Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Looking Back at 2016


The year began after being sidelined for two months from a devastating (at the time) metatarsal stress fracture.  After spending countless hours pool running and hundreds of miles on my bike, I ran the Disney Marathon in January anyway.  It was such sweet reward to cross that finish line, but my body took a beating -- it wasn't trained for all that pounding.

I DID IT !!!

After seven weeks of recovery and rehab and taking time to become a RRCA Certified Running Coach, I joined with Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin again (she also ran Disney) for the Rock 'n Roll Half in New Orleans.  My time was nothing to write home about, but I was happy to be running pain free and back to the distance I loved best.  She and I went on to run the Montgomery Half a few weeks later, which was a strugglefest of cramps for me -- making my age group award that much sweeter. Several 5ks were sprinkled in for good measure.


The spring months were a mad rush to get in a few more half marathons before the weather became too warm.  There was the Centerpoint Half in a neighboring town and the irritatingly windy Kill Clif Destin Half where I received the biggest medal I've ever seen.

The medal is the size of a dinner plate!

There was the awesome Tear Drop downhill half with 2500 feet of elevation lost within 8 miles of the race.  Next up, the challenging most-elevation-gain-I've-ever-run Gateway to the Smokies where I was thrilled to meet Karen from Running Over the Hill.  Those hills were certainly challenging, but we both placed in our age groups.  There were a couple of spring 5ks as well.

See the Smoky Mountains in the background?


As training for the Chicago marathon would kick off in July, I chose to run lower mileage months in May and June and substituted the miles with rides on my bike.  Oddly, an idea sprung from that.  Perhaps I could do a duathlon?  That idea quickly morphed into -- Just Go Ahead And Do A Triathlon!  I took a big leap, faced my fears, and participated in the Callaway Gardens Sprint Tri in June.  So.much.fun! 

Capitol of Dreams

I went on to complete 3 more triathlons.  I was required to jump off the deck of a old fashioned riverboat at the Capitol of Dreams, and was rewarded with age group placements in the both the Chewacla and Transporter Tri's.  I found I simply adored the bike segment.  {We won't talk about the swim leg. Ahem...

At my third Tri, I'm thrilled to have won 1st in my age group!

I found the triathlons to be a nice diversion from marathon training in our ridiculous summer heat.  Of course my favorite other activity was in full swing.  There is nothing better than slalom water skiing! 

Sunrise skiing on the lake.


October kicked off with the Chicago Marathon.  Although a wonderful experience and a chance to meet bloggers I now consider dear friends, a nasty fall in mile 12 left me wanting more.  Coupled with the fact I couldn't tell I'd run a marathon (other than busted  knees), I hit the registration button to repeat the Disney Marathon.  After a few weeks break, I returned to marathon training.

With my friend Valerie at the Capitol 10 Miler

Jazz Hands at Soldier

I saw glimpses of my previous faster paces during a couple of fall 5k races.  I also ran my first Capitol 10 Miler and added two more half marathons (the Veterans Day weekend Soldier Half and coastal Panama City Beach Half) as part of my marathon training.  It was incredible to meet and spend time with fellow blogger friends to cap off my final race of the year!  We deemed it a HoLottaFun!

TriciaDarlene, Me, Wendy, Karen, Mary Beth, Judy, and Marcia jumping for joy in Panama City


2 Full Marathons
8 Half Marathons (2 AG Awards)
4 Sprint Triathlons (2 AG Awards)
1 Ten Miler (1 AG Award)
7  5ks (6 AG/Master Awards)

After a rocky start to 2016, things did improve.  I healed!  I found a new love of cycling and enjoyment of sprint triathlons.  I would never have found these without that sidelining injury that forced me back onto a bike in the first place.

So I'll begin 2017 with the Disney Marathon, followed up with a few weeks of rest.  After that?  Well, I really don't know.  I'm sure there will be some half marathons.  But, we'll just see what the year brings. The possibilities are endless.  New opportunities are everywhere...

Do you have 2017 all mapped out?

