2016 Reflections

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Tis’ the season for memes about how awful 2016 was. I guess I’m lucky, because it was a breakthrough year for me in several ways.

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Excuse my race face. This was minutes after crossing the line at Grandma’s.

Many of my 2017 goals are running-related (shocker!), but more focus on other aspects of my life.

Running is a passion and therapeutic outlet, but it’s something I do, not who I am. I am a dog mom, writer, marketer, communicator, baker, outdoor enthusiast, reader, friend, partner, sister, survivor, aspiring minimalist, creator; I am more than I can define.

But, running is a big part of my life. Many runners feel the same. Why? Why do we do it to ourselves – the early mornings, cold runs, hot runs, expensive race entry fees, blisters, black toenails, sweat, chafing, agony and just plain hard work?

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Photo taken the day before Grandma’s on the beautiful Lake Superior shoreline.

Accomplishing goals reminds us how much we are capable of, often far more than we believe. There is endless possibility in this world. Qualifying for Boston made me rethink my life and my goals. If I can run 26.2 miles at an 8:03 pace in sweltering heat and humidity, what else can I do?

This achievement made me seek new dreams and blow dust off those I’ve had for a while. We have one life; why not live with passion and follow what lights our quirky souls on fire?

A few 2016 highlights:
1. I trained hard and PR’d every distance:
•5k in April, 21:33, 6:56 pace, and overall women’s winner
•26.2 in June, 3:31:19, 8:03 pace, and my first BQ
•13.1 in October, 1:35:03, 7:16 pace
•10k in November, 6:50 pace, and overall women’s winner
•Ultra Ragnar relay with 5 other women in August: I ran 34 miles in 28 hours on a running clock with no regular meals, sleep or showers, 7:52 pace

2. These victories also allowed me to swallow some tough races with grace, including two half marathons – one where I was ill and passed out at mile 11, and one where a stolen course marker led to a 14-mile half and lost PR.

3. I learned how to, then built a solid muscle base – read about my CrossFit journey. Ultimately, I do not attend anymore because the amount of HIIT cardio was too much on top of my already-high mileage base, but it changed my life. I regularly lift in my garage gym 2-5 times per week.

4. Derek and I visited Portland, Oregon for a week in July. This trip was on my to-do list for a while and it was amazing to see Oregon in all its beauty. Have you ever been somewhere and felt in your soul you belonged there? That’s what this trip was to me.

A few 2017 goals/plans:
1. Run Boston and Chicago. Train hard for both and, hopefully, shave off time.

2. Dance class. Derek and I are going to learn how to dance properly. This should spice up the next wedding we attend. Wine only helps so much.

3. Become an RRCA-certified running coach. I am registered for the level 1 class in February in Orlando, Florida, and I cannot wait.

4. Develop a daily meditation/reading/writing practice, for all the obvious reasons. I consider this a soul workout.

5. Read one book a month. My first is You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. So far, it’s wonderful and highly recommended.

6. Portland. I’m unsure of the details right now, but following my heart applies.

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In Portland’s Washington Park. Love at first sight.

I am excitedly reading everyone’s 2017 goals. There’s something fresh and exciting about a new year and all that awaits. Cheers to everyone chasing their dreams and making 2017 the best yet.

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