Talk to me, people!

Tell me about your 2011

Everywhere you look right now, you see year-end reviews. Who made the news? Who died? Who married/divorced? Who dominated the sports scene? You get the picture. All fun stuff, but I’d like to hear from you guys–my really awesome, fantastic, supportive crew of readers–about your year.

So here’s the deal: I want you to answer the following questions about your 2011 year of running. Do it here, do it on your blog, do it anywhere, just, as they say, do it. I’ll post the questions, along with my answers, to get you started. Then fill in the blanks!

  • Best race experience? For me, my only race experience, the Celtic Solstice 5-miler.
  • Best run? First one back post-injury, Nov. 8, which I got to share with one of my favorite running partners.
  • Best new piece of gear? Tough one, but I love my Oiselle clothing, every single piece of it!
  • Best piece of running advice you received? To throw out my orthotics and make a change to minimalism.
  • Most inspirational runner? My friend Dr. Mark Cucuzzella for his tireless efforts to encourage healthy habits and healthy running.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? A learning experience!

Talk to me, peeps!

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    • says

      My best race and my best run of the year: CIM marathon.
      Most inspirational runner? Hmmm… to many to mention. I get motivated by all that overcome lack of motivation, injuries, or even bad weather.
      Best piece of advice: to have fun, just to have fun.
      My year in two words: emotional roller coaster.
      Ewa recently posted..JoyMy Profile

  1. says

    Best race- Hot Chocolate 15K (I know, I know, I’m weird it was an infamously unorganized race, but I had a PR)
    Best Run- every trail run I have with Alison from
    Best new piece of gear- Newton racing shoe
    Best Advise- again from Alison @ racingtales… learn how to dig deep into your soul on race day.
    Most inspirational runner- so many… the 101 year old man who ran a marathon.
    Sum of year- you could not have said it better “A learning experience”
    you have a great blog and you are also a inspiration overcoming your injuries and still remaining passionate about our sport! Happy New year to you Miss Zippy!

  2. says

    – Best race experience? Ironman Texas.
    – Best run? 50k Trail Run in November.
    – Best new piece of gear? Kestrel 4000 bike – fits me like a glove!
    – Best piece of running advice you received? Choose running frequency over running volume. Then add volume (-:
    – Most inspirational runner? My wife Annie. She has worded very hard and the results show her sacrifice.
    – If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? A blur.
    Jeff recently posted..Week in Review – All PicturesMy Profile

  3. Mick says

    Good questions but tough to answer some of them:
    Best race experience: in priority order – Berlin Marathon, Vienna Half Marathon, Reykjavik Half Marathon. All combined racing with visiting new places with friends.
    Best run – Any bagel run when I’m back in Columbia on business when I get to run with friends
    Best new piece of gear: Yak Trax Pro – helped me run outside in the snow in Oslo
    Best piece of running advice: Here’s some that I gave to a friend in Singapore when we were talking about over-training and injuries: If you can’t get to the starting line, you can’t get to the finish line.
    Most inspirational runner: Tough one but the first name that came to mind is my friend Vanessa Cox who has been battling major injuries but has raced at a high level. Lots of heart to go with her talent.
    Sum up the year in a couple of words: Running tourism. We’ve combined my racing with visiting many countries in Europe (northern Norway, Austria, Iceland, and Germany)

  4. says

    ■Best race experience? My first 50K. Met so many amazing folks and finished during the worst rain storm of the year, lightning, flash flooding, and tornado warnings included.
    ■Best run? Any trail run is a best run! And then my road marathon PR is a close second.
    ■Best new piece of gear? Probably my Adidas Response trail shoes. Great hot pink color too.
    ■Best piece of running advice you received? To listen to my body.
    ■Most inspirational runner? My friend Ginny (Happy Feet 26.2) she is always willing to listen, give advice and encourage me.
    ■If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Eye opening, I didn’t know I had it in me!
    Jen recently posted..Various, Random, and Generally Unimportant StuffMy Profile

  5. says

    Best race experience – taking 3rd in division, first race after mom was sick

    Best run – glass city, first half marathon

    Best new piece of gear – Anything Brooks

    Best piece of running advice you received – Just have fun

    Most inspirational runner – not using a runner, I am using my mother

    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? – A year I want to quickly forget
    BDD recently posted..Weekly RamblingsMy Profile

  6. says

    I’ll do my “year in review” blog later this week I’m sure, but you ask some great questions to get us started with reflecting. So glad you bounced back from the injury and was able to get in some running before the end of the year. You have me thinking about finding my own foot Dr!

