What a year it has been!
I didn’t start the blogging adventure until mid-year, but I wanted to go ahead and do a recap of the entire year, so that I will have it later, when I am old and gray and not remembering things very clearly.
2015 started off with a bang! In mid-January, I ran the First Light Marathon relay with a fun group of friends. I ran the 10K leg in 39:06 (an unofficial PR). I’m not sure what the runner’s etiquette would say on this. I feel like I can’t count this as a PR since my time isn’t separated out in the results, but regardless, we set a new course record and had fun doing it!
At the end of January, on what I would have to classify as one of the best days in my life thus far (definitely top 10 at least), I won the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon. What in the world?! I totally didn’t see that one coming. I ran a good for me time (it was an 18 minute PR), but not a time that typically would’ve won this race. I don’t feel like I have to qualify myself here, but I just want you to know that I know I am not an elite athlete. I have some lofty aspirations, but I am nowhere near reaching them at this point.
I have debated writing a full-blown race recap of that race just for fun (and posterity) and while I could certainly give you my mile splits, at this point, I don’t really remember a whole heck of a lot from the actual race. I do know that I passed the 1st place girl somewhere around mile 16 and led the race the rest of the way.
Once I was in the lead, I had two bike escorts riding beside me. We chatted a little bit during those last 10 miles. I was thankful for the distraction.
My most vivid memory from the race is the bike escorts playing “Daydream Believer” on their radio for me during the last mile of the race. Apparently they do this for the winner every year and they replace “homecoming queen” with “marathon queen” as they serenade you. It was so cute! They tried to play it for me around mile 23 or 24. They were in communication with the person riding with the second place female and they told me that “I had it in the bag.” I was absolutely not letting them play that song until the very last mile though. As many of you may know, you never, ever know what will happen during those last few miles of a marathon! I definitely didn’t want to jinx it!
As I write this out, I do recall one other pretty vivid memory, which was seeing my husband … standing somewhere around mile 25. Mile 25, y’all. He was so excited and was all like “You’re winning!” and I was all like “Yes! I know! But …what in the world are you doing here? You need to be at the finish!” He told me that there was no way that he could make it there before I did. I strongly suggested that he RUN (and) FAST. He took off through the grassy area beside where I was running, hurdled some low-hanging tree limbs and almost lost his shoes in the mud, but by-golly he made it to the finish in time to see me cross the line!
As I approached the tape, it was like a wave of emotions washed over me. I had to overcome a lot of adversity to get to that point and the significance of the moment was not lost on me. I just felt everything. I felt so alive, so thankful, and so joyous.
I am no interpretive expert, but I think that there just may be some sort of symbolism to be found in the words of The Monkees song that was played for me that day.
Now you know how happy I can be
Oh, our good times start and end
Without all I want to spend
But how much baby do we really need
What do you think that means? To me, it means now that he has experienced true happiness and he understands that even though not all times are good and you may never have everything you may want (on this earth anyway), you don’t really need much to find true peace, joy and contentment.
In a lot of ways, the marathon win was the catalyst for the other big things that happened this year, including changing jobs, starting the blog, applying for the Runner’s World contest, etc. With the Lord’s guidance, I found the strength and confidence that I needed to stand up for myself and share my story and testimony with the world. He revealed His purpose and deeper calling for my life.
The rest of the months are going to be much shorter, I promise. Just keep
In February I started working with my current running coach and focused on surviving tax season! I ran a 5K in there somewhere, but otherwise it was a pretty uneventful month (aside from the whole working a boatload of hours thing). Oddly enough, I have zero pictures on my phone from February. That pretty much sums up about how unexciting that month was.
March was more of the same, but unfortunately tax season got the best of me (in more ways than one) and I came down with the flu (for the first time in my life). I was really disappointed to miss my very favorite local race of the year, the Spring Fever Chase 10K. This year would’ve been my 10th year in a row to run that race. It was the only race that I did consistently over the years (starting my sophomore year in college). It ended up turning out pretty neat though, because I was able to go watch and Daniel won it! He had to put up a hard fight and I was able to see him at several places along the course. If I had raced it, I would’ve been behind him and so it was really neat to get to see him cross the line in 1st place!
Tax season came to a close in April (thank goodness) and my mom and I took a fun trip to Watercolor.
Daniel graduated with his master’s degree in May! He was in school and working full-time for over 3 years, so this was a much anticipated, very exciting life event.
At the end of May, Daniel and I both left our jobs. We knew (at least hoped) that he would be taking a new job after graduation, so that wasn’t a huge surprise. Mine, on the other hand, was a little bit more unexpected, but was without a doubt one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
Daniel and I spent the first two weeks of June (intentionally) unemployed together. We figured that we would not get an opportunity to both be off of work at the same time for any extended period of time in the near future, so we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity that we had. Daniel started his new job in mid-June and that is when “Mobile Bay Runner” was born. I had been wanting to start a blog for a while and I finally had the time on my hands to make it happen!
Those of you who have been following along since the beginning pretty much know what I’ve been up to for the last half of the year, so feel free to disregard the remainder of this post if you wish. If you are new to the blog, continue reading for a condensed version of my other 67 blog posts from this year.
In July, I started training for the New York City marathon, tried yoga for the first time, played some tennis and spent a lot of time on the water.
I ran a 5K in early August and got a shiny new PR that I was pretty excited about!
On August 10th, I turned 30 and decided to run 30 miles on my birthday (totally normal behavior guys). I went back to work (pretty much full time) and started coaching the marathon training group at Running Wild, which brought about a drastic decrease in blog posting frequency. Things got a little busy there for a while. In late August, I found out that I had been chosen as a top 10 finalist for the Runner’s World cover search contest. That was a really exciting day!
Daniel and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary in September and went to New York City for the first time (courtesy of Runner’s World)! If you are new to the blog, you really just need to read this post. I think it is my favorite post to-date and there is no way to adequately summarize that experience.
I ran a tune-up half marathon and survived some very tough weeks of marathon training as my New York City marathon training came to a close in October.
We also made it through our second busy season at work. At the end of October, we returned to New York for the big race.
On November 1st, after months of training, I ran the New York City marathon. The whole experience was very surreal! I ran a 3:02:47 and squeaked out a tiny little PR.
The next weekend, also after months of training, my marathon training group ran the Pensacola marathon (in the rain no less). The end of the month brought Thanksgiving and the ten year anniversary of the attack. Thanksgiving is a bittersweet and yet, a wonderful reminder for me of everything that I have to be thankful for. Every day is a gift, y’all. Don’t forget that.
Here we are in the final month of 2015 … December has been filled with Christmas parties, fires and a couple of fun weekend getaways (to the mountains and the beach).
We celebrated Daniel’s birthday and now we await the celebration of our Savior’s birth and the ringing in of the new year.
This has been an absolutely incredible year and I am so happy to be here sharing it with you guys! I’m going to keep on sharing too, so stay tuned! As they say, the rest is still unwritten …