2014 in Review: January - March

There's nothing I love more than looking back at the year. I thought I'd wait a bit to do a yearly recap post, but then I saw that Alyssa was joining some lovely ladies and starting the party a little early and I just couldn't wait to get on board.


2014 was probably the strangest year I've had so far. Looking back, it feels like I piecemealed most of the year together. There were a lot of highs, lows, stops, starts, and things that seemed unbelievable (and still do), and overall none of it feels very cohesive.

As soon as we rang in the new year, I was fired up and ready to lay out all my plans and goals for the year. The big-ticket items I hoped to cross off my list were running a marathon, cycling in a century ride, and completing my first half Ironman triathlon. I was off to a great start, as I began the year by reaching the peak of my marathon training and welcoming a well-deserved and much-needed taper period. The first 3 weeks of January were a roller coaster of emotions as I prepared for race day. A little before 1pm on January 18th, when I was 26.2 years old, after running for nearly 5 hours, I crossed the finish line of my first marathon in the city where I was born. On January 19th I was already working on a training plan for my next one.



Although the year couldn't have gotten off to a better start in terms of running, personally it could not have started worse. I've never shared this and will probably never go into specifics, but at that time Ben and I went through the most difficult time of our marriage, to date. In January, we started going to counseling and we made a decision to recommit to each other.

After a big, life-changing January, February was a little quieter. Ben's and my supporting each other became necessary more than ever because we lost our ferret Roxy at the beginning of the month. We had known for a while that the day would come sooner rather than later, but it was still devastating for both of us. We had another health scare later in the month with our other ferret, but after surgery at the end of the month she was good as new!


By the middle of the month I had convinced my dad and a friend to run the Shamrock Marathon with me (the first full for both of them), so we spent many training runs together, especially long runs on the weekend. We warmed up with a 10k (with some leftover snow and ice on the ground) before running the Virginia is For Lovers 14k, and the next weekend we all ran the Tidewater Striders Distance Series 20-Miler. The latter is one of the craziest things I've ever done, only because it was held at a bike trail we frequent, which I swore I'd never run because even biking the 16-mile loop there is so boring. I'm still in shock that I ran 20 miles on it. In February I was still (slowly) working my way out of the blogging closet, and I linked up for Runners Tell All for the first time that month. That has since become one of my favorite linkups and I've met so many awesome runner bloggers through it!


The very first day of March was the first time I had an inkling that a big change might be in my future. Although it had been almost a year since I quit my job to go back to school, a big change in and of itself, I kept the idea of moving and going back to Virginia Tech in the back of my mind. I hadn't been ready to commit to it when I initially started back in school, but over time I warmed up to the idea of moving myself and my family 5 hours away. March 1 was the first time I realized that that was exactly what I wanted and needed to do. I remember it distinctly because I was at the school I was attending at the time, working on something for class on a Saturday, when it hit me like a ton of bricks. But for the rest of March, it was still nothing more than a thought. More to come on that in later months.

March got off to a busy start when we traveled to NYC and Boston during the first week! We met up with Ben's sister and her husband, who traveled up from Raleigh, and had the best time together. I tackled my plane anxiety by flying for the first time in nearly 3 years, we explored Boston, we took the train for the first time, we saw The Daily Show live, I ran in Central Park, and we all had the best time.



As soon as I got back I hit the ground running - literally. The day after we returned from up north I went to the Shamrock expo to pick up my packets. While most people spent St. Patrick's Day weekend drinking green beer, I spent the majority of it running (but got to the beer-drinking afterward). On Saturday I ran the Shamrock 8k and then Sunday I completed my 2nd full marathon hand-in-hand with my dad (and after much encouragement from both him and our friend who was running with us). It was one of the toughest race weekends of my life but I was so proud to be a Whale Challenge finisher (and at only 8 minutes slower than my first marathon in January)!


It wasn't long after Shamrock ended that I started to set my sights on my next goal: the 70.3. My dad and I broke out the bikes and the spandex to usher in tri season. We got some warm weather at the end of the month which made me start dreaming of spring and summer activities.


And that was the first quarter of my year - no wonder it feels like a random mishmash of highs and lows!

14 comments :

  1. You are definitely a go-getter kinda person ! Do you sleep ?! I feel like this was a review "run-stravaganza" of 2014. Maybe you and Alyssa should add that to your Training linkup :P Can't wait to see the review from the rest of the year !

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  2. You are such a rockstar. Seriously. Even through all the ups and downs!

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  3. Wow. You did more in the first month than I did all year! Seriously though, you are so inspiring!
    I am so sorry again about Roxy, and thank you for sharing that about your marriage - I guess there is no way to comment on that without sounding really weird, but I'm happy that you guys came out of that stage!
    Ps. you're a badass. That's all.

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  4. I swear I just sent a reply so I apologize if I'm doubling up! Reflecting on the past year and making new goals is the best! I'm so inspired by all the races you did this year and the daily show is up there with one of the funniest comedies :) keep up the kick ads goals you're awesome! And I second what Kristen wrote : bad ads!

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    1. Seeing The Daily Show was so unexpected but so fun! We totally watched it in our hotel when it aired later that night haha!

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  5. Haha nit ads but ass , darn autocorrect

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  6. Well your first quarter of the year makes my entire year laughable and lazy! Look at all this running! Losing a pet is always very sad and I think we all go through ups and downs in our relationships, looks like you can out better on the other side. I always like seeing these review of the year posts!

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  7. I remember being so excited for you before your marathon and I can't believe that it was almost a year ago!!! I love these year in reviews because while the year seemed to fly by you see how much really went on!!

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  8. So nice to read this review as I started following your blog the last quarter or so of the year :)

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  9. Girlfriend, you absolutely ROCKED your year!!!! I hated reading that about sweet little Roxy...its never easy losing a pet. They are family!! I'm excited to see where 2015 takes you!!

    I hope to be even half as productive next year as you were this year! Xoxo!!

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  10. Wow! You accomplished so much in such a short period of time. I need to get off of my butt! So sad about Roxy. It's never easy to say goodbye to a pet(family member) even if you're expecting it. I can relate to what you said about realizing you were doing exactly what you needed to be doing. A few months after moving to Halifax, the honeymoon phase wore off and we were totally questioning everything. Not that long after we both had aha moments and knew we were exactly where we were supposed to be and haven't looked back. I think it's so awesome that you do so much with your dad!!

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    1. That's so great to hear, Brooke! The honeymoon is over and I'm definitely going through that "What am I doing?!?!" phase right now but I know it's just a phase.
      My dad is my hero! :)

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  11. I love that even though your dad was part of your beginning your running journey, YOU convinced HIM to run a marathon with you! So sorry to hear that other than that your 2014 got off to such a shaky start. But just the three months you shared here speaks to your resiliency and why I admire you so much as a person and an athlete. Loved this post and can't wait to read the next installment :)

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  12. Daaaang. So much happened just in the beginning! You totally do not have to share or should feel like you should share about your marriage stuff. Some things are way too personal for internet strangers :) glad you found RTA! I've enjoyed reading your blog this year.

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