    Best Race – I only ran two and they both rocked: Warrior Dash and the Atlanta Half Marathon.
    Best Run- 8.5 miles run mostly to the album “Wasting Light” the day of the Foo Fighters concert I went to in November.
    Best New Gear- *sigh* haven’t made any great purchases but I’m hoping to get my hands on the Mizuno Wave Rider 15 with whatever Christmas certificates may come my way.
    Best Advice- Don’t forget to eat. Especially important if you’re a mom, work weird hours, and are trying to train for any kind of distance event.
    Most Inspirational Runner- I can think of many, but the one who always jumps out in my mind is EMZ.
    Summing Up This Year- Too Fast!
    Jen recently posted..How To Not Kill Someone and Other Important Social SkillsMy Profile

  7. says

    This is fun, Miss Zip!

    Best race experience? Jersey Shore half marathon – a year anniversary of my first half marathon and I not only took more than a half hour off my time, I enjoyed every minute.

    Best run? Hmmm tough one – I’ve had a few great ones but probably one of the runs when I’m away on business along the Pacific ocean in Santa Monica, CA

    Best new piece of gear? I just got a fancy new iFitness belt from winning a blog giveaway that I can’t wait to use. – I ‘like’ my Nike+ when it works.

    Best piece of running advice you received? Run your own race and pace – the finish line is the same whether you are the first or the last to cross.

    Most inspirational runner? My friend Sara from Words To Run By who has had an emotional year (losing her mom who was a runner) and committed herself to run Goofy this year. Although it’s been a tough road, she always believes in herself and finds it in her to support others in their running journeys.

    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? A turning point! I no longer consider my running a fluke or temporary novelty – I’ve become a full-on runner this year and feel fortunate to have found this love.
    Jen recently posted..Weight Watchers and Porkys – perfect togetherMy Profile

  8. says

    Best race experience? Oh gosh, probably the Omaha half marathon. I got to meet and run with (well, pass) old Biggest Loser contestants AND beat my husband (again) and push through mentally.
    Best run? Perhaps my 10-miler from this last weekend. Hard to say over a year what was my best run.
    Best new piece of gear? My old/new-to-me iPod from my aunt
    Best piece of running advice you received? hmmm idk?
    Most inspirational runner? Jenny Finch who started last in NYC and raised money for every runner that she passed. So cool. I played softball for 14 years so very cool that we’re still in the same sport.
    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Steady and joyful.
    S Club Mama recently posted..boxingMy Profile

  9. says

    This is great, thanks for posting this.

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

  10. says

    I’m going from memory here. Best race: The Sauvie Island marathon 4 weeks after the one I trained for. With my husband. :) For fun. 3:24. Best run…trail running with my husband. Best gear…Zensah compression tights…LOVE. Best piece of advise….pull back when you’re feeling and hearing your body tell you so…you won’t lose much…better undertrained than overtrained. last night I came home feeling great until my foot felt like it ripped and now feels like dry beef jerky. It is taped, I will ice and take the day off. 50 miles or even 30 miles is better than trying for 70 and getting injured seriously.

  11. C2Iowa says

    This is a very interesting post. I will see if I can answer .

    Best race experience — Honestly, all of them. I have not been running long enough to call one out as a favorite.

    Best run — Most likely not a good answer, but my longest training trail run. It was a very different experience.

    Best new piece of gear — Easy one — ALL of my smart wool stuff and Mizuno kicks.

    Best running advice — Heck, still too new at running; everyone’s advice is great.

    Inspirational runner — too tough to answer

    The year summed up — a roller coaster ride. The surgery is behind me. Now it’s time to attempt a come-back.

  12. says

    Best race experience? I didn’t really race, but Laima’s Oakbrook Half was great fun!

    Best run? I had one where I ran through several parks and forest preserves, lots of fun

    Best new piece of gear? Maybe Brooks Silver Bullet jacket

    Best piece of running advice you received? I’ve always been happy I switched to duration over distance
    Kovas recently posted..UvaggioMy Profile

  13. says

    I’ll be posting a year in review type of post that’ll hopefully answer these questions…and more. I can just imagine the joy on your face for that first run back! :)
    Kate recently posted..Report CardMy Profile

  14. says

    Great idea! I may be copying this in a post, too, at some point, but thought I’d answer here:

    Best race experience? The Top of Utah Marathon; it was a big PR, it was my return to marathons after six years, it was a road trip, it had crazy weather, I got to meet Erin of See Mom Run Far, it showed me how close to (and how far from) my goal I stand

    Best run? That crazy half marathon in the snow and wind earlier this month. I love a good story and that one furnished one!

