I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for a while now, but it always seemed like something I would get to in some hypothetical future when I had time. Spoiler alert: there’s never time. So as cliché as it may be, the beginning of the new year seemed like the perfect time to get started and commit to something new. I’ll use this first post to recap 2016!
Yes, 2016 was pretty bad in a lot of ways, but I won’t get into that. Personally, 2016 was one of my best years thus far. This past year brought a lot of personal growth and I am slowly starting to feel like I am becoming the person I want to be “when I grow up” (HA! Like that’s ever going to happen).
2016 began with a bit of self-discovery. Near the end of 2015 I finally got out a crap ‘relationship’ (I’m not sure it even qualifies) and was figuring out how to be alone again. I quickly found that being alone after what I dealt with for the better part of a year was easier and I was tremendously happy. The hard part was letting go of the regret I had about staying with someone who did not treat me well. But like all things, with time I recovered and I finally had a clear picture of what I was looking for in a person and in myself. In the end I am glad I endured that relationship for what I learned about myself and others.
In the meantime, I was training for my first go at the Boston Marathon. Marathon training sucks, but is also wonderful and amazing at the same time. Having only been my second marathon I really trained for, each long run was a new test and every workout presented a fresh challenge. I got faster, stronger, ran a big 13.1 PR, and made some long-run buddies along the way. Despite developing an injury (I refused to admit I had until 2 months after the race), I managed an 11 second PR and another BQ. I was (and still am) ecstatic. I’m just a couple of weeks out from beginning my training for Boston number 2 and I could not be more ready.
Back to that injury…I would find out in June that I had developed a tear in my hamstring in April. I was so determined to kick some marathon ass I chose to ignore it. I also chose to ignore it 3 weeks later when I flew to Utah to run Ragnar Zion. (I do not promote ignoring injuries, but it was WORTH IT. The people I met in Utah were awesome, I experienced the most amazing views, and to top it off, we won!) After that, I finally admitted I was hurt, went to the doctor, and was summoned to 6 weeks of PT. In all I was sidelined from running for about 3 months. It sucked. I did however buy a (crappy) bike, work on strength, and start to swim. I also learned how to take extra days off and workout a little less without going totally crazy, which was major progress mentally. Tyler may disagree that I didn’t go totally crazy, but I got through it and I’m stronger (and a little more sane) because of it. I have also vowed to focus on training “smarter not harder” this time around and take appropriate steps to listen to my body to prevent injury.
Speaking of Tyler, 2016 also introduced us. Safe to say he’s the best thing that’s happened to me. I could write a whole post on him, but I’ll spare you the cheese. In a nutshell, he is kind, funny, smart, up for any adventure, and ALWAYS opens my car door (yes, still a thing). He is also super hard-working and supports me and my every goal. I couldn’t ask for more and I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes us.
After an adventure-filled summer that included trips to see my best friend in her new city, hiking and exploring in NC, some beach time, and a short trip home in NY with family, it was back to reality. I finally began running again in late August and signed up for my 4th marathon on a whim. With minimal training, I completed my second Marine Corps Marathon in October, which gave me the confidence I needed to know I was back. Not long after, I met some gals with a shared interest of mine: the intersection of eating disorders and running. Since meeting, we’ve been working to put ideas to action in order to start a conversation with young athletes about eating disorders. I am really looking forward to where this all goes. I’ve also begun writing my thesis and I am starting to juggle with the “what’s next” question for after I graduate.
I grew a lot personally and professionally in 2016 and I can tell it is only the beginning. I’ve found my passion in running and health, and I now know that is the direction I’m headed with my career. I am so excited for what lies ahead and I intend to savor every bit of the process. Here’s to another lap around the sun!