Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016 in Review ❤

This year was a big running year, full of challenges and rewards! 


I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals to share my yearly wrap this week! 


Share your adventures and join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

At some point this year, I think I experienced every emotion under the sun.
Powerful. Exhausted. Elated. Discouraged. Gratified. Apprehensive. Fulfilled. The list goes on and on...

January started off with my First Day 5K PR .

I had been struggling with my left foot for a few months, but I nailed a great 5K to start the New Year. 
A few days later my foot swelled up like a balloon and stayed that way for the next month, but at least I got my PR before things went south! 



I cycled a lot of miles and tried to test my foot the last week of March.

I probably could have used April off also, but I had some races I was already signed up for and I didn’t want to miss them! I wanted to get back to running so badly...
I actually did very little running in April other my races. 

I enjoyed my 10 mile trail race and a half marathon even though I had been off my feet through March; the cycling kept me in good enough shape to have fun with both events.




May rolled around and I was still only able to run a few miles here and there, but I did go run another half, a very hilly half in the Smoky Mountains, and I met Holly!
My hilliest half ever….at 864 feet of elevation. Whew, it wore me out!


June and July I started trying to increase my runs to see how my foot would react. I had a marathon mission and I worked up a base building plan and chipped away at the miles. Every moment wasn't smooth, but I never gave up! 
Thank you Wendy xo
Thank you Holly xo 

I was fortunate to have motivational reminders from blogger friends to get me through summer training, which almost had me near tears more than once. I am proud I hung in there and did it, but I doubt I will ever train through summer again

July I also met another famous blogger for a fun chat/hiking session – Megan


August, I turned 50! August was all about training and survival in the heat. Really June-October was all about surviving the heat and training! 

September I ran an extremely hot humid half marathon as part of marathon training. It was brutal. I didn’t die so I called it a win!


October I ran another half as part of marathon training and nailed it! My race plan went perfect and it really increased my confidence about having a great marathon. October was big - my first time running 18 and 20 mile long runs! I felt like a rock star.


It was my last speed work session of training that got me. My legs never felt quite the same after that workout. I spent two weeks tapering, but never really felt recovered by marathon day.

November I ran my first marathon and even though my legs felt very heavy the whole time, I pushed on and got it done. I felt very proud to finally accomplish my marathon mission.

I spent the rest of November trying to recover my legs and I wondered if I had tweaked my stress fracture spot more than once.

December started with an epic girls weekend and the PanamaBeach City half marathon which went really well considering how much running I lacked after November 12th.


I also did my Tacky Light fun run which turned out pretty speedy thanks to the motivation of being in a crowd with faster runners. I decided to take some time off and let my legs rest after that event. I've been feeling a bit achy and I really want fresh legs for 2017. December will be a very light mileage month for me. 

In case you didn't notice I got very attached to my blue Old Navy shorts, I wore them like a uniform all year :)



When I started putting this post together, I felt like 2016 had been a tough year because I had to take so much time off running, but I really got a lot done in spite of my months off.  I feel proud I ran my first marathon at the spry old age of 50 😉 and this year was such a blessing as far as meeting my blogger friends!

It also felt like every time I turned around I was running a race without much training, but really it was about half and half. Each race holds some really fond memories for different reasons.

My running mileage will be in the low 800's for the year, so I fell a bit short of my 1,000 mile goal, but honestly I am so happy with what I accomplished it doesn't bother me. In fact, I am not setting any mileage goals for 2017, my one desire for the new year is to just keep adding more running adventures. 

It really is good to take a moment to reflect on the past year and all your accomplishments. Reflection gives you perspective, helps you to grow and learn, and can give way to new ideas and bigger dreams. 

Although, my feet continue to be an issue, I refuse to let them steal my joy. I am happy using intervals so I can still do some longer runs and I am already signed up for a few races in 2017.  I don’t think I’ll be in PR shape again anytime soon, but I am perfectly content to show up, smile, run, and soak up the good vibes.

I can honestly say I appreciated every step. 

How do you feel about 2016 when you reflect on it? Any goals you checked off? 

