Goals + Hopes for 2016

Miscellaneous

Another crazy, fun year has passed! 2015 was one of, if not the best year of my life. (2011 was quite a good year as well!)

This past year was exciting. If I had to pick one word to describe it, I would definitely say “exiting” is the word. Obviously our wedding on August 29, 2015 was the most exciting day, but the whole year was fantastic and eventful. My husband and I were blessed to watch seven other couples get married. We also took our first vacation together. I traveled to Nashville, Texas and Colorado. I competed in (and survived) my first Olympic distance triathlon. I ran my third full marathon. I got promoted at work…The list goes on and on about all the wonderful, neat stuff that we did. It has been one big adventure and tying the knot and officially starting my life with my husband was the foundation of it all.

Dec 31 _ 7pmPArkway drive, MAAs I sit here thinking about our wonderful New Years Eve plans with our friends tonight, I find myself really looking forward to 2016. I love the new year and celebrating a “new you”. Some may think it’s cheesy, but I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s a time to refresh and challenge yourself. It’s a time to reflect on the past year and your life. It’s a good way to find new things to challenge you and to be passionate about. I encourage everyone to write down your thoughts and feelings about the past year and to also write down your thoughts, feelings, goals and hopes for the new year. Here’s what I’ve got:

My 2016 Bucket List / Goal List

  • Take a hot air balloon ride AND/OR skydive
  • Travel to: California, Chicago, New York City, Washington DC and MAYBE Italy
  • Pay off my credit cards and car (I just need to buckle down and I can do it!!)
  • Compete in (and survive) my first 70.3 Ironman triathlon (maybe get in the best shape of my entire life because of this?!!?)
  • Run my fourth full marathon (???)
  • Volunteer (soup kitchens, clubs, time, etc.)
  • Complete a 100-mile bike ride
  • Attempt and be successful at donating blood (the past few times weren’t pretty and I actually HATE it, but I am O-Negative and I know how important it is)
  • Get a tattoo with my husband (we’ve wanted to get these for a while, but it was never the right time or we never wanted to spend the money on it)
  • Stay off Facebook (I have recently been trying to ween myself off the stupid social media platform. I deleted the app from my phone so that I can only check it from a desktop computer. People have become so obsessed with it and with putting everything online. I just want to scream “Get off your phone and live your life!!”)
  • Read one book a month (I tend to listen to CDs in the car while driving to and from work, but I’d like to try to do more actual reading from a paper book!)
  • Get better about seeing my group of girlfriends more regularly. Every time we get together (which is once every few months) we always say “Why did we wait so long to get together?!” I know schedules are crazy and everyone is busy, but getting together for an hour over a glass of wine isn’t that hard.
  • Write in a journal (everyday or every few days.) I’ve looked up 200 journal prompts and will use that to help me start writing more. I have a prayer book that I try to read everyday and I want to read the prayer book for a few minutes and then write for a few minutes. I want to do this every.single.day. I’ve been reading about the Miracle Morning routine and the importance of it. It’s pretty neat actually!

Fluffy Goals:

  • Continue loving my job. Go out of the way to volunteer and help with projects. Get as much experience in everything as possible and improve my professional status.
  • Look more into getting my Masters (think seriously…maybe Fall 2017??)
  • Be the best wife I can be to my incredible husband.
  • Go out of my way to spend more time with my family, especially my grandparents.

The Usual Goals:

  • Every single winter/off-season I gain about 20 lbs. It’s just what I do. I train hard and eat clean from May to September and then from October to December it’s a free for all. (It’s basically one big, giant all-you-can-eat contest.) I know it’s not healthy, but it’s what I do and as you can probably guess, I’ve gained the weight. Currently I am sitting 20 lbs heavier than I was in August for our wedding. I enjoyed my off-season, but I’m ready to shed this weight and to buckle down. The holidays are rough on everyone’s waist line, so I’m trying not to beat myself up too much. I had my fun, but now it’s time to get back on track. (Plus I feel like garbage! I’m actually excited to start eating vegetables!)
  • To help with my “getting back on track” I’ve decided that I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before. I’ve signed up for my first ever Advocare 24-Day Challenge. For the past couple months I’ve seen people rave about it and I’ve always been judgmental of stuff like this. Shakeology, Herbalife, the 21-Day Fix, Arbonne…the list of distribution companies go on and on. Finally, I grew curious and I decided to look into Advocare. There was someone on social media that I actually trusted and I reached out to her. After a good amount of research I decided to give it a try. If it fails then I’ve been right all along and now I know, but if it doesn’t – well, you get it! I’m not looking for a “quick fix” and I get that I’ll have to bust my butt, but I am hoping that the products and support help me. I’ve joined the national “All In” challenge and it starts January 11. More to come on this!

