Holiday

This is 32!

Another fiscal year is coming to an end for me (i.e., my birthday is tomorrow), so in the spirit of continuing with birthday blog traditions (here is year 30 and here is year 31), I decided to take a look back to remember what all went on during the last year. I think it’s important to take time every now and then to reflect back on things. Before I wrote this post, I actually was thinking that not much happened this year, but after looking back … I was wrong!

Here are 32 memorable events (most are silly, some are more serious) from the year! They are not numbered, which is only driving me slightly crazy, but the list formatting just wouldn’t work with the links and pictures that I have included. I promise that there are 32 things. I counted. Multiple times.

I celebrated my actual birthday by running 32 miles! This is one of my favorite yearly traditions. I’ve got a 5 year streak going with this now and I’m hopeful to continue the tradition this year. The Ragnar Relay we are doing in Colorado is actually on my birthday this year! I’ll be running close to 20 miles as part of that, so I just have to figure out how to squeeze in another 13 miles afterwards. Piece of cake (hopefully literally and figuratively)!

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I joined Salty Running! I have been a reader of Salty Running for quite some time and somewhat on a whim, decided that it might be fun to write for them as well. The idea of writing posts that aren’t as personal in nature (i.e., not a list of 32 things that happened in my life) is appealing to me. My favorite piece by far was a collaborative effort called #MeToo – Women Runners’ Experiences of Sexual Violence, Assault and Harassment. It has been really cool to be part of a group of such fierce, intelligent and strong women. I also started doing some editing work for the site this summer and I really, really LOVE editing. I wish that I was qualified to do that as my actual job.

Brooksy joined IG and got a little bit into running. He averages a mile or two per week. His insta game is not exactly stellar and he still prefers swimming and fetching over running, but regardless, he enjoys an early morning trot every now and then.

I coached girls on the run! I loved being part of the GOTR organization! Their mission is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running,” and their vision is to “create a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” Yes, yes and more YES!

We celebrated our 7th anniversary with matching cards. We really did get each other the same card! You might think, “What are the chances?” but really … there are two golden retrievers on the card. We’re pretty predictable like that. Next to you … is my favorite place to be!

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Daniel did his first Ironman 70.3! This was quite an amazing feat. After spectating this event, I have mad respect for all of you triathlon types out there. What you do is incredible!

I ate candy corn and got a tiny candy corn figurine. Candy corn is definitely one of my guilty pleasures in the fall. What’s not to love about pure sugar? AmIRite?

A client brought me eggs from her chickens (which indirectly impacted my decision to become a vegetarian). Side note: I do *now* realize that there aren’t little baby chickens in these particular eggs. This great egg incident (the “egg-cident”) of 2017 was the primary driver of my decision to become a vegetarian.

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Brooks turned 6! I can’t believe our little buddy is so grown up. He brings so much joy to our lives.

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Halloween meant dressing myself up as Galen Rupp (for a Salty Running post) and dressing Brooksy up as a lion (for funsies). We don’t typically do the Halloween thing, but it was fun to “celebrate” in our own little way.

We got a Christmas tree and decorated our house for Christmas! This was our first Christmas in our new house and we thoroughly enjoyed our tree and our lights. We haven’t done much decorating in the past, so this was definitely special.

We saw ELF the Musical at the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola! It was a great show and definitely had me laughing out loud on multiple occasions!

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I went to the chiropractor more times than I can count. I had (err … have) a nagging left … leg. It’s primarily in the hamstring and glute area, but it likes to show up in the calf, hips and IT band sometimes as well. Thankfully, it is mostly under control and the staff at Coastal Chiropractic has been extremely helpful in keeping me up and running!

It snowed! Twice. This is not typical for lower Alabama. I found out pretty quickly that I was not cut out for frigid running temperatures. I thought I was going to lose my fingers to frostbite. I wish I could say that I am exaggerating, but I’m not … my hands have never hurt like that in my life.

I ran the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon as a pacer. This was my first time officially pacing a race. You can read more about this race (if you so desire) by clicking on the link in the first sentence. The key takeaways are that pacing a marathon is a lot of fun, but short courses are the worst.

I became a Run Angel ambassador. It’s really cool to partner with a brand and a company whose sole focus is on personal safety. Safety is always a top priority for me and the Run Angel brings me a lot of peace of mind in the event that I am out running alone.

I ran the First Light Marathon. You can also read more about this race (if you so desire) by clicking on the link in the first sentence. I tried to keep races off of my “memorable events” list, mainly just because if I included all of them, that would’ve been 22 of my 32 things! Ha. However, I feel like a marathon is pretty significant event that indeed deserves a memory of its own. When I first started training for First Light, I was hopeful that I would have a shot at breaking three hours. As the race got closer, it became fairly evident that this wouldn’t be the race. Getting sick a few weeks before the race was definitely the main factor, but now looking back, the whole training cycle really fell apart about six weeks out. Even though I didn’t get that sub three, I really enjoyed training with so many great friends and I crossed the line as the first female at my hometown marathon, which was incredible feeling!

