In just a few days I will be another year older, hopefully a bit wiser and stronger. This past year I really tried to regain some focus on myself and my mental health. I had signed up to complete a half marathon a year in advance and when January came around I knew I had to start training. So, let’s recap what 31 has looked like to me.
November and December are always a whirl wind of birthdays and holidays in our house. That means lots of time spent with family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am truly blessed with such an amazing family and I tell people all the time. I don’t take for granted what my family has done for me in the least.
January and February, I finally started walking/jogging/and pretending to run again. I hadn’t done anything since I was 4 months pregnant with Ben and at this point he was 15 months. I spent 4 days a week in the basement on the treadmill binge watching Netflix.
March rolled around and I noticed a Facebook post inviting people to a training run for the Canton Marathon. I wasn’t training for a marathon, but this would give me the opportunity to run with other people so I was so lonely. This is when I met two people who were talking about a local running group called Run Happy. I finished my lonely miles and found the group on Facebook later that day. From that point on I joined a morning run group twice a week where I met more awesome people.
April was the start of the half marathons. The race I had signed up for a year ago was finally just around the corner. You can read more about that here. I was training with my running buddy and decided since I was already trained, I would run another half marathon two weeks later. At the race expo I was talked into a third half just weeks after the second. I was starting to binge sign up for races so to speak. By the end of May I reached LifeTime status with Weight Watchers as well. So, I was finally back to a healthy weight.
June, July and August are too hot for me to race. I kept training with my running buddy as she prepared for a marathon. I knew that it would help me with my half in September anyway so I wasn’t concerned. I started watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts about Ultra Running. I was getting hooked and picked out a 50 miler to sign up for in a year. *I mentally like to give myself plenty of time to panic and analyze my decisions in running.
September rolled around and I ran my 4th half marathon for the year and relayed a marathon with a bunch of Harry Potter fans I had never met. By the end of September I had talked myself into running the full marathon with my running buddies. There were a large number of members going to run this race and I remember the fun I had with the half marathon (not so many fond memories of the full). So, in October, I toed the line and finished my second full marathon.
Just a few days later, myself and other Run Happy members raced to the ultra sign up webpage to register for a 50k. This will be my first Ultra. I’m still waiting for registration to open for the 50 miler, but when it does I will be registered day 1!
This year has been incredible. I found joy in running again. I was no longer training alone. I was no longer stressing about running races by myself because I was almost sure I would know someone there at the starting line. My family is happy and healthy and I get to share another year with all of them. I am grateful for everyone in my life and the opportunities that I am given. So, thank you to everyone who has shared a small part of this year with me and I look forward to what is to come.
Just to make sure I kick off my 32nd year right, I will be running my first trail half marathon with my running buddies on my birthday! The Bobcat Trail half marathon is sure to be a muddy mess after all of the rain we’ve been experiencing.
As always, be confident, be fit, be you!