I’m looking forward to a wonderful night out tonight and partaking in my husband and I’s usual New Years Day tradition – sushi and a movie. (We are going to see Star Wars and I’m excited!) Thank the Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful and fantastic life. I pray I get to stick around for a good time more with the ones I love.

Have a wonderful and safe new year, friends!

new-year

A New Year — Race 1 of 12.

Miscellaneous

Happy New Year! I am super excited for 2014. I’ve got big plans for racing, running and beginning to plan a wedding. I also plan on rocking my career even more and continuing to be an awesome auntie to my four little ones – actually soon to be five come June!

2013 was an amazing year for me. I’m almost even tempted to call it “adult” like, which is funny because I am the farthest thing from being an adult. I mean I still laugh at poop jokes and I’m 24 years old. Anyways, in 2013: I got a new car, landed my first big kid job, ran my first marathon and got engaged. 2014 has BIG shoes to fill, but the possibilities are there and I’m excited for it all.

It’s one of my resolutions to run a race every month of the year in 2014. I’m glad January’s race is already said and done, because I am not a fan of cold weather running. I’m already dreading the February and March races, plus sometimes April is cold around here too. I’m also dreading the race fees, so hopefully that doesn’t stop me either.

So to start off the New Year and to cross 1 of 12 races off my list, I set off to run a 5K on New Years Day. I ran the race with Nicole (one of my best friends, future bridesmaids and marathon running partner). It was the Cleveland Commitment 5K on New Year’s Day in Beachwood. It’s a free race dedicated to starting a national conversation about living a healthy way of life. This race was one of 35 that took place all over the U.S. on January 1st and of course I loved that it was free entry.

Snowy 5K route

Snowy 5K route

Despite having a good amount of champagne the night before and staying up pretty late with friends, Nicole and I braved the cold 17 degree weather to run a quick 3.1 miles on New Years Day. The course was a little boring as we ran through a neighborhood and down snowy sidewalks. I was pretty much miserable the entire run and joked that the 5K was the worse thing to ever happen to me. I was tired, freezing and a tiny bit hung over, PLUS I’ll be honest – I’m a little out of shape considering I haven’t ran in about 3 weeks. I’m too embarrassed to even post my time, but let’s just say I ran a full 10 minutes faster in the 5K I ran in June when I was training. I wasn’t happy with my time nor running the actual race itself, but let me tell you  how happy I am that my January race is over.

I look happy, but I'm not. [Nicole and I post-race]

I look happy, but I’m not. [Nicole and I post-race]

Here’s my list of other 2014 race possibilities:
JanuaryCheck!
FebruaryDirty Run 10K in Willoughby Hills, $30 OR Chili Bowl Classic 5K in Cleveland, $20, plus the fiance would love to be able to taste all the different chili offered post race with the fee.
MarchLifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon in Beachwood, $35. (It would be my DREAM to be able to do this.) OR Strides of March 5K in Kirtland, $18. (It’ll also be important to run lower cost races now since we have a wedding to start planning for!)
April – Chardon hosts a Maple Sap 5K every year in April for an annual festival. It’s two streets over from my house and probably no more than $20, so this will probably be my April run. No information is currently posted about it.
May – My wonderful fiance registered me for the 2014 Cleveland Half Marathon for this month. He’ll run it with me too. (Guys – take note of this gift idea if your woman is a runner. I was seriously SO excited when I opened the envelope!)
JuneMentor Flag Day 5K, $20.  I ran it last year and placed in my age group. Plus there was an awesome post-race picnic after.
July – Painesville Johnny Cake Jog Five Miler, $20/$25. I loved this race when I ran it last year. It’s a fast, flat course and just an all around good event with great food and activities post-race.
August – I’d love to be able to do the Bellefaire JCB Biathlon again. It’s a 5K race followed by a 13.1 bike ride. It was an awesome event and I placed in my age group.
September – Hands down I’m running the 2014 Akron Marathon again.
October – Not sure about this month’s race yet. Not many races for this late in 2014 are posted yet. I know there’s a half and full marathon somewhere up by the lake (maybe in Fairport). I’m also not sure if the Rock and Roll Half Marathon will be back either, but I don’t particularly want to run that again. I’m not even sure if I’d want to run another full or half marathon if I’m running Akron the month before though. Stay tuned.
November – This past Thanksgiving the fiance and I were traveling the day of, so we didn’t put much of an effort in to find a Turkey Trot to run even though we both said we wanted to. 2014 will have to be different or else I’ll need to find another November race.
December – More than likely I’ll run the Legacy Village Jingle Bell 5K again. I’ve run this race the past two years and have enjoyed it. I love the holiday themed races since they are always so fun and festive.