I taught corporate tax at a local university. If we are talking about things that I did this year that were outside of my comfort zone, teaching would likely be at the top of the list. I have always had teaching in the back of my mind as a potential “second career,” and I was able to get my feet wet and see what that was all about. There are definitely pros and cons. At this point, the cons outweigh the pros and I don’t see myself pursuing this more in the immediate future. The door isn’t completely closed though!

Mom and I took a quick trip to Birmingham. We always have a good time wherever we go and I am definitely thankful for the time that we have to spend together.

Brooks and I mastered the puppy plank. Y’all. Isn’t he the cutest? If I am ever doing planks or pushups (or anything on the ground really), he loves to get right under me and sprawl out.

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I played lots of ping-pong and a little bit of tennis! We set our ping-pong table up in our living room (kind of by accident). It was supposed to go to a friend’s house, but we had car issues with the delivery and it ended up staying at our house instead (it had been in my parents’ garage before that). We ended up using it a pretty good bit. From table tennis to regular tennis, I played more tennis this year than I have in the last few years for sure. I only played regular tennis a handful of times, but it’s always fun to get back out on the court.

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I survived yet another tax season. I don’t know how this keeps happening, but I can’t seem to get out of the tax world (and believe me, I’ve tried!). This was my tenth tax season! In all seriousness, I am thankful for my job and for the ability to use my brain.

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We officially cleaned out our storage unit. We moved into our house last February and likely should’ve cleaned it out long before we did, but better late than never. The most notable items that were discovered were my magical “PR” shoes from 2010 and my wedding dress. These bad boys carried me to a lot of big running milestones, including my first sub-20 5K, my first sub-40 10K, my first sub-1:30 half and my first marathon. Those were some good shoes right there!

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We rescued several baby birds. We noticed their nest well before the birds hatched. Once they hatched, those little guys (or gals) were on a mission to fly the coop. They were jumping out left and right and we had to keep our eyes peeled when we were outside so that we could safely return them to their nest before they were able to fly.

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We went to Auburn and Daniel got third place overall in his triathlon.

I started working with Sarah Bishop of McKirdy Trained! This is also on the list of things that has pushed me outside of my comfort zone (I kid, I kid … kind of). I have done several challenging workouts, many of them have left me looking a bit like this …

I went on a bike ride with Daniel and rode a bike without a kickstand​. Biking is definitely not my thing, but I had fun riding that day. I don’t think that I have a future in biking, but I had a lot more respect than normal for the guys riding in the Tour de France this year. A little perspective can change a lot of things.

Mom and I took our annual trip to Watercolor! I look forward to this trip every year and it’s always wonderful. Again, I am just SO thankful for the time that we get to spend together.

I went paddle boarding and skiing and, in general, enjoyed #baylife. I have always enjoyed being on the water and Mobile Bay has always held a special place in my heart (hence the name of this blog).

I had the opportunity to share my story on two podcasts! This would definitely be another thing that was out of my comfort zone. Speaking up and speaking out against sexual assault is very important and it has been a big part of the healing process for me.

I got a state record for the one mile! I would love to do more one mile races. Of course, this might be because I’ve been reading “The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It” by Neal Bascomb. The book tells the stories of Roger Bannister, John Landy and Wes Santee and details their training in pursuit of breaking the four minute mile. It’s been really interesting to read about their training. To quote Roger Bannister, “We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it is to find some outlet for this craving for freedom.” 

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Last, but certainly not least, we are flying to Colorado for the Ragnar Colorado Relay! I will definitely be sharing all of the details (probably more than you want to know (because I tend to do that)) of our trip when we get back, but for now, I am spending the last day of 32 flying across the country with some of my best friends to do something that I enjoy more than just about anything else. I can’t think of a better closing to year 32 or a better start to year 33!

The Running

Obviously running was mentioned in several of the memories already, but here’s the “run down” of what year 32 looked like from a purely running perspective.

I ran 3,382 miles while I was 32. Included in those miles were 22 races. The breakdown of races by distance is below.

1 mile: 1
5K: 8
4 mile: 1
8K: 1
10K: 6
12K: 1
10 mile: 1
H
alf marathon: 1
Full marathon: 2

I only managed two PRs and only in distances that I rarely race (4 mile and 8K). I’m hoping to change that during this upcoming year! 

 

Peace out, thirty two. It’s been real. Let’s do this, thirty three!

4 thoughts on “This is 32!”

  1. I love this post. I remember a lot of these things, but didn’t know about a few of them like the teaching. I agree that birthdays are a great time for reflection. Happy Birthday Sam!

    Like

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