Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

Hello friends! It's been a long time and I'm sorry about that. I've been working really hard to get to the finish line of grad school, which has included a whole lot of travel, which didn't leave much time for blogging.

Last time we spoke I was gearing up for September and I had started a diet. Well, the diet died, mostly due to all the traveling I was doing. But 19.3 mile September happened.

It started with one of the most fun 10Ks I've ever run: The Roller Coaster 10K at Six Flags. It was a 10K at the park before it opened and then a free ticket to the park to ride roller coasters! And there was the run and ride option, where after completing the 10K, I rode a 5K in roller coasters. So much fun!

The following weekend I ran another half, part of my four season challenge. I was originally supposed to run this in March, but had hurt my knee so I ran the one in September instead. So much fun! I'd never run a color run before, and a color half was 13.1 miles of fun and insanity. Plus, it was through a beautiful Audubon center. This was definitely one of my favorites of the year.

This was the color catcher sheet I put in the sink while I rinsed all the color powder out of my clothes!

Thus ended September and October dawned...the start of the insanity that was the end of 2015. I had a commitment every weekend in October, it seemed like. I saw Taylor Swift on the 1989 Tour as part of the month and I ran the Tyler Rose Half, which was gorgeous but was the start of some interesting knee problems I've been dealing with. But I finished in my best time since March and got a gorgeous medal.

The last week of October started 6 weeks of traveling where I would amass over 10,000 frequent flier miles. I traveled every week but Thanksgiving in November, but managed to run another half (#9 overall since I started running) and completed the Four Season Challenge.

I was supposed to run my 10th half at the end of November, running the same race I ran as my first half the previous year, but all my traveling had caught up with me and I had a nasty cold. Combined with the fact that the day of the race was cold and rainy and I still had one more trip to go on, and I decided not to risk it. It broke my heart, but I know it was the right thing to do in the long run.

My December race was my 10th half, which qualified me for Half Fanatics (Fanatic #13571 reporting!) and finished out Operation 2015. I did it! I ran at least one race a month in 2015.

So what is my goal for 2016 you may ask? Marathon training. I want to complete marathon training and start Goofy Training. Along with that, I want to get healthy: start some basic strength training and do some yoga on my non-running days to help improve my running. Eat better. I want to make sure I'm running Dopey in 2018 as my best me. I don't want to feel anymore like death than is natural after running 48.6 miles in 4 days.

What can I say about 2015? It was the year I fell in love with running. It was the year I ran a race a month, 9 half marathons, and 22.4 Magical miles in a 3 day weekend. It was the year I saw my first paper published and slept in the science building to finish some grant work. 

But it was also the year I said goodbye to my beautiful friend Sarah. I made new friends, saw firsthand the good humans can do helping humans, watched in horror at the bad we can do to each other, and earned over 10,000 frequent flier miles in 6 weeks. I laughed. I mourned. I cried because I was sad and because I was happy. I believed. I lost faith and found it again. I saw the beauty in a 10 mile run. I lived.

2016 will see the end of an adventure, a dissertation defended, and a PhD in hand. 2016 will see the start of my next great adventure, unknown just yet, but thrilling and terrifying all the same. I will laugh. I will mourn. I will cry happy and sad tears. I will lose faith and find it again. I will find the beauty in a 20 mile run. I will live.
2016: let's go.

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