44 comments:

  1. You really did have a great year! I haven't had time to reflect on 2016 but I think it was a good year - not spectacular but better then 2015 when I broke my foot. :-)

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    1. I was glad I took time to do this. I feel different about the whole year now :)
      I know breaking your foot sucked!

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  2. This is so great! It's amazing how tough things seem to be until one looks back and reflects on what ACTUALLY was accomplished through those tough times. I log my monthly miles....but I never set any yearly goals because I know there's always gonna be some curve balls thrown into the mix. Like you, I'd rather focus on running healthy and happily than be striving towards any specific numbers.

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    1. Thank you Kim :) You are right, the curve balls keep coming so we just have to adjust. I hope I can keep myself moving most of 2017 and I will call it a win!

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  3. I'll say what we all said to Darlene at brunch: I'll take your worst times any day! But I do understand how disappointing it is when the mind is willing but the body isn't. I still can't believe you can't find someone local to run with though -- you are NOT slow! Maybe you need to start your own mother runners group?

    Despite all the struggles, having a PR & finishing your first marathon at 50 is pretty darn awesome!

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    1. I wish this body would hold up better! It does annoy me at times, but I try not to dwell on it too long, I could easily get depressed, but I am really trying to be at peace with where I am and what I can do.
      I keep hoping to find a group local one day, it would be fun to have some buddies.
      I am thankful I got my PR before I lost the feet totally :)

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  4. You had such an amazing, rewarding year. I'm so glad I found your blog this year! I've enjoyed following all your races and your journey to the full marathon. I love that you didn't like your aching feet slow you down or stop you - you just pushed through when you could and came away with really amazing experiences!

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    1. Thank you so much. I am glad you are here too :)
      I have tried to learn to accept where I am currently and build on it as much as I can. It is a work in progress, I can get down for sure, but I try not to stay there!

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  5. I didn't realize you had PR'd in the 5k distance! CONGRATS! You did have an amazing year and I'm so glad I got to share in a tiny part of your journey. You should be very proud of that marathon. That NC race was brutal, but what a treat to get to meet you. I agree it's more about enjoying the experience these days. If we can't do that, then why bother? I started the year with zero goals (I rarely set any) so it was easy to check that off. LOL. Thanks for linking, Karen!

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    1. That 5K Pr was hard fought and I owe it all to guy in a kilt lol I visually latched on and just tried to hang with him and it worked.
      Thank you for being with me this year! You really made it quite an amazing one for me, breaking me out of my comfort zones more than once and being there to talk through the training worries.
      NC was so pretty! I want to go back and hike one of these days :)
      I have some goals for 2017 but I am trying to keep them loose for now lol

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  6. You've had an amazing year! You didn't let that foot pain stop you. Plus you got to meet me! LOL. Actually, meeting you was one of the highlights of my year. I love your easy laugh and you've got mad dance skillzzzz! <3

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    1. I loved meeting you!! It was really so much fun. I think you have all the mad dance skilllllls!
      I wish I could get my darn right foot to cooperate but it is what it is. I hope it improves for the new year that is my real wish :)

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  7. You are the poster child for overcoming obstacles this year Karen! Way to rock an amazing year despite all the touch-and-go issues with your foot. Any year you can pull off a freaking marathon PLUS have an epic girls race-cation is a great one in my book!

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    1. This was a very epic life year for me, I've never had that much big fun stuff happen in one year! It'll be hard to top :)
      I hope 2017 turns out half as good! and I'll still feel lucky!

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  8. That 5k PR is amazing. I can only dream.

    I think you had a great year. Look at all you did and you had foot issues.

    I bet 2017 will be epic. I hope I am part of it.

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    1. Thanks Darlene :) I think you are pretty close to that 5K PR, you are quite determined when you get rolling.
      I hope I get to see you in 2017! and our feet cooperate for the new year :)

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  9. You ran a lot of races this year! I know you love to race, so who cares if you did some of them without a lot of training? You clearly have a good fitness base so you can do that!

    I had so much fun meeting you, Karen. Maybe we can hang out again this summer??

