Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. As we close out 2017 and move into 2018, it seems appropriate to do a little bit of reflecting. Regardless of whether or not you like to set New Year’s resolutions (I typically don’t), we likely come into the new year with some sort of “starting fresh” mentality. Looking back and reflecting on the previous year is great way to gauge your goals and plans for the upcoming year.

Looking back …

One of the perks of blogging is that it is fairly easy to look back and see exactly what went on during the year (assuming that you are fairly consistent with your posting). I managed to get at least one post per week most weeks this year. Two things that I consistently post are race recaps and monthly recaps. What can I say … I just enjoy a good recap.

As I’m sure you have gathered, running is a stable topic that I always have something to share about, so the majority of the time my posts are about running. While I do wish I had more time to write about other topics, that just wasn’t as doable last year. I am hopeful that I will have some time in the not-so-distant future to write more.

I became a Salty Running contributor in 2017 and so I am also posting over there occasionally as well these days. My favorite piece that I got to be a part of this year was #MeToo – Women Runners’ Experiences of Sexual Violence, Assault and Harassment. Check out their site and that piece if you haven’t.

Somewhat along those same lines (as far as the #MeToo piece), I also became an ambassador for run angel. Run angel is a personal safety wearable that emits a loud (120 decibel), high-pitched audible alarm when activated. It pairs with smart phone devices over Bluetooth to send out alerts in the event of an emergency. I first heard about run angel on Lindsey’s podcast and I knew immediately that it was a product and company that I would love to be part of.

If you listened to my episode of the podcast, I mentioned the deer that appeared in the woods the day of the attack and how the deer was in essence, an angel … my sign that everything was going to be okay and that God was with me (He always is). I love that this product is called run angel and when I wear it I remember the words of one of my favorite verses.

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As far as the actual running goes, I ran 3,520 miles this year. I did 24 races (the exact same as 2016 … I didn’t realize that until just now). The races ranged from 1 mile to 50K (31 miles!). The 1 mile and 50K distances are the only two distances that I managed to PR (and to be fair, it was my first 50K, so that one was going to be a PR regardless). I ran one full marathon, five half marathons, one 10 mile race, one 12K, three 10Ks, nine 5Ks, one 2 mile race and two 1 mile races (if you count the milk mile, which apparently I did last year, so just keeping it consistent here).

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The 2017 Gardner bling. Freshly organized and hot off the Christmas tree!

This time last year I mentioned that my goals for 2017 were to get a 5K and half marathon PR (basically I wanted all.the.PRs) and I also said that I had my eye on the one mile and two mile state records for my age. I came 2 seconds shy of a half marathon PR at First Light and I actually did come away with those age group records, so all in all, not too shabby I guess.

Aside from the actual racing, I also really enjoyed pacing a few races this year. I (informally) paced my friend, Jill, to a shiny half marathon PR in April, I paced two of my precious Girls on the Run gals to 5K PRs in October and I paced some random strangers during an (almost) marathon in December. I enjoyed every step of the way (up until the steps that were missing from the marathon).

Getting involved with Girls on the Run was definitely one of the highlights of the year. I still intend to do a proper post about the things that I learned from this experience.

If you missed out on any part of the year and are really bored, here are my monthly recaps!

January Recap
February Recap
March Recap
April Recap
May Recap
June Recap
July Recap
August Recap
September Recap
October Recap
November Recap
December Recap

There are also a few non-running related highlights from 2017. Arguably, the most notable would be that we bought a house! We found a house that we love in an area that we loved even more.

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We took a trip to Colorado, which was ahh-mazing. In fact, I tried several time to convince Daniel that we should sell the above-referenced house (and all of our belongings) and move to Colorado. He supports me in just about every way possible, but he did NOT support me in that decision. Sad.

Daniel completed his first half ironman!

Brooks turned six! He enjoyed lots of fetching, swimming, trotting and even did some “surfing” in 2017. There were also plenty of treats and belly rubs to go around and he most definitely rocked his Halloween costume (in my somewhat biased opinion).

We celebrated our 7th anniversary by getting each other the same card (I would say what are the odds, but puppies were involved, so I think the odds were extremely high).

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A few other favorites from the year …

Looking ahead …

As far as 2018 is concerned, the year will definitely start off with a couple of big events. One being the marathon that I have tirelessly trained for over the last 10?, 20?, 30? weeks. It seriously seems like I’ve been training for this race for about a year, but I know that isn’t really the case. Marathon training definitely requires A LOT of physical, mental and emotional energy. Thankfully, I have shared the training experience with some wonderful friends and training buddies and that has made the entire process much more enjoyable.

As far as running goals, obviously the marathon is on my brain right now. After recovering from the marathon, I think I will likely bring my focus back to some shorter stuff (like halfs) in the Spring and then maybe do a summer of speed again (with a one mile, two mile and 5K focus).

The other big event is the beginning of the Spring semester and my first official classes as a college professor. I am a tad anxious about that, just because it is a total career change and I basically have zero experience teaching. I am hopeful that it will be a good experience and that I can tap into my pre-existing knowledge of the subject matter and talk for 3 hours consecutively about taxes each week.

A few general goals come to mind. One is that I would like to read more this year, both for fun and for learning purposes. I’m not going to attach a quantifiable goals to this per say (such as one book per month). I just want challenge myself a bit mentally and I want to continue learning.

I would also like to write more this year. Again, no quantifiable goal here (such as 5 posts per month). I actually wrote over 75 posts here in 2017 and I also wrote a few on Salty Running as well. I would’ve thought that it was closer to 50, so that’s kind of surprising. I guess my goal would be to venture outside of my “safe” zone of training recaps and race reports. I will obviously continue to write them, just because I enjoy writing them and having them to look back on. I want to challenge myself to throw in a few posts about non-running related topics.

So far I’ve got reading and writing goals, so I guess I need an arithmetic goal now. Ha. I guess I will have to figure out this grading rubric sooner rather than later, so perhaps that is my current arithmetic goal. There we go, 2018 will be the year of reading, writing and arithmetic (with hopefully some running thrown in here and there :)).

That’s it for today. I hope you all have a safe, happy, wonderful new year! Talk to you soon!

2 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. You’ve had a wonderful year! And even kept up blogging. I feel like I’ve just absolutely fallen off the face of the planet. So I have writing goals too! At least update more than once every other month lol

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