I don't intend this to be a traditional year in review post, but I did want to put down some thoughts about 2012. Looking back on all of my races, there isn't one that I can say I'm particularly proud of. They were all a disappointment in some way. If I were forced to choose, it would probably be Pac Rim, mainly because I did receive a 3rd place award. Yes, I suppose that counts as a highlight. And I did have a lot of fun at that race. It was definitely enjoyable in the way 24 hours in cold, wind, rain, snow and sleet can be. But I find it discouraging that I can't seem to do the loop courses (with the exception of ATY) without developing some sort of knee issues. And because of that I don't really feel like I gave it my all.
In years prior I've always had at least one race that I felt really good about at the time, and can still look back on now as a good race. In 2011 it was Across the Years 48 Hour. In 2010 there were a few stand out races - Autumn Leaves 50 Mile and Across the Years 48 Hour, for instance. But I was also so happy to be back running that it was ALL good.
So thinking it through, part of my dissatisfaction with 2012 is that my standards are higher. I'm not just happy with participating, although I hope to never take that for granted either. I had tons of fun in 2012 on long training runs and I enjoyed running in quite a few of the races. There were a lot of highs and good times...I won't lie. But I'm having a difficult time with being happy with just participating. I want to do better and I was disappointed in myself and my performance quite a few times in 2012. I hope I still have some improvement left in me!
So for 2013....train better. I can say that I learned a lot in 2012. I have gotten over quite a few of my fears...of the dark...of "big time" races, for instance. Nerves will always be there, but I'm less afraid of accepting a challenge. Some day my goals might evolve towards exploring new trails, new races, and just having fun. But at the moment I want to see what I can accomplish if I give it my all. And hopefully 2012 was just a transitional year.