I am looking forward to starting a new year tomorrow and all it has to offer. I have been reflecting on 2017 for the past few weeks and it has been quite a year. I started 2017 at my lowest and finished at my best. 2017 taught me a lot and I am officially ready to leave 2017 in 2017.
My year started with my 39th birthday and a half marathon in Key West. My first official girl’s trip and a big turning point for me. I was at a point in my life where I wasn’t happy personally, professionally or physically. I don’t know if it was turning 39 or running my second worst half ever (the first was by choice, this one not so much), but I know this weekend changed me. I left Key West with the intention of changing and change I did.
I changed a lot in the few months following Key West and while most were good changes, some were not. My biggest changes in those months were physically. Despite injuring my calf two weeks after Key West I managed to drop over 20 pounds in 8 weeks.
Physically I felt amazing. Personally I became a person that I now look back on and don’t recognize. I became all about me, which in itself is okay to a point, but I took it to an extreme. I just had a “fu%& you” attitude to everything and everyone if it didn’t suit my needs and worst of all, I acted that way because I thought I was entitled too. This hurt many of the relationships in my life, thankfully, I didn’t do any permanent damage to the relationships that meant the most to me.
The second quarter of the year was still rough. I moved away from people in my life I thought would be around forever and who meant a lot to me. I needed to do this for me and because these relationships weren’t healthy. I had to make many hard choices and ultimately those choices were the right ones. As always with hard choices, people get hurt, but in the end I had to do what was best for me and my family. There is always fallout, but as with any fallout what remains is what is worth keeping. I may have lost people in my life, but the important people stuck around and supported me.
I started running again in April, which always makes everything better. I had 8 weeks to train for the Echo Half Marathon and I decided to take a conservative approach to avoid injury. I ran my first race since Key West, the TPA 5K and managed a 26:38 time!
I ran another 5K in May, The Great Mother’s Day 5K in Siesta Key on the beach. It was hard, but fun. June 4th I ran the Echo Half Marathon. I was aiming for a 2:14 half and ended up running a 1:59:50! My first under 2-hour half since 2011!
The year really started to make it’s turn around for me by the start of the third quarter. I started running with ladies from the local Mom’s Run This Town Group and met so many amazing and supportive women. Chris, Abby and I had a fantastic trip to California in July to visit family and we ended our vacation in San Francisco where we spent the weekend. On the last day of that trip I ran the first half of the San Francisco Half. I really had no goals for this race except to enjoy it and maybe run it in under two hours. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed that race and managed to run it in 1:54:55, only 30 seconds from a PR despite the enormous hills. The rest of the summer was pretty low key and consisted of training through the heat for the Cocoa Beach Half in October.
#Medalmonday I went into this race with no goals or expectations. Not only was it the last day of a 10 day vacation, the hills were nothing like We have in Florida, our hill is an overpass that does not even register an elevation on my garmin. I started this race feeling great and my strategy was to go as fast as I could comfortably to buffer the upcoming hills. At around mile 6 I met a nice man who had been following as I passed people on the bridge and we ran the rest of the race together til he had to split off for the full marathon. There was also this guy next to me who kept yelling, “small hill, we got this”, every single time we hit a hill, strangely enough this was motivation to get my ass up the hill! In the end I ran an official 1:54:55, a mere 19 seconds from my half PR. I am not disappointed that I didn’t PR ( I accomplished this on a flat course). I am more excited to have come so close on such a difficult course! I am excited what my running future is going to bring me over the next year-hopefully a 1:45 half and a BQ! ………………………………………. I also love the running community, have met new people that helped push me along the way was amazing. Thank you! ………………………………………………………. #californiarunning #runchat #california #tsfm2017 #vacation #werunsocial #garminrunner
I was supposed to run the Fit Foodie in September, but Hurricane Irma had other plans and that race was postponed until December. Hurricane Irma had the potential to be catastrophic and it was in some areas of Florida, luckily for us, it didn’t hit Tampa as the predicted 3-4 and we were spared. We were very lucky.
The last quarter of the year brought quite a few of PRs. It also brought the best part of the year. October began with a shiny 5K PR and a second place overall female win at the Dusty Rail Rally 5K (23:52).
October ended with Chris’s very first half marathon and another shiny PR for me at the Cocoa Beach Half (1:51:34).
I also started a new job with a homecare agency at the end of October. School Health was not for me. I thought having school hours and all the time off would be a great fit, but I was drowning from boredom. I needed something more fulfilling. I am happy to report that the homecare position has filled that void and I love it. I love being tired from a day of work again and I love making a difference.
I had one race in November, the Wiregrass Wobble 5K on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day consisted of a lot more running than that one race. I started the morning with a 6 miler and some celebratory mimosas with some of my favorite MRTT ladies. I headed home, grabbed my bib and promptly headed out the door for my 1.5 mile run to the race. I met up with my friends Carrie and Allison there. Chris met me there too. And then I ran the Wiregrass Wobble 5K. Overall it was a great running day with great friends and family. Chris and I ended it at home with a low key Thanksgiving ala Publix.
December held two more races and my final PR of the year at Mount Dora. On the 12th I received two early birthday presents : (1) acceptance into the 2018 Chicago Marathon and (2) a Garmin Fenix. Now I could just skip right past my 40th birthday.
I ran the postponed Fit Foodie 5K with my friends. I had hoped for a PR, but weather and bridges just got in the way. I did manage 3rd place for my age group! I signed up for Mount Dora a year ago, because it was so discounted. I had heard really good things about the race and figured why not. I had planned to drive up that morning on my own, but one of the MRTT mom was also going and offered to drive. I won’t say no to good company during a long ride to a race and I love not having to drive. My plan for this race was to go fairly easy, no racing. The first half of this race was hilly and I didn’t want to push too hard and end up injured since I only had one month until Naples. Plus I swore to my coach Jess I would not race. Well, I accidentally PR’d despite the hills, finishing with a 1:50:53! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my 2017 year of running.
The rest of December was filled with family and friends. Christmas and New Year’s were both low key and that suited me just fine. I started this year at a real low and I am happy to report I ended it at a real high. I feel content both personally and professionally. I am the happiest I have been with my life in a long time.
2017 was definitely a rocky year, but I learned so much from it. I regret nothing. Every step, even the missteps led me right where I needed to be, right here in this moment. I am leaving everything that doesn’t suit me in 2017. I have learned who my true friends are and who will always be there for me. I have learned life isn’t always perfect and that is okay. I have learned who I am as a person and who I want to be as the future unfolds. I am starting 2018 as the person I always knew I could be and am ready to leave 2017 in 2017.
I am looking forward to what 2018 holds for me. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good one!