We can all do this.

One year ago, at the very start of ’12, I wrote about diving into Lake Michigan on New Year’s Day and running in a blizzard–events that led me to vow to embrace a Why Not? attitude for the year ahead. I think I’ve done a pretty decent job of following through on this. In fact, it’s been a pretty big year overall on the running front for me. Before talking about what’s to come in 2013, a few highlights of the past year:

One of the hottest Boston Marathons on record? Sure, why not?

Just before the start of the 2012 Boston Marathon. I knew it would be a hot one--at the 10 a.m. start it was already in the 70s--but I had no idea it would be absolutely sweltering. By far my toughest race, physically and mentally. So proud of myself for finishing--and I do hope to one day get back there, and hopefully have a better race. But, it was Boston, with my family cheering me on. What an experience.

Connect with more Michigan runners. Absolutely! I am grateful to the athletes who allowed me to share their Michigan Running Stories: Trisha, Cassy, Joel, Amy and Dani. Their stories are inspiring, and I look forward to sharing even more in 2013.

Take a break from running a race and instead cheer on my husband and friends. Yes, yes, yes!

Joe ran his first 10K in a long time--and he rocked it! It was so much fun cheering him on (along with our three kids and my dad). OK, there was a *small* part of me that felt a little funny not being out on the race course...but it felt good being on the other side. You've got to do that every now and again.

Running just for fun. With family. By myself. With friends. OH, YES!

Post-race happiness & silliness. My family ran our first 5K together. We even wore matching shirts. It was corny and it was so fun. A memory I'll treasure always.

Lots and lots of trail running. No watch, no goal. Just enjoying. Why not indeed.

Taking to the trails with Julia, Karen and Katherine (and our four-legged friends) = summertime bliss.

Run a PF (personal favorite) half-marathon. Definitely.

It literally was a downpour while I ran the inaugural Lighthouse Half on Old Mission Peninsula this fall. But it was an awesome race. No PR for this race, but the grin on my face in this photo says it all.

Start a winter family running tradition. Why not??

Joe, Andrew and me ran the inaugural Farmland 5K Dec. 1 in Traverse City. Another great family memory and awesome hometown race.

So what’s to come in 2013? I asked readers this on the Michigan Runner Girl Facebook page–along with requesting they share their favorite running moments of 2012–and it was inspiring to read their replies:

Jackie: Started running in May and completed my first half on Dec 2nd! Plans for tough mudder next year!
Krista: Getting my confirmation for Boston 2013! Can’t wait for April!
Holly: My half marathon PR at Bayshore. I have my sights on my first FULL marathon in 2013. (Looks insane to write that… but say it, do it, right?!)
Flo: Bayshore marathon 2012—ran and enjoyed the whole 26.2.
Jennifer: For me it was completing my first 13.1! I planning doing another after I have my baby in June. Probably wont be until 2014. [Congratulations, Jen!!]
Dawn: PRing for the first time in September. Looking forward to my first 1/2 Marathon in April.
Laura: I would have to say the McKenzie River Trail Run 50K. I had a really good day and felt wonderful. I’m registered for Peterson Ridge Rumble – a 40Miler in April that I’m pretty stoked about. Of course, the best part of any race is training with friends! Wish you live closer  Happy New Year, dear Heather! [Me, too, Laura, me too!!]

I’m looking forward to my next marathon, the Bayshore, this Memorial Day weekend. And because I believe in the power of stating our goals out loud, I’m going to go ahead and say that I am hoping to set a new marathon PR. This would mean beating 3:42:55. It’ll mean an ambitious training program, which I plan to begin in another couple of weeks. The 18-week training plan is from Sarah and Dimity of Another Mother Runner. Can’t wait to get going on it (I think!). Stay tuned for more details on this plan.

Other plans for the new year: run more Michigan races, including a few on trails. I’ve yet to decide on a longer-distance fall race, but I definitely want to tackle a half-marathon, maybe another marathon if I’m feeling it after Bayshore. In the more immediate future I’d like to try a snowshoe race, possibly the Runaway Hen Snowshoe Scamper in Leelanau County on Feb. 2.

Speaking of snow, many of you already know how much I love winter running … this is a big reason why I like to sign on for spring marathons–train all winter long, in Michigan’s beautiful snow? Why Not? This is why I loved this photo Kelle texted me this week. One word accompanied the photo: Happy.

This makes me happy, too. Bring it, winter 2013!

Here’s to healthy, happy, satisfying and safe miles for all of us in the year ahead!

What’s on your running calendar?

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