so crazy I never even would have said it was a goal.
2. What’s the best thing your did for your health? Probably just consistency in terms of exercise. I added in a couple months of 30-days-in-a-row of Bikram yoga, which mean during those months, I was spending an insane amount of time on fitness, between 60 minutes of boot camp or 75 minutes of running in the morning (more on weekends), then 90 minutes of yoga in the evening. My husband was not a fan.
3. Share one thing that caused a significant change in your life this year. Hmm, no real significant changes. I guess I'd say my office move in mid-November. I am now trying to commute on foot Tues-Thurs, just under 4 miles each way. If I stick with it, that is going to be a very significant change eventually. Right now it still feels like just some crazy thing I'm doing, it doesn't feel like a routine.
4. List a few things that you experienced for the first time at some point over the last twelve months.
-- I trained for a weighted marathon by doing 3 days of very long walks -- the longest one was 27 miles, all with friends who would come out and walk an hour or so with me. I also of course trained by wearing the weight vest while running during the week, but that was not as difficult as 9 hours of walking with the backpack.
-- I ran a weighted marathon, carrying just over 40 pounds on my back, showing respect for the Bataan Death March veterans I met and got to hear stories from first-hand.
-- I went to mainland China for a few weeks on vacation.
5. What was the coolest place you visited? CHINA! Completely worth spending all our vacation money and days for the year on a single trip.
6. If you could change one thing about the last year what would it be? I would have used my superpowers to control the world and I would have made the Beijing Marathon go forward as originally scheduled -- either with the National Congress of the Communist Party meeting the same weekend, or with it meeting some other time, and instead deferring to the marathon. Not really something I had control over. Nothing I could have controlled jumps to mind.
7. What is the best meal you ate this year? I'm trying to finish a post about it (need to add some photos) for the #reverb series that I'm doing this month. Let's just say it was something I searched for far and wide in China. I promise it will get posted this week, maybe even today. Okay -- post done. Best thing I ate in 2012 is described here, with photos.
8. Tell us about a new friend you made. Oooh, I made a ton. Instead of running with the same group of buddies that I've run with for years, when I trained for the weighted marathon, obviously I was running slower than usual, which meant running with people I didn't know before. And they were awesome! One couple that are such a great match and both so much fun to be around. One woman who is subjected to constant conversion efforts (oh to be Muslim in Texas) and had such a great sense of humor about it. One who was training for her first half marathon and was so interesting. One who was dealing with an injury on and off and was at such an exciting time in her life. It was fun.
9. What did you hope to accomplish this year that you did not? I posted about this recently, but I hoped that when I stopped running with the extra weight, I'd be significantly faster and stronger. That was not true. I was thinking I'd be ready to run with the really fast crew -- I wasn't, and I'm not. (Yet! haha, I can't even say that with a straight face.)
10. Share something you learned in 2012. I learned that when I do Bikram yoga religiously, it pays off in dividends -- I feel stronger and less injury-prone when running, I feel calmer and more patient mentally, I feel leaner and more flexible, I feel more even-keeled emotionally. Oh, and I learned some Chinese.
11. Share an odd and unexpected thing that you experienced this year. I have been prohibited from taking the stairs at my new office. The stairwells are locked and are for emergency purposes only. I've found a cheat way -- taking the elevator to the second floor, and then getting in an unlocked stairwell there and taking them up to 9, but I think it's going to be locked soon. Can't believe the building management would be that difficult and have so little regard for someone trying to be healthy. Runner up for odd and unexpected -- feeling like a movie star in China with so many strangers asking to take a photo with me. I kept wondering if they were all going home and captioning the photos "caucasian woman and me".
12. How do you think 2013 will differ from 2012? I'm going to be fast! I'm going to train for a PR marathon, and I'm planning to work very hard at it. When Epiphany gets here, I'm going to lock down the diet. When mid-February gets here, I'm going to start doing some major speed work. When April gets here, I'm going to inch my mileage back up. And when September gets here, we'll be in Germany and I'll hopefully run the race of my life.
Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!