Here are a few pictures from our New Year’s Eve festivities. Since I worked basically the entire holiday and the fiance (still weird to say since our engagement is so new) has been off work for the past two weeks, he did the NYE planning coordination. He arranged dinner with 20 friends and family at a local winery a few streets over from the house. The place is called Your Vine or Mine in Painesville and it was fantastic. I’d recommend it to anyone local and looking to support a family owned business. We had awesome wine and a light dinner, then everyone came back to the house to drink, be merry and watch the ball drop. The fiance’s sister did an awesome job with decorations and food. We all had a great time and still avoided the overly-crowded-too-loud-no seats-available-can’t-get-a-drink bar scene. I was a happy girl.

Our large group of 20

Our large group of 20

The fiance and I being overly festive and cute for NYE.

The fiance and I being overly festive and cute for NYE

New Year’s Day we followed our normal tradition of getting sushi and then seeing a movie. We saw American Hustle, which kept my attention, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it “good” by any means.

Delicious way to start the new year

A delicious way to start the new year

What are you looking forward to in 2014? I’m excited for the possibilities of the New Year ahead and I hope you all are too.

I’m ready to work hard, run hard and play even harder.

Happy New Year!  

New year, first half. Literately.

Miscellaneous

January 1st is such a motivating day. I love the fresh start to a new year and the excited buzz around it. I’ve always been a sucker for New Year’s resolutions, too. I think I love the promise of trying to better yourself, making a change, doing something different. (This love for resolutions probably has something to do with the fact that I love Mondays too.) *Pause for astonishment here* I can’t help it, I just love a fresh new start and reinventing yourself.

For the past few weeks or so I’ve been thinking about my intentions for 2013. Now I’ve been working out about four days a week and I feel good. I feel strong both physically and mentally. I’ve always thrown around the idea in my head about the Cleveland Marathon. Now I’m no where near marathon ready, but they also offer a 5K, 10K and half.

I’ve ran five 5Ks, which are always a fun little workout, but in my book it’s just not that big of an accomplishment anymore. After a while I have begun to expect more out of myself. So I threw around the 10K idea. Hmm 6.2 seems legit. The most I’ve ever ran at one time was eight miles, which was during the peek of a really good summer of running two years ago. (I had also just broken up with a really terrible, very bad, no-good guy though, so that fueled a lot of my fire!) So to prove a point to myself, and to basically just be a smart ass, I ran almost 6.5 miles at the gym last week.

workout6Not so smart on my body, but it did a wonder on my head. I was so ecstatic and thrilled at the end of my workout that for a brief moment I had tears in my eyes. It was truly so, so, SO tough. But I wanted to prove to myself that if I could whip out a 10K distance out of no where, than it wouldn’t be that hard on race day….and so, I would HAVE to sign up for the half marathon if I wanted to challenge myself.

So with Christmas money burning a whole in my pocket, I signed up for my first half marathon on May 19th in downtown Cleveland.

regishalfI am a combination of terrified, excited, nervous, worried and thrilled. I have wanted to be a part of a marathon for as long as I can remember, and finally I am making this happen! No more “maybe someday” or “well I’ve always wanted to but…” excuses. My cool $70. 68 will also add as a little reminder that it’s a done deal! And what’s even more exciting, I’ve talked the boyfriend into running it with me! He still has yet to register, but he’s the kinda swell guy that would pretty much do anything I ask him to do. *Pause for eye roll*

I’ve been researching like crazy the past few days. Training schedules, tips, anything. I’ve decided on this 18-week schedule that I found on the marathon’s home page, which puts me for the week of January 13th to get this baby started.

So what do I need to know? What are the best half marathon/training tips? How do you guys stay motivated? What do you do to train/get ready for a half? Any and all advice is welcome!