Friday, December 23, 2016

The Stats of 2016

So my amazing husband and partner in this crazy year of half marathon running has made this amazing Christmas present for me. I've got to take a minute to brag... because I'm just blown away by the fact that he came up with this design on his own and then executed it. Amazing, beautiful, fun, and impressive. Kind of like I view him. How did I land such a man? But I digress...

As I approach 2017, I wonder what it will hold. It looks like I may start the year with a big fat injury. Yep. Major bummer. I remained silent about it through most of the year because what was the point in mentioning it? Now, however, it has reared its ugly, knobby head to say, "HEY! YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ME NOW!" And I've said okay, fine. I'm going on two weeks of no running... oh me. That's been hard, and I've felt like I'm waving goodbye to all my gains this past training season. I'm doing PiYo and weight workouts, and I'm visiting the most amazing massage therapist, Kim Susor of Meridian Acupuncture and Massage Therapy. And I'm trying to be patient.

The injury is another knee knob (see Knee Knobs and Foam Sticks from years ago). I fell hard while pregnant with Matthew in 2014, and a calcium deposit formed where I hit my left knee. It was no big deal until I started training harder and running more this year. The deposit (or knob, as I call it) sits right where all kinds of tendons and ligaments intersect, and the repetitive motion has caused quite a ruckus. About the middle of the year, it started to complain, but only for the first two minutes of a run. I used the Stick and foam roller, and kept trucking. Toward the end of the year it got to where it hurt for the first 2 miles of a run. I took a lot of time off before the final half marathon, and was able to do that one mostly pain free, but I paid for that afterward.

Since then, I've been doing the best I can while trying to recover and heal. I think the Lord is teaching me something here, but that's for another blog post.

The stats of 2016! That's what this post is supposed to be about! And how fun it is to look back and remember. What a wonderful year. It makes my heart swell as I allow my mind to run through all the experiences again. All the fun. All the early mornings. The hours in the car. Google maps. The triumphs, the flops, the laughs and special moments with Jason. Being sick as a dog in February. The brutal headwind in March. Jason running 4 extra miles off course in June. The crazy trail run through the Appalachian Mountains in July. Realizing I forgot my running shoes an hour before running through the night in August. A surprise PR in September. A first place over all win. Another PR in November. A sweet hometown run in December. The thrill or relief of seeing Jason around mile 12 of every single race.

I learned so much about myself as a runner throughout this journey. I thought my PR days were probably behind me, but that wasn't true. I discovered I prefer to race without music. I found a little competitive edge which spurs me onward even when I'm spent. I like pacers. A tough course doesn't necessarily mean a slower race. I'm stronger than I thought.

And now for the stats! I'm including the date, the race, the location, my time and any wins.

January 16 - Elkmont Half Marathon, Elkmont, AL - 1:56:39 (3rd AG)
February 28 - Seaside Half Marathon, Seaside, FL - 2:05:05
March 19 - Bowling Green Half Marathon, Bowling Green, KY - 1:55:34
April 2 - Oak Barrel Half Marathon, Lynchburg, TN - 1:55:11
May 21 - Viola Valley Half Marathon, Viola, TN - 1:48:47 (3rd AG)
June 4 - Hillbilly Half Marathon, Franklin, TN - 1:54:35
July 2 - White Lightning Half Marathon, Pikeville, KY - 2:00:54 (trails) (1st AG)
August 13 - Area 13.1 Half Marathon, Roswell, GA - 1:54:00
September 24 - Kentucky History Half Marathon, Frankfort, KY - 1:43:52 (PR and 1st OA win!)
October 3 - Little River Canyon Half Marathon, Fort Payne, AL - 1:52:07 (3rd OA female)
November 6 - BG26.2 Half Marathon, Bowling Green, KY - 1:42:02 (PR, 3rd OA female, 2nd AG)
December 3 - Panama City Beach Half Marathon, PCB, FL - 1:45:15 (3rd AG)

I cannot thank my family enough for all the babysitting. This would not have been possible without our moms and my sister watching our kiddos while we traveled and raced. What a blessing they have been to us. I cannot thank my husband enough for being willing (I think it was his idea in the first place) to go on this journey with me. I have loved every moment with him, every race date just the two of us, even if they started at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. And most importantly, I thank my God for this amazing, blessed year and all the joy and fun it has brought. From the gorgeous places He created for our pleasure, to the bodies that stayed strong throughout, the safety as we traveled miles upon miles, watching over our families and kiddos while we were away, the blessings He poured out over our marriage as we shared this experience... ALL good things come from Him and this year has been FULL of GOOD THINGS.

So that's a wrap. And while I have no idea what 2017 will bring, and while my heart aches a little over this silly injury, I remain full of gratefulness for what God has given me in 2016, and I have faith and hope that 2017 will be what He wants it to be. That is my prayer as I look forward to the New Year.

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