    Best new piece of gear? My CamelBak; no more carrying bottles on long runs

    Best piece of running advice you received? “Patience, grasshopper.” I’m not going to be an overnight BQ person–I have to work for it. And that’s OK.

    Most inspirational runner? My friend Kathy, who went from zero to marathon in a year and a half.

    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? A slow comeback.
    Terzah recently posted..Mid-December UpdateMy Profile

  15. says

    •Best race experience? My only race, the surf city marathon. It was a great experience because it was my first marathon, I had fun with it and I finished way faster than I thought was possible.
    •Best run? This is tough because I have had so many great runs! One particular 20 miler stands out to me though. I ran it with Angela and our friend Teresa on the 101 along the ocean. I felt strong, the weather was ideal and we laughed a ton during that run. It was just a great day.
    •Best new piece of gear? I am obsessed with a black brooks jacket I bought months ago. I tend to wear it multiple times a week.
    •Best piece of running advice you received? Same thing I always hear… when it hurts, STOP. You may miss out on that one run but it’s better than being sidelined for 6 weeks because you pushed through pain. I really hope that piece of advice finally sinks in.
    •Most inspirational runner? This year I’ve been really inspired by Shalane Flanagan. She seems so down to earth and is such an incredible young woman full of talent and determination.
    •If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Times, they are a changin’.

    I loved this! So fun to reflect back on this year in running.

  16. says

    My best race was running the Mind the Ducks 12 hour and using my new found running form I learned at the Vivobarefoot coaching course. Just shy of 39 miles.

    This year I have had all kinds of health scares. I have learned that I can push hard and go far but I can only maintain if I reduce my stress which is work for me. I learned to let go and ditch my goals when it makes sense to do so. Rest is sooooooo NOT EASY!
    Angie Bee recently posted..I am a runner. I’ve got Soul.My Profile

  17. says

    Best race experience? Hard to answer…I had more than one in 2011, but I would have to say my effort at Clydes 10K simply because I did something I have not always been the best at … pace a race evenly and ran a PR while doing so.

    Best run? Any run with running friends during mornings and evenings who motivated me, informed about running and helped improve me as a person.

    Best new piece of gear?

    Best piece of running advice you received? To take rest seriously.

    Most inspirational runner? I’ll get back to you on that if I remember.

    The year summed up – A year of rediscovering running speed I had not done in years and learning how to become a better runner. Thinking and understanding running as it means to me.

  18. says

    Best race experience? Boston 2011 – great weather, great run, and shaved 15 minutes off my previous Boston!
    Best run? In November, I got to run a 10 mile trail race with my husband. The critical piece here is “with my husband” cuz I have no sense of direction. He lead the way and never let me get lost, while allowing me the fun of a great trail race experience.
    Best new piece of gear? Simple piece: a winter hat w/ the ponytail hole built in. Never had hair long enough for a pony, so this is a BIG DEAL for me!
    Best piece of running advice you received? From my husband, “Let the miles come to you.”
    Most inspirational runner? My husband.
    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? The year I discovered blogging and created my own. My world has grown so much since I did!!
    Lisa recently posted..Six Spontaneous SaturdayMy Profile

  19. says

    Race – Marine Corp. Time of my life.
    Run – Running a 10 miler with a friend in the driving rain. It was her first ever 10 and we were soaked. She did so great!
    Gear – Asics Gel, they take me where I need to go.
    Running Advice – Run for the pure love of it, not to be ambitious
    Inspirational Runner – My friend Ernie. He’s run 50 marathons
    Year Summed up – Injury led to learning things about me I would have never otherwise stopped to realize.

  20. says

    Best race experience – I only was able to walk 1 race, so it was somewhat of a bittersweet race experience. (Bay to Breakers). I hope to run a race in 2012.

    Best run – A trail run I did in February, probably the best run of my life. Sometimes it is weird to look back at this run, and wish I could do that again. I hope i will be able to do that run again sometime.

    Best new piece of gear – The GRID foam roller, so useful

    Best piece of running advice received – if running feels like a job, that means you need to either cut back or stop doing it for a while

    Most inspirational runner – among all time runners I’d go with Prefontaine. Among bloggers I’d go with EMZ and Jim of 50After40.

    The year summed up – frustrating due to injuries
    Nelly recently posted..Running Projects CompleteMy Profile

  21. says

    Best race experience? NYC Marathon! I participated in the 5 Borough Challenge with 4 other runners. We got to start the marathon an hour before the rest of the field. Best part was having my son and husband standing at the finish line waiting for me to run through the tape =)

    Best run? One mile run 5x days after my son was born. Felt like I was flying since I was almost 20 pounds lighter than I was a week earlier running!

