I posted a blog just over a year ago recapping 2016–in my mind, 2016 was the year of heartbreak and breakthroughs. But guess what?!
2017 was a year of heartbreak and breakthroughs as well.
January and February
After running 2:36 at CIM in 2016, I was motivated and ready to knock out my first track season since college. I started logging 115-120 mile weeks throughout January and February and even though I was sleeping by 8pm every night, I felt stronger and more confident than ever. I jumped in my first indoor track race since 2014 and ran 9:33 in the 3k with a huge negative split — I was jacked to say the least.
I traveled to Jacksonville for the USATF 15K Championships and knew I was in for a rough ride. Workouts weren’t going great, I was fatigued and mentally not in a great state. I probably should’ve withdrawn but the experience turned out to be amazing and I met some amazing runners and now friends. I ended March with a stress reaction in my fibula which took me out for about 6 weeks…goodbye track season.
Looking back, the injury was a blessing. I was tired and not excited about training. It was my least favorite chore. Not running for 6 weeks allowed me to put all of my attention into my career and made me realize how much I love coaching at the collegiate level. Despite not running, I was having fun, laughing more and felt like I had a purpose….those are feelings I never had in college when I was sidelined with injuries. The highlight of April: my best friend got married.
Time to get back in shape. It sucked. It hurt. I survived. HOWEVER, I did it rocking my new rabbit gear. In May I signed my very first contract with an amazing company. 2017 wouldn’t have been the same without them.
My first fitness test was the Boilermaker 15K at the beginning of July. To my surprise, I felt great (got lucky with low humidity) and managed to finish 2nd American. The highlight of July (and the year) was the day I got engaged. It was a Monday. I hated Mondays until this particular Monday. It was unexpected, low key and absolutely perfect.
Time to focus–my coach, Tony, has never ever told me that I need to really buckle down and get to work until August. He is usually telling me to go drink a glass of wine and stay out past 9pm for once. I took it to heart and put all of my focus into recruiting, coaching and running. I had goals for myself at CIM but I knew that I needed zoom focus. My mileage wasn’t crazy but I was consistent and my workouts were really coming together. At the end of October I was actually nervous that I was getting too fit too far out from CIM. In mid-November, I ran a local half marathon in about 15 degree weather–it was cold, windy and lonely since I ran a majority of it alone however I ran about 30 seconds off my PR on what felt like a “hard tempo”.
CIM 2017 is a race I’ll never forget. I was confident. I was scared to vocalize it but inside, I knew I was ready. What that meant however, I wasn’t sure. This marathon buildup was different. I lost 6 weeks of training in the spring and I was inconsistent throughout summer (I battled some anemia) but something inside me knew I was ready. I wasn’t expecting to end 2017 with 2:31.55 behind my name…that was a goal for 2020.
2017 taught me that life doesn’t care about our plans. We have to roll with the punches, stand up after getting knocked down and take advantage of the opportunities you may least expect.