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    1. It didn't feel like a lot until I looked back! Races do seem to motivate me even when I can't run to try to stay fit.
      I would love to hang out - we need to find a longer trail lol

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  10. You did love those shorts! and they look great on fabulous at 50 you :) Great year despite all the problems your foot gave you, I am so proud of you for persevering and not giving up. Maybe sometime you will come run in my part of Montana and we can meet :)

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    1. Thank you Christy :) When you find a great fit you just go with it! I need a second pair lol
      I would love to come run with you and meet up! I have actually looked at a few races near you but the timing isn't good for when I can take off work, but one of these days we'll do it!

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  11. It all built up to that marathon, didn't it? So proud of you still over that race!

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    1. Thank you! It was big, I really was so unsure when I started training, it felt good to get it done.

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  12. Sounds like a great year to me! Congratulations on finishing your first marathon! I'm a late bloomer like you--I'd never run in my life (not even a 5K!) until I completed the 2013 Chicago Marathon 3 weeks before my 52nd birthday. I'd say 2016 has been my first "real" year of running...can't wait for what the future holds!

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    1. Thank you!! I loved your blog post about your first one lol I can't even imagine just doing it!

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  13. You had a GREAT year, Karen! And if your feet let you run your races, I say go for it. It's so fun following along on your adventures and I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for you.

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    1. Thank you Susan :) This year turned out better than expected for sure! I hope I get my racing month this Spring- we'll see :)

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  14. Sounds like you did have a good year, despite what was thrown your way. Lots to be proud of ! Enjoy your holidays.

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    1. Thank you! I feel very content with this year despite all the foot issues.

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  15. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments this year, especially becoming a marathoner! I ran my first marathon this year too, but in Philly. What an amazing experience. Great job on all of your races and battling injury!

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    1. I loved following your journey to Philly this year :) It felt so good to finally run that long race lol do you want to do it again?

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    1. Thank you :) I am trying to just roll with where I am right now :) Some days are better than others lol

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  17. I am so impressed that even with some injured months you ran 800-ish miles! WOW. I don't think I even came close to that.

    2016 was a weird year for running for me. I only ran 1 half, and a smattering of other races, mostly 5Ks. I just wasn't feelin' it. I wasn't feeling training through summer & I wasn't feeling all the hard work I would need to put in for a HM PR, so I just didn't. But I'm ready to get back on it in 2017.

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    1. Thanks Jessie :)

      I bet the break was good for you! We can't push all the time, but hopefully when you dig in this year you will be feeling it.

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  18. You have had an amazing year and so many accomplishments! I am so blessed to have met you and I hope we can meet up at even more races in 2017! Merry Christmas Karen!

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    1. I sure hope so :-) I would be sad if I didn't see you again.
      Merry Christmas!

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  19. "I am perfectly content to show up, smile, run, and soak up the good vibes." I needed to read that this morning, thank you. It really hit home because I feel like my training has been all over the place and I'm no where near a PR at any distance, but that is okay.

    You had an incredible year and I am so happy that you became a marathoner this year despite all of the setbacks that tried to hold you down. You are a total inspiration!

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    1. Awwww, thank you Kristina :) I need to stay in the content place of acceptance of where I am. We can't always be in PR and that is okay for sure! Run your race and enjoy it!
      I feel good the marathon goal finally got checked off! It felt like it took forever lol

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  20. Great year! And yes, please rest this December - I think your body is trying to tell you something with the flare-ups this year!

    I would not have even notice the blue shorts unless you pointed it out! Ha!

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    1. Thanks Kim :) I am trying to listen and let the aches chill a bit, I sure wish I could just do what I want lol but clearly my body isn't the machine I wish it was.
      I hope I find a print next summer I love as much lol

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  21. I definitely had my challenges - the marathon was my nemesis in 2016!! I finished one in 4:00:00... I mean come on, I couldn't have run just one freaking second faster to come in under 4?? Ugh. But I sit here healthy and able to run, so that's a blessing in my book. Like you said, any race that didn't kill you is a win ;)
    Congrats on your victories and good luck in what lies ahead for 2017. Make sure you rest that foot every now and then! Us "master" runners need a bit more TLC!

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    1. It is so frustrating to be so close to time like that!
      That is the truth, this master needs a little more TLC for sure! My body speaks loudly when I have pushed too much lol
      Cheers to a good 2017!

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  22. I think you had a great year and working through injury is tough mentally. You did a great job ! So much to be proud of.

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