    Best new piece of gear? Saucony beanie! Keeps my whole head warm on my runs.

    Best piece of running advice you received? If you aren’t in pain during training, how will you know what to do when you experience pain in a race?

    Most inspirational runner? Desiree Davila and her 2nd place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon
    Michele @ nycrunningmama recently posted..Gear Review – Saucony Transition Sportop IIMy Profile

  22. says

    This will go on a post but ansering here for now

    ■Best race experience? The last one of the year: Holiday Half Marathon. A surprise PR on the hardest course I ever ran.

    ■Best run? 10 milers on December 4. I was looking for excuses not to do it..I am glad I never found them.

    ■Best new piece of gear? GARMIN !

    ■Best piece of running advice you received? To race faster you need to train faster.

    ■Most inspirational runner? Of all times: Terry Fox. In blogland: Emz because she ran 24hrs on a machine for charity. Jim at 50 after 40 because well do you read his blog? he is a machine! and in my age group!

    ■If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Better than expected!
    Caroline recently posted..And the Winner is….My Profile

  23. says

    – Best race experience? 70.3 California
    – Best run? Stonebridge Half Marathon in February
    – Best new piece of gear? The Sufferfest which is not gear but it is the best thing I have for training
    – Best piece of running advice you received? run hard from the start of the race and if you bonk then you bonk but leave it all out there
    – Most inspirational runner? My wife Karen. She has worked very hard this year and has been such a tremendous support to my racing all at the same time. She is just amazing.
    – If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? The beginning
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Going To ART ClassMy Profile

  24. says

    Good idea!
    Let’s see…
    Best race: Couer D Alene half marathon
    Best run: last long run of marathon training, finished strong and negative spilt that bad boy!
    Best new gear: well Garmin started all the madness.
    Most inspirational: that’s a tough one. Different people at different times. But my running gal pals are pretty stellar! They get “it”.
    Best piece of advice: “you’ve got this” 😉
    Year in review:
    This is just the beginning! Bring on 2012!

  25. says

    Best race experience? come see me 5k – finally a new PR, sub 21.
    Best run? Any run I got to do with Josh, the hubs! :)
    Best new piece of gear? Sorta didn’t get any… my new nike tempo shorts? or new hot pink nike capris?
    Best piece of running advice you received? Take it easy / pull back when your body is giving you signs that things are out of whack.
    Most inspirational runner? Morgan @ Caution Redhead Running – the poster child for not giving up when the going gets tough.
    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? It’s ok to slow down sometimes and take time off. Running is harder on the body (and affects more aspects/systems of the body) than we realize!
    lindsay recently posted..cost of running 2011My Profile

  26. says

    Best race is so hard as I did so many. I loved the Hampton Half even though it wasn’t my best time. It was my first long race after being injured and I really felt like I was back – plus it has that whole ocean scenery thing.

    My best new gear is very cheap and not for running – my swimming goggles. I have never used them before and love them.

  27. says

    Best race experience? Definitely the US Adventure Racing National Championships

    Best run? 17-mile trail loop with good friends on a cold Saturday morning last spring.

    Best new piece of gear? Hmm… probably my Werner carbon paddle.

    Best piece of running advice you received? Just let yourself go.

    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Epic training leads to epic races
    Abby @ Have Dental Floss, WIll Travel recently posted..Breaking EvenMy Profile

  28. says

    Best race experience? my first two races EVER this year. maple leaf half marathon in vermont … my first… met a great running partner and had my best friends cheering me on at multiple locations and then my second ever race… the philly half marathon… ran the first half with a friend and the second half with the city of philadelphia :)
    Best run? an accidental half marathon in vermont by myself when i set out for a 10 miler but went too far :)

    Best new piece of gear? my garmin! thanks mom!

    Best piece of running advice you received? run happy!

    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? love to run…. run to love :)

  29. says

    I love the pic….where you are just poised and ready to interview us. It’s really been a pretty great overall 2011 for me. I’ll be posting my year in review soon. I think my best race experience this year was my half marathon PR in KC because it kind of came out of nowhere and took me by surprise. That was great!
    Michael recently posted..ART Makes Me CryMy Profile

  30. says

    I’m a bit late with this one but will use it on my blog for sure. Can’t believe we’re posting year end and next year goals again. Your year was interesting and certainly not what you expected. Still, you’ll be a wiser and better runner after the experiences of 2011. Keep it going!
    Johann recently posted..How I Peed On A LeopardMy Profile

  31. says

    Best race experience? NYC! Hands down : )

    Best run? a 12 miler in October that I ran 7 miles of with my dog. I felt strong, and confident, and happy!

