Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: A Year in Review

Every year, it seems like time flies by quicker and quicker. Maybe it's because I'm getting older or maybe the 24/7 news cycle/social media feeds make it seem like time is just flying by. I remember when Matthew and I got engaged, our wedding date seemed so far away (a little over a year), and yet here we are, already eight months into marriage. Time passes so quickly. I'm thankful I have this little "internet diary" to serve as a memory of all the adventures had each year.

In my Weight Watchers meeting last night, we talked about how important reflection is in our weight loss journey; thinking about what made you proud, what you still want to achieve, and what progress you've made over the last year can help you in reaching future goals for the next year. Last year, for the first time ever, I actually wrote down what my goals were for the year. Some were obtained, some were forgotten- pretty typical New Year's Resolutions 😃

But this post won't run down all wins or losses I made based on the goals I set out for myself last year; mainly because that feels like measuring myself against a set of standards that don't quite fit where I am now. At the beginning of 2016, I had no idea how wedding planning, stress at work, and injuries would impact my running and weight loss journey. But they did so to try and hold myself to what I set out for last year just feels like setting up a long post about my failure.

Instead, here's a month-by-month reflection on 2016: what made me proud, what progress I made, and what I still want to achieve in 2017. Before we go any further, I owe you a huge thank you. Without my "internet friends," I don't really know where I'd be on this health/weight-loss/running journey. You keep me grounded, accountable, and make me feel supported. Thanks for doing that for me in 2016. ❤

Leading Weight Watchers meetings is hard, y'all. After a year of doing it, I have more experience and feel like some of my skills are getting better but it's still hard. It's also still so rewarding and most weeks, it brings a level of joy and motivation to my life that I don't know I can find elsewhere.

After battling tendinitis pretty much all winter, running the Princess Half with my friend Jen was simply magical. While we met our only goal, to finish, I wanted to felt stronger during this race. My knee was held together with KT tape and that pain kept me from training the way I wanted to.

Smiles and bling.

Spring brought a little more consistency to my running. My proudest running moment of the year happened at the Shamrock Half Marathon. It was 40 degrees and pouring down rain at the start with windy conditions during the entire race- but somehow I managed to run my second-fastest half marathon ever. I think Jen pacing us helped a lot!

Jen and me, killin it in the rain.

April brought two bridal showers, wedding dress fittings, crazy stress at work, and loads of last-minute wedding planning that added to the lack of working out/running. I was also struggling to keep my weight in check- I had wanted to walk down the aisle at a certain number on the scale, and in this month I realized it wasn't going to happen. What I still want to achieve in 2017 is being able to prioritize healthy living (meal-planning, working out, etc.) even when life gets very busy.

Running Ohana at my bridal shower. 

I finally made an honest man out of Matthew and married him. 😂 We aslo finished the Pittsburgh Steel Challenge (5k + half) and ran a 5k on the day of our wedding. While I didn't log the miles or workouts I wanted to during this month, planning and running a 5k the morning of our wedding kind of solidified for me how much my life has changed over the last 6 years I've been running!

One of the better days of my life ❤
Wedding Running Ohana.

After our honeymoon, we settled into summer and playing "catch up" after the wedding. I also ran my third Baltimore Women's Classic and loved it, as usual! We took another trip to the beach (Cape May, NJ) where my knee pain from February reared it's ugly head again. After seven days of walking to the beach, running, and biking all over town, my knee let me know it was definitely not ready for Walt Disney World Marathon training.

Vacation means wine in a plastic cup.

The middle of summer brought more travel and more focus back into my life. My meal planning was on point this month and I managed to stay on track while on another weekend beach trip. Moving into next year, I want to harness the power of meal planning/prepping and continue to be successful at making it actually happen. I also did a ton of physical therapy to help get my knee back to normal. Strength training and I don't get along well but I know it's one of those "musts" to stay healthy and manage my weight. 2017 might be the year I finally invest in a personal trainer and really figure this strength training thing out.

Damn tendinitis. 

To sum up this month, my hair and my runs got shorter. I hate running in the heat- give me snow any day over hot sun and humidity! I'm proud that I got any workouts in during late summer; it's always a time of the year that I struggle with in terms of working out.

Trying to perfect the #pointonemilesposeTM

Fall 2016 meant two things: better running weather and the start of the long runs of our Walt Disney World Marathon/Dopey Challenge training. With a 13 miler and a 15 miler, we fell right back into the marathon mindset- gearing ourselves up mentally for longer and longer runs. I am really proud of how I fueled for the increasing mileage and lost almost three pounds in September- pretty much unheard of me to lose weight during marathon training.

Next to December, October might be my favorite month of the year. Cooler temperatures, color-changing leaves, and hot drinks- all super cool things about fall in the mid-Atlantic. This October, Matthew and I were lucky enough to be able to spend a week in Ireland- and I only gained 1.4 pounds! Because we travel quite a bit, I am getting better and better at making healthy choices when out of my routine. We even snuck in a few runs in between all the sight seeing! Out hotel was on the route of the Dublin Marathon (taking place the day after we left) so we got to run the streets of Dublin with some inspirational signage- super cool.

I could run this city every day.

Two 20+ mile runs, the lowest weight I'd been since July 2015, and lots of time with family? November this year was awesome. If I could repeat this month for all of 2017, I'd be set! This month's progress can be attributed to really working my own Weight Watchers program- being mindful of why/how/how much I'm eating and simply moving more- whether that's running or walking or yoga or strength training.

The last month of 2016 was nowhere near as kind to me as November was. The scale has moved up higher than I'd want it to, I've been battling some recurrent foot pain (more on that in a post next week), and this year the holiday sweets are winning- I can't seem to stay away from those damn Christmas cookies! However, this has been a month of increased quality time with Matthew and both our families. And, we leave for Walt Disney World next week! So, maybe I'm not where'd I'd like to be but I still have a lot to be proud of from 2016 and I'm excited to see where I'll make progress in 2017.

Happy New Year!

What are you most proud of from 2016? Where do you want to see progress in 2017?