Thanks to our wonderful hosts:
 Ericka @ MCM Mama Runs


  1. Your year has been nothing short of epic! Overcoming the sfx the way you have + jumping into tri totally shows what you're made of. It was a HoLottaFun meeting you this year, although I feel like I've known you much longer. My 2017 is staying blank (except for Berlin) until this hammy settles down completely.

  2. Oh man, what a 2016 you had! I adore yall's picture on the beach- running buddies make this sport & the bling that much sweeter! Congrats!

  3. Whew! I am tired just reading all that. I hope that 2017 brings you even more incredible accomplishments.

    I don't have it all mapped out at all. I'm hoping to do a couple of races with friends next year, but it's all kind of iffy & up in the air.

  4. I came to comment on Weekly Wrap but since this post is newer I'll write here :).

    You had a GREAT year! To think you overcame the metatarsal stress fracture and ran the marathons and did so many triathlons as well. Plus, you earned a ton of age group awards and you had the fun girls weekend in there.

    Due to race deferrals and a few races people convinced me to enter, I am always looking at FOUR half marathons in 2017- yikes! Probably a ton of 5Ks in there as well, haha.

  5. Wow what a great year!! Can't wait to see how 2017 goes for you :) My 2017 is all mapped out except one race-still deciding if I want to do a fall half marathon or not.

  6. Despite the year not starting well you persevered and had some great races while trying some new things! You had an amazing year. Hope 2017 is just as good!

  7. What a fantastic year of running!

  8. Wow. You never cease to amaze me! What a great year!!! I loved reading about your races and your experiences with the triathlon. You *almost* make me want to join the dark side and start signing up for tris!

  9. I didn't even realize that you were injured at the start of the year, you sure did bounce back! Congratulations on all of your running achievements, you're so inspiring! I look forward to seeing how the Disney Marathon goes!

  10. I hope your training goes well for this marathon! I don't have anything planned after the Bolder Boulder yet so I can see how it goes. I do want to see if I can register for the 2018 Star Wars 10k at Disneyland, but I also would like some fall 5k's.

  11. Super impressed with the variety of races and distances you did this year! Here's to a healthy 2017, full of fun for you!

  12. You had such a great year, especially after starting it out with recovering from an injury! I havent planned anything for 2017 yet, just trying to enjoy being back to running regularly!

  13. So impressed with all of your races this year. Great job!

    I definitely do not have 2017 all mapped out. I'll be mostly playing it by ear, but I do have my eye on a couple races.

  14. Gosh, you were so busy chasing finish lines (and snagging AG awards), I had forgotten you started the year injured (well...recovering from injury). What an amazing comeback! Congrats!!!

  15. I mean holy moly what a great year you have had!!

    Your return from injury is AMAZING! Reading about your pool runs was so awesome and impressive!!

    I have mapped out a semi race schedule for 2017 adding 2 triathlons this year ;)

  16. Wow! That's a lot of races! I have most of 2017 planned out, but I'm planning on sprinkling in a few shorter distance races next fall and maybe summer to keep me motivated. Plus I'm trying to add a third Tough Mudder to my list so I can finally earn that pink headband I've been trying to get for the last two years! Congrats on all your AG awards that's so awesome!

  17. You have had an amazing year in racing, and I am so very glad to have been a part of it! Yes, 2017 is looking to be another epic one!

  18. Despite some initial challenges to start the year, you had a FANTASTIC year. So many races and new experiences. I only have 2 races so far for 2017 on my agenda, both in February. I am eyeing a half April 30th too but haven't bit the bullet yet. I am enjoying some down time after training all year. Happy holidays and look forward to following you in 2017.

  19. great year and recap! It is funny how injuries can bring us to something that still puts a smile on our face! Fantastic year and i am so happy I got to be a small part of it!

  20. WOW! Do you hear my applauding for you from my neck of the woods? Because I am! I remember all that pool running at the beginning of the year. Oy! But look what happened the rest of the year. I'm so inspired by you! Congrats on an awesome year!

  21. Congrats on a fun year of challenges in 2016! Looks like 2017 will start out with some fun - another marathon! What a great group pic at the end of your post!


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