    Best new gear? Compression sleeves, I even swam in them at IronGirl

    Best running advice? You CAN DO IT!!!

    Sum up my year? with a PR in every race, I’d say, Fabulous!
    Molly recently posted..13 for TuesdayMy Profile

  32. says

    What a great post! I love reading your answers and all the comments!

    Best race: I’m fortunate that I had so many great races that its difficult to choose one! I think my best race was probably the National Half. I had a HUGE PR and it is always my favorite race of the year
    Best run: my 22 mile training run for the Eugene Marathon. Everything just clicked and I knew I’d be able to reach my goal!
    Best new gear: not running gear, but I bought my first tri bike and it is beautiful!
    Best advice: again, not running advice, but I had a friend teach me how to ride up hills on my bike and I am a completely different athlete because of thsi!

    Overall I’d say this year was for growth. I learned a lot about my sport (running), and how I can push myself in both speed and endurance.
    Beth recently posted..2012 Race ScheduleMy Profile

  33. says

    Best race experience? OKC Half Marathon … ran it with my daughter!!!

    Best run? Boston Marathon … truly an honor!!!

    Best new piece of gear? If don’t break my leg changing to minimalist running, it will be my new Brooks Pure Cadence

    Best piece of running advice you received? My wife told me this about racing, “You can’t control who else is at the race, you can only run your best … unless you’re the fastest runner in the world, some days you’re gonna win, some days you aren’t!”

    Most inspirational runner? My wife because she never gives up even though she battles quite a few injuries. EMZ because she is blazing fast and puts in a ton of miles. Scott Jurek because he’s the man – I’m just now learning about him. Rachelle of RunningForTrevor because she is an awesome runner and an even more inspirational person. So many others.

    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Showed quite a bit of improvement …but the best is yet to come.

  34. says

    Like you, I’m anticipating my best run will be the one I get to experience once I get over this injury. I cannot tell you how frustrating and sad it has made me to not be able to run-but once I’m back I just know it will be memorable!

  35. says

    Best race experience? San Fran Half Marathon… it’s not a PR course, but it’s worth running.
    Best run? First one back post-injury, March 12, which I followed with a volunteer experience of “Runner’s are weird” proportions.
    Best new piece of gear? “Dear Lululemon, why did i have to find you when I was flat broke?”
    Best piece of running advice you received? Be a patient patient, allowing your injury to heal all the way will pay off.
    Most inspirational runner? my friend Leslie ~aka~ Triple Threat Leslie. She’s inspired, inspiring, motivating, and oh by the way, she ran her first marathon in Nov, and BQ’d.
    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? From Here to There and back again.
    gba gf recently posted..Hey Mr. Fat ManMy Profile

  36. says

    Best race: Eesterriver 15km race very fast!!!
    Best run: JMC mountain race in the rain and cold, (while I was sick!!!)
    Best Gear:nothing new this year
    Advice: I told a friend to enjoy every day and her running would come right, she was to stressed about work to run!!!
    You people inspire me
    Stay injury free… (my aim for 2012)
    Coach Dion recently posted..GETTING LOSTMy Profile

  37. says

    Best race experience? IMLP!!!
    Best run? I didn’t have a lot of great runs this year honestly…
    Best new piece of gear? My Kestrel Bike!!!
    Best piece of running advice you received? Relax your shoulders.
    Most inspirational runner? Matt Long (NYC Firefighter who was hit by a bus during the transit strikes. Amazing person.)
    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? It was a year of great loss and great triumph for me.
    Mandy recently posted..Wagging Wednesday – Icing InMy Profile

  38. says

    Best race experience? I didn’t race at all this year. That is going to change in 2012
    Best run? On June 15th, when I ran 0.5 miles (post-surgery) for my first run since February 2010
    Best new piece of gear? My Saucony Peregrine running shoes, they have done everything that I have asked of them.
    Best piece of running advice you received? “Get off your ass and just do it! – Bill B back in 1985.
    Most inspirational runner? TheWife – she runs through more difficulties than she wants me to know. She runs any way.
    If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? I’m baaaacccckkkk!
    Harold recently posted..First Vlog and Runlog 12/21/11My Profile

  39. says

    I just discovered your blog {from several blogs who are linking to this post — love it} and I really love these questions you’ve posted so I am going to include my answers in my 2011 review post in a week or two :)

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