Friday, January 2, 2015

Farewell 2014

I usually write a year-end recap during the month of December. This year things got away from me (gigantic house remodeling project, traveling, etc) and now that 2015 has started happening I feel like I've sort of... missed the boat? Not that I'm ungrateful for all the amazing things I was able to do in the past year- I'm just in that post-holiday No Man's Land fog where everyone is still hanging out in their sweatpants all day and not on a regular schedule yet. My brain is basically mush right now. And possibly part-whiskey.

When Monday rolls around I'm sure things will start to feel back to normal again and life will resume as usual. I began my 18-week training program for Wisconsin Marathon this week so that's neat. (2015 run goals are here if you're interested.) I've also got a new opportunity coming up that I'm excited about and will elaborate more on later when it gets fleshed out a little more. But before I dive full force in to the new year, what were the highlights of 2014? When I step back and look at everything I realize that it all comes down to Travel, Running and Family.

1. Travel: We went big with two major trips this year: a family trip to Costa Rica at the beginning of the year and then a grown-up trip to Barcelona in July with good friends Billy and Heather. Both were amazing in completely different ways. Costa Rica came in the middle of a Polar Vortex-y winter that felt like it would never end. I felt like the cold was going to break me at that point and I'll never forget that first day digging my feet into the sand on the beach while feeling the sun beat down on my skin. Also, we went zip-lining.

Our trip to Barcelona was jam packed. We were on our feet constantly as we explored the city. I left my running shoes at home for this trip but I felt exhausted and exhilarated at the end of every day (which usually ended in the wee hours of the following morning.) Drinking my morning coffee on the balcony with a view Sagrada Familia remains a very surreal experience for me. The world is such a fascinating place and every time I travel I want to learn more and more.

2. Running. I didn't run a single ultramarathon this year as I was completely focused on running a Boston qualifying time in the marathon. I put a bold goal out into the world and I fell short- more than once. (It's cool, I'm ok with it.) I feel like I learned so much about training and racing this past year though- more than I have in the 7+ years I've been running. I felt just about every emotion there is to be felt along the way and I know that my story isn't even close to being done.

(A small adjustment.)

3. Family. I feel like 2014 was really 5 years long when I look at my girls. Not because it dragged on forever but because they pretty much grew up before my eyes in the past 12 months. Ava traveled to Denmark and started playing guitar in a rock band. Juliana made the big transition into high school and suddenly became a super confident, responsible, mini-adult. People always say childhood goes by fast but I feel like there are points where we make huge leaps forward all at once. 2014 was one of those years.

So that's the supershort super-condensed version. I do want to add this though: On New Year's Day I went for a 5-mile run around the neighborhood. When I get back I realized there was a snowy owl perched on the roof of our new balcony. I was pretty taken aback by it since I'd never seen anything like it before. (Also, it was staring me down pretty hard with it's intense yellow eyes.) I'm not a superstitious person at all but I like to think that this is a sign of good luck in the coming year.  If 2015 has milestones like the ones above then I can't wait.

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