What a year it has been.
In a nutshell, I say “see ya later 2016, don’t let the door hit ya on the way out!” I cannot wait for the new year and to get a new beginning, so to speak.
This year, ended up being almost completely the flip side of 2015. That year, 2015, was a GREAT year for me in running and overall. This year on the other hand, I struggled in a lot of ways. I’m thankful for my faith and how it makes me strong because that has gotten me through a lot. God is good all the time!
My running year was overall pretty good. I will never complain even when it’s an okay running year. Every day I can lace up my running shoes and head out on the road is good. Running is truly a blessing and it means so much to me. It brings back my smile when it seems to be hiding behind a frown or sadness. Running is my stress-reliever and I hope to never take it for granted.
In 2016, I ran 16 races ranging from 5ks to half marathons. It was the year of no-marathons for me and it proved to provoke a longing for that 26.2 insanity. Oddly enough, I can’t wait to start training for marathon number six in 2017. I thought I might be done with marathons, but a year without one showed me that despite the challenge it gives me in training and all, I love them. I guess it’s a crazy runner thing. 🙂
January had the Shark Bite Half Marathon in New Smyrna Beach. This race became known as the “Sharknado” race. It had a delay to start with due to the weather, then we had a mix of sun, rain and crazy windy conditions during the 13.1 miles. It was a fun time though with a lot of my fellow Orlando Galloway friends. Then there was the Lady Track Shack 5k. It’s a ladies-only local race that I love running every year. It helps fund mammograms for breast cancer prevention and awareness through Florida Hospital.
February was the Superhero Run 5k, Kissimmee 5k, and the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. The Superhero 5k was a fun run I did with my friend, Debbie who was visiting from Asheville. It was a fun 5k dressing up as superheroes and just having a good time. The Kissimmee 5k was a race I did solo, and it was different, running through the town I went to middle and high school in. Daytona Beach Half was a good time, well less for the cold temps anyway. I enjoyed running with a few of my runner friends at that race.
Races in March were Masters of All Terrain 5-Miler, Winter Park Road Race 10k, and Swamp House Half Marathon. Masters of All Terrain was my first trail/off-road race. I was glad it was a 5-miler, as it was a perfect distance to try something different than my usual road races. It was also a race that a number of my fellow Galloway friends ran, so that made it even better. The Winter Park Road Race 10k is a Track Shack race I enjoy running every year for the most part. It’s another local favorite and I always have a good time. Swamp House Half was great because I PR’ed at that race. It was the first time I ran that race after hearing good things from runner friends, so that made it an even better experience. I already plan on going back to run Swamp House in 2017, in fact I’m already registered.
Heading into April, it’s always a favorite since it’s my birthday month. I did the U Run U Pick Blueberry 5k, Run for the Trees 5k, and Corporate 5k. The Blueberry 5k was a run in Clermont through and around a blueberry farm. After the race, you got to pick fresh blueberries, definitely a unique 5k. Run for the Trees has become my “birthday 5k” every year since it takes place around the 25th. I always try to PR at that 5k whenever I can. The last two years (2014 & 2015) I did just that, but in 2016, I was a bit off and came close to the 2015 finish time, but didn’t better it. Was a race I ran with friend, Melissa and it was a fun time despite pushing myself. Then, the Corporate 5k is an evening race in downtown Orlando with a lot of area businesses. This year and last, I ran it under Team Cru, since my employer doesn’t take part for some reason.
Once May comes up, I rarely run any races since it gets pretty darn hot and humid here in Central Florida. In June, my Galloway group’s new season kicks into gear bringing in alum and newbie runners to the program. This was my third season as a pace group leader and I love it (5th year in the program all together). I like being able to motivate and help fellow runners achieve their race goals, especially when that goal is their first half or full marathon.
It was all about those training miles from June until October. That was my next race, Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon. I had a good time with some of my Galloway girls, but boy did it end up being a hot one! Especially in the latter half of the 13.1 miles it was rough. It was the race that made me question my training for the season, as I struggled a lot. I felt like I wasn’t as strong as I was earlier in the year at that half marathon.
Thankfully, by the time November came, I felt better and stronger when I ran Space Coast Half Marathon. It was the 4th race in the Big Bang Series, and my fifth time running Space Coast. It’s a big local runner half and full marathon, as a lot of Orlando area runners go out and run it. So, it’s basically a race you get to see a lot of familiar faces at and I love it. I have previously PR’ed at Space Coast Half (and full in 2013), but this year wasn’t meant for bettering my half time from Swamp House back in March. I sure came close though! Maybe in 2017, we shall see. 🙂
December closed out the running year with the OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Hot Chocolate 15k in Tampa. The OUC Half is the weekend after Space Coast, so I didn’t expect much for it. I was happy to help my friend and fellow runner, Esther get her best half marathon time in awhile. If I can’t PR, I love helping friends stay motivated and get it done. Not to mention that the race itself is more fun with runner friends! Hot Chocolate 15k closed out my racing year. It was not the best experience with the hot temps and all, but I did enjoy it for the most part. Races are always rougher when the weather conditions aren’t ideal, no matter whether that be hot or cold. That said, I may not like it really cold, but I would prefer it to really hot weather!
Well, that about wraps up my 2016 running year. I enjoyed the first part of the year a lot more than I did the latter part. I suppose coming off of the awesome high that was the NYC Marathon in November 2015 helped a lot in that regard.
While it may not have been the greatest year for me, I did have a number of fun moments and times with my runner friends. That for me is a big part of why I run, it’s a social party of sorts…we may not make the most exciting parade to watch, but being a part of the activity itself is definitely awesome and priceless to me!