I’m all about setting goals for the new year, but I also think it’s important to take a little time to reflect back on the past year – the good, the bad and the ugly.
So here we go…
I had high hopes for 2011 on the running front – after finishing the 2010 NYC Marathon (my first), I wanted to run two strong marathons in 2011 and work my way closer to a Boston Qualifying time (it was 3:40, not it’s 3:35). My plans for an epic spring race in Eugene were foiled when I came down with Achilles tendonitis after running the Manhattan Half Marathon in January.
It got worse before it got better
Spring wasn’t the best time for me on the nutrition front either, because I found out I didn’t get into the dietetic internship I wanted, which further delayed my timeline for becoming a dietitian. I was discouraged, a little lost and ready to give up. It took a while, but I realized everything happens for a reason and that my time would come.
Then I ran and traveled
As the weather warmed, so did my attitude. And, I was able to run again! My first post-injury race was the Healthy Kidney 10K in May, where I set a PR and felt fantastic. Travel was also a big part of life for me in May/June – I went to the Napa Valley for my friend Darby’s bachelorette and it was bananas amazing.
We drank wine, ate delicious food and had some quality girl time.
I also spent some solo time in San Francisco before heading back to NYC and had one of the best 24 hours of my life, including an epic run to the Golden Gate Bridge.
If I didn’t love NYC so much, I’d definitely be planning a move to San Fran in the near future.
LA was on the agenda about a month later for Darby’s wedding, and after seeing her tie the knot in a most perfect celebration, I got a tour of Santa Monica from my friend Shannon and dipped my feet in the Pacific for the first time.
Nothing could have prepared me for another kind of experience in early June, when we lost my great-grandmother.
She was and still is my inspiration, and I miss her every day.
Marathon training took over shortly after I returned from LA, and I was ready and determined to get to the starting line of NYCM 2011 healthy and in one piece.
I ran with friends whenever I could, and the sweat squad was born.
(photo missing Lindsay, +Maria)
What perfect sorority squats.
I consider myself very lucky to know these amazing ladies
School started in the fall and I continued with my graduate studies in nutrition and dietetics while marathon training. This was hard. I was tired. I made a lot of cookies and treats to cope.
- Oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies
- Zucchini chocolate chip bread
- Pumpkin oatmeal butterscotch cookies
- Nutty Cranberry Raisin Granola bars
- Pumpkin chocolate chip squares
Training was going fabulously until I ran Grete’s Gallop half marathon at marathon pace as part of a 20 miler.
Around this time I also passed the two year mark since my pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Since it happened, I’ve tried my best to increase awareness about the symptoms and risk factors of DVT and PE – I’m living proof it can happen to the healthiest of people. In May, I was able to tell my story to Fox News, which was super exciting!
While I would never wish an experience like that on anyone, it has truly shaped who I am today and I’ve never been more thankful to be alive.
I had experienced more IT band pain during the final weeks of training, and was really nervous about how the race would turn out. Pre-marathon festivities took my mind off the race for a bit – thanks to Emilia, Susan, Lindsay, Meggie and I got to meet and have breakfast with Deena Kastor and Ryan Hall.
Then November 6 came, and I headed to Staten Island with the runner army and some lofty goals in my head.
Long story short, the marathon didn’t exactly go as I would have liked. The IT band reared it’s ugly head around mile 12 and the pain didn’t give up until 26.2. But neither did I, and that’s what I’m most proud of when thinking back to the race.
It always seems like the holidays just appear after the NYC Marathon suddenly ends. I tried to focus on finishing up the semester and somewhat prepare myself for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
After T-day, my one and only goal was to stay sane though exams and work until I was on vacation for two weeks. I always like to plan for decent vacation time at the end of the year to recharge and have some quality time to myself and with my family.
I’m sitting here on December 31 trying to decide if 2011 was a good year or not. I had a bunch of great experiences, and a ton of shitty ones. But as I get older (omg going to be 30 in May omg), I think I have a different way of judging the time that has passed. I’ve learned more about myself this year than ever before, and changed some things that desperately needed changing (not so easy).
So even though I didn’t achieve most of my big goals this year, I’m considering 2011 a success. I’m primed and ready for a fantastic 2012, and have never felt more sure and confident that it’s going to be the best year yet.
Question: Favorite memory of 2011? (and if you’re still reading at this point, good job!)