Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 in Review

These year end posts are always a little daunting, but they're hardest when I'm not really ready to say goodbye to the year. This time, I feel ready. 2015 was fine, but it wasn't a highlight year for me. I've been looking forward to 2016 for months it's definitely time to bid 2015 adieu.
This year I ran twelve races, including my second full marathon and multiple "distance challenges" (Gasparilla and the virtual Runner's World Festival hat trick). What I lacked in speed, I made up for in mental strength and stamina. I pushed myself to new limits this year, and came away better for it.

Highlight: January marked my 5 year runniversary, which felt like a pretty big deal.
Noteworthy Post: I dug through old photos and data and found information about my first-ever race, a small, church-organized 5k that I ran without expectations and just for the cause. It's interesting to see how much things have changed for me since then, at least where racing is involved.

Highlight: Running a colleague's first 5k with her - it was extremely emotional and wonderful to see her finish. I'll never forget experiencing that with her. A close second would be Gasparilla Weekend with Kristin and Mari. The distance challenge and back-to-back races were difficult, but made me feel like Superwoman!
Noteworthy Post: My recap of the A1A half marathon. I don't think I've ever felt happier at a race than I did that weekend.

Highlight: Getting to play volleyball on a faculty team against other schools in our network. I really need to consider joining a league, because I miss it!
Noteworthy Post: My slightly snarky post on reasons I won't follow certain blogs still makes me laugh, and still rings true.

Highlight: Running with Kristin and her daughter and Meg and her step-daughter in the Girls on the Run 5k. Being out there just for fun and seeing all those active kids was so fulfilling!
Noteworthy Post: Remember that time a drunk teenage couple parked their car in our driveway and we had it towed? Ah, good times, good times.

Highlight: My annual trip to DC with my students was definitely a highlight, as was seeing my oldest friend get married.
Noteworthy Post: This one's a tie between my thoughts on word choice and things you'll find in a runner's mouth. I had forgotten I ran to Celine Dion this spring and wasn't ashamed to admit it!

Highlight: I received a Teacher of the Year Award, which was humbling and surprising, and I got to see some of my fellow All-Star Teachers in Tampa! It was a good month to be a teacher.
Noteworthy Post: I'd been debating posting about my favorite picture ever since it was taken, and June 2015 I finally did. I'm glad, too. Everyone was so supportive and I hope my story spoke to others. It was a scary post to make public, but I feel a lot freer and stronger since doing so.

Highlight: Traveling to St. Croix to see Scott and help him move in was a nice summer trip to celebrate Matt's and my anniversary.
Noteworthy Post: Matt and I celebrated our five year anniversary, and it was a nice excuse to look back on how young we looked and how pretty our wedding was!
Highlight: I found gluten free Cheerios at my grocery store! I know, it seems like such a silly thing, but there's no accounting for what makes us happy!
Noteworthy Post: My response to things non-runners say, because very few of us were just born runners from day one, and we've all been there.

Highlight: I'd like to pretend this month never happened. Honestly, there were no highlights, and the entire month I was depressed and moody and completely emotionally absent...And looking back at my blog archives for September brings back the pain of Archie's death as if it only just happened. This month sucked.
Noteworthy Post: Matt answered questions about my running, and he did a pretty good job!

Highlight: I hit 100 miles in a single month for the first time ever, and I was stoked! I ran my longest solo long-run to date, and Matt had Chattajack, which was a crazy adventure and a definite highlight for both of us, and my little sis got married. Talk about a full, good month!
Noteworthy Post: I let you guys see a little bit behind the scenes of what I'm really like in real life. Now that Megan and Kristina have seen my home and spent some quality time with me, they can verify if these things are true!

Highlight: I hit another mileage milestone - running 20 miles totally solo. This was definitely a strong training year!
Noteworthy Post: Despite not meeting my goals for BDR, I still stand behind the determination and self-assurance in this post.

Highlight: Running BDR...mostly because I got to spend quality time with my sister and two of my favorite bloggers.
Noteworthy Post: Looking back on my thoughts post-race, after I'd had some time to come to terms with BDR's outcome, I'm really proud of how far I've come as a runner and as a person. I feel mentally stronger and more confident than ever before, and I think that comes across pretty clearly in how I talk about my successes and setbacks.

Looking back, I can see that 2015 was mostly a fairly solid year. I do think this year made me a stronger runner mentally, and physically in some ways, but I lost a lot of speed; at times, I really coasted.

I did find this year that I can knock out a respectable half marathon time without too much training, which made me happy, but I also learned that no matter how prepared I am, sometimes race day conditions will get the best of me.
I'm ready to take the lessons I learned from 2015 into the new year and make 2016 a year to celebrate and remember!

How was your 2015?



  1. I was just about to write that 2015 seemed like such a blah year and I had nothing notable to write about...then I was the year of OCR for me and I finished a Spartan race. I haven't decided what 2016 will bring yet! I can't wait to follow you along on your journey!

    1. It seems like many of us felt like we had "blah" years, but conquering the OCR makes 2015 an awesome year for you, in my opinion!

  2. Happy 2016! 2015 was kind of "just okay" for me too, and I'm looking forward to 2016 as well.

    It's hard to believe some of those noteworthy posts were that long ago, I still remember all of them!

    1. I always like going back and reading what I wrote in the last year...sometimes I feel like I wrote them so long ago!

  3. What a year!! I looked back to reread some of your noteworthy posts. The "I won't follow you if..." is all so true! I have a story to tell you about this in a PM. :)

    1. Sometimes it's fun to find blogs just to hate-read ;o)

  4. Great recap of your year, congratulations on all of your accomplishments. It's been great following you on your running journey and I know that 2016 is going to be even better!

    1. Same to you! I hope we both have wonderful 2016s!

  5. Since I'm a new reader - I love this recap! (ps - I fully agree on all accounts on blogs that you don't read/follow!!!)

  6. You really had a full year...from the highs to the lows, wow. Here's to 2016 and to the adventures yet to come!

  7. Great recap, Ali! 2015 was an "okay" year for me. I'm looking forward to 2016 :)

    1. I think 2015 was "okay" for most of us. I can't wait to see what 2016 brings for you!

  8. I really loved this post! It was great getting to read through your re-cap and it actually led me to read some of the posts prior to me following you! (I especially enjoyed the post about why you don't follow certain people... I agree with everything!).

    1. I'm glad I could introduce you to some of the posts you missed this year! I know for you, 2016 will be the year of the marathon!

  9. I have been leading my life from a particular corner, in 2015. Hope 2016 will be more amazing, suitable and loving too... :)

  10. I've really enjoyed your posts from 2015. I actually went back and read a couple of your linked ones. :) I love when People do that.

    I had a pretty good year this year. Surprisingly so. The winter was sort of depressing since we were trapped in a snow-ma-geddon until April, but I think it made me mentally and physically stronger for Boston, so I'll take it! ;) I had a happy and healthy year and that's what matters. :) Happy New Year!

    1. Sometimes I get behind on reading posts, so I like when people link their old posts so I can see if I missed anything big or fun!

      You had a GREAT year! I'm excited to follow your 2016!