Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in the Life

I can't believe 2012 is already over... wow!

A quick runthrough of some of the highlights:

January: First Broncos game, trip to Florida for Warrior Dash
February: Skiing @ Keystone
March: Skiing @ Breckenridge, Trip to Moab, UT
April: Bought the first pair of jeans I've owned in 10+ years
May: Ran my first half marathon!  The Color Run
June:  Visited Rocky Mountain National Park
July:  Trip to MN for the 4th of July, climbed Mount Elbert (highest peak in CO)
August:  Trip to Arizona- Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, had an amazing RA training
September: Started a new school year working at JWU, Rock n Roll Denver 1/2 marathon relay
October:  Anniversary trip to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta
November: Surprise trip to Aspen/Hanging Lake
December:  Casa Bonita! Christmas with the Amazing family, Cousin Allison's wedding

Holy cow!  As I look back on the year I realize how lucky I am...

Now, a look at the goals I had for 2012:

1. Get down to 210, then never get back above 220.  Made it to 217 in May during 1/2 marathon training.  Gained plenty after.  

2. Run a race every month.  The streak continues!

3. Run a half marathon.   Ran my first half marathon in May!

4. Climb a 14era.   I climbed my first 14er this summer - Mount Elbert - the tallest peak in CO

5. Ski Keystone, Breckenridge, A Basin, Vail, and Beaver Creek. Didn't make it to all, but I will in 2013!

6. Go to a Broncos, Avalanche, Rockies, Nuggets, and Rapids game. I love sports!

7. Join a sports league. Technically, no, but did some great things and met some awesome people through running and volleyball

8. Present at a professional conference. Submitted proposals for 2013, but was denied - oh well!

9. Discover or rediscover a creative outlet. This got neglected through the shuffle of life.  I have a few things up my sleeve for 2013 though!

10. Read 50 Books. Not even close - barely read anything the second half of the year.

11. Visit 5 new places
-Ski Resorts Keystone & Breckenridge for skiing, Beaver Creek for Tough Mudder
-Moab, Utah & Arches/Canyonlands National Parks
-Fort Collins for my half marathon
-Rocky Mountain National Park
-Phoenix, Sedona, and Grand Canyon
-Albuquerque, New Mexico

Throw in a trip back to FL and a 4th of July in MN and this guy's a happy camper!  Yes, a lot of these are in CO, but when you move to a new place, it's so much fun to explore.  Especially a place as amazing as Colorado!

12. Smile and laugh. A lot.   These are the moments that make life worth living.

Although I'm ending 2012 on a rough note, it was a phenomenal year, filled with memories, adventures, and love.  Thanks for sharing the journey with me!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ugly Sweater Run

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of my first race.  I got to bust out the same shirt that I wore that day for this one as well.  Full circle.

My coworker Renee and I headed to City Park for this adventure.  As we were walking to the registration area, we knew this was going to be a race to remember.  People walking from every direction in ugly sweaters.  7,000 strong.

I'm pretty happy with this race.  I was very consistent throughout, and I was just hoping to go sub-30.  It's been a struggle to get back that that consistency, but I've been working out pretty consistently over the past week and a half.

It was a weird combination of struggle and feeling pretty good, but I just kept trucking along.  One of the most fun races I have ever done!

2 Years

2 years ago today, I ran my first race.  It was the Jingle Bell Run in St. Petersburg, FL.

I was fat.

I reached my peak weight of 284 pounds in the fall of 2010.  My life was in an incredible place - I was in the midst of earning my master's degree, living this adventure filled life in Florida.  Life was great.  But I wasn't happy.  So I started running.  And by running, I meant elephant-stomping my way to a quarter mile.  Yes, a quarter mile.  That was my first run in years.  I never considered myself a runner, but at several points of my life it was a way for me to lose weight, most notably during high school and then again during college.  That quarter mile in late 2010 was one of the most eye opening and reality checking moments of my life.  How did I let myself get there?

It's crazy to think of how different my life is from that moment, and how much my life has changed.

And I owe a lot of that to running.

On December 8, 2010, I ran the race with a bunch of friends on the St. Petersburg Pier.  When I signed up, I made a goal that I would run a 5K every month for a year.  A goal that I knew I would not reach.  That night, as thousands of people were gathering toward the start line, I felt a sense of rejuvenation that I had not felt in a long time.  As I plowed my then-260-ish-pound body through those 3 miles, I knew that I was headed down a road that would set me up for success for a long time.  When I crossed the finish line, my life changed forever.

In one moment, I realized that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life.

I am not a runner.  At least, that's what doctors have told me.  This is something I should not be doing.  But this is something that has saved my life.  Or at least the overall quality of it.

I run to free my mind and soul.  I run for the love of it.  And nobody can take that feeling, meaning, and passion away.

So here I am, 2 years later.  60 pounds lighter.  400+ miles later.  I have ran a whole lot of 5Ks.  A couple 10Ks.  A 15K.  A Tough Mudder.  A half marathon.  And coming in 2013: a marathon.  And that streak that I never thought I would accomplish is still alive.  I have ran at least one race every month since that December day, and I plan to for as long as my body will let me.

As I reflect over the past 2 years, I am in awe of how much my life has changed and will continue to do so... step at a time.

Some highlights of the 2 year journey:

Races:  31
First Race: Jingle Bell Run - St. Petersburg, FL - December 8, 2010
Fastest 5K: Run for the Door - Denver, CO - May 12, 2012 - 27:26
Favorite 5K: The Color Run - Denver, CO - May 26, 2012
Coolest Race:  Fans on the Field 10K - Denver, CO - Sept 25, 2011
Most Scenic Race: Canyonlands 5 Mile - Moab, UT - March 17, 2012
Most Memorable Race: Colorado Half Marathon - Ft. Collins, CO - May 6, 2012
States raced in: Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah
Hottest Race: Red, White, and Boom! Twin Cities 5 Mile -Minneapolis, MN - July 4, 2012
Coldest Race: Christmas Day 5K - St. Paul, MN - December 25, 2011

To see some of the running milestones, visit my running page.