Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Year In Review

Here we are, days away from welcoming a new year again, 2014. I thought I would take some time today to review 2013. It was an incredible year for me and while it ended with a poor race and an injury to come back from, I have many reasons to be proud of all I accomplished in 2013. It was my most active year yet when it comes to races, participating in a total of 14 races: 1 marathon, 7 half marathons, 2 x 10km, 2 x 8km, and 2 x 5km races. In addition to that, I totaled about 2000km in running mileage, I made some amazing new friends through running, started training with a coach, won a fitness contest, and just recently launched a new career. It's been a great year! 

Here are my 2013 highlights, in chronological order

Sunshine Coast April Fools Half Marathon - April 2013:This was my best half marathon of the year when it comes to finish time, setting a new personal record of 2:00:48 (gun time). I did this race for the second year in a row, with friends there to join in on the fun. I'm back again in 2014. Read more...

Training with John Hill 
I met John at the April Fools Run through my friend and elite runner, David. I knew that John coached both elite runners and "serious recreational runners" like myself, but when I was at first told about his group, I wasn't sure it was suited to me. After meeting John and talking with him about the sessions and the group, it sounded like a group perfectly matched to me, and a great idea to join. He's really pushed me beyond my comfort zone to kick up my training to another notch, and it meant I saw real progress, and along the way, met some excellent running friends! The progress didn't translate to a better half marathon in 2013 after April Fools, but I had my strongest marathon, some great achievements at shorter distance races, and I hit some incredible milestones in training too that I didn't know I was capable of, inspiring great confidence in what I can achieve in 2014.

Social running! And lots of it!
This is something I didn't do enough of previously. Before, I trained for most of my races by myself. And while in many ways I love running solo, running with a friend or a small group adds a whole other level of enjoyment. It's quality time with friends, a chance to push one another, and try running in new neighbourhoods and trails. I spent lots of time this year running with friends, and I feel so blessed to have this community of active living enthusiasts in my life.

Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon - June 2, 2013
This was my 3rd, strongest, and most fun marathon. While I had the issue of cramping come up again, resulting in a slower finish time than I'd like, I had a blast at this race running the entire way alongside my friend Humphrey.  And the memorable vacation attached to it with time spent with my friend Megan, with my sweetheart Cam, and family members I'd not seen in years - few experiences compare with this. I did this race with Team In Training, although I trained my own way for this. I wanted to get the experience the TNT participants get on race event weekend while being a member of TNT staff It was indeed memorable and special. Read more...

Winning my first race!
Less than 2 weeks after the San Diego marathon, I ran my first ever 5km race for time. I registered at the last minute and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to do as well as I did despite very sore legs. I had also neglected to remember that I'd signed up to participate in a fundraiser 8km run only 2 days later, and seeing that there was prizing for the top finisher, I decided to give it all I had, and finished in first place! What a great ego boost it was! Read more...

Eastside 10K birthday party
A brand new race came to town 3 days before my birthday. I decided to make this race my birthday party, combining my love for running with friends with my love for community races. This was a very memorable race for me, being there to see my sister finish the race in under two hours as a walker (her fastest finish in a 10km event) and present her with her medal, as well as enjoying lots of laughs and memories with friends both at the race, and at the post-race-birthday brunch. Read more...

Winning the Steve Nash Fitness Clubs Success Stories contest
This here is still rather surreal! I was selected as one of 15 finalists in a contest by Steve Nash Fitness Clubs about fitness success stories. My good friend Kristy was also part of this. The experience included an amazing photo shoot, a marketing campaign featuring these photos, and then the big launch event on my birthday where I was announced the winner of the contest. It's been the most incredible experience, acting as a spokesperson for the company, and I've now launched into a new career with Steve Nash Fitness Clubs myself. Read more...

James Cunningham Seawall Race - Oct 27, 2013
This 9.5km race was my fastest race ever, and one of my biggest running achievements of 2013. Finishing in 49:08, this was the fastest average pace I've ever maintained over such a distance, instilling a new confidence in my running. I'd never seen myself as a fast runner before, just one with good endurance for distance. After lots of hard work this year with coach John and progress seen in training, I knew that I had the ability for a great finish time. At this race I not only discovered potential for me to do very well in shorter distance races, but a real enjoyment for them. I'm going to run less half marathons in 2014, only 1 marathon, and then focus on these shorter distances because hey, I'm good at it! Read more...

Launching a new career with Steve Nash Fitness Clubs
I made the difficult but important decision to leave my career at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (Team In Training) and accept a job offer with Steve Nash Fitness Clubs. I have only worked one day so far, all in training at head office, but I'm thrilled and excited to begin 2014 in the role of Operations Manager at the Downtown Sports Club, and be surrounded by a healthy environment where I can grow, learn, and hope to inspire others to achieve their fitness goals.


Thank you so much for reading this review, but most importantly, for your support and encouragement throughout 2013. Here's to a strong, fit, fun, and successful 2014! Happy New Year!

<3 Zahida

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  1. What a great year Zahida! Congratulations on Steve Nash, that's so cool!

    1. Krista, sorry for the delayed response. I appreciate your kind words!! Thank you!