Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year from Hungry Twenties!

Well guys, it's hard to believe another year is coming to a close.  It seriously feels like it was just yesterday that we were ringing in 2013.  Yet, when I take a moment to think about everything that has happened this year and all that I have accomplished, it feels like forever ago.  I truly feel like I have become a bit of a different person from where I was on December 31, 2012.

Let's tick through some of the things that have happened in 2013.  Some of which were documented on the blog, some of which were not.  So, ya know, if something sounds new to you, it probably is.  In addition to taking some blogging hiatuses, I also chose to kept some things private.  But anyways, here is my 2013 year in review:

  • I traveled.  Despite the fact that this is the first year in a long time I didn't plan a big international vacation, there was quite a bit of travel packed in this year.  2013 brought trips all over the world from Prague to Atlanta (twice!) to Dallas to Greenville.  I traveled many weekends to Boston and New York City.  To Rhode Island and New Hampshire and Connecticut.  To Chicago (twice!) and Nashville and to Berlin and Munich.  And this year's travel was wrapped up in a November trip to Florida where I lazied laid in the sun all day and didn't do much of anything.  I'd say it was a good year for travel!

  • I enjoyed both sport & arts.  Or whatever you want to call it.  This year I saw comedians Jeff Dunham and Aziz Ansari perform, as well as a stand up show in New York City.  I saw my favorite artist, John Mayer, some back-in-the-day favorites at the Package Tour with 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, and New Kid on the Block, and also rocked out many a nights to local band, the Audiostars.  I traveled to Newark, New Jersey and Syracuse, New York to watch the Syracuse Orange dominate in some basketball.  I visited the ballet and the orchestra this summer at SPAC.  I even went to my first Polo match.

  • I celebrated.  We celebrated my grandmother's 80th birthday this year with a big family surprise party.  I celebrated the wedding of some good friends.  The engagements of many more.  And some beautiful babies were brought into this world.  I had amazing friends around me as I rang in my 27th year and helped friends to celebrate their birthdays, promotions, new jobs, and accomplishments throughout the year.

  • I mourned.  I broke up with a boyfriend this year.  I was diagnosed with condition I will battle the rest of my life (non-life threatening.)  But, most notably, I mourned my friend Kelly, who passed away this summer after a hard fought battle with advanced, fast moving cancer.  It was barely a month from when Kelly was diagnosed until she passed away, leaving behind her daughter, husband, and many beloved family members and friends.  It's terrifying and really made me reflect on how short life is and how fast it can be taken away.  You will be remembered always, Kelly!
  • And finally, I ran.  I ran and I raced.  This year I competed in six 3-4 mile races (Workforce Challenge, Freihofer's, Firecracker 4, Jailhouse Rock, Electric Run, Albany Last Run), one relay marathon (Hudson Mohawk), one 10K (Great Pumpkin Run), one 15K (Stokadeathon), TWO sprint triathlons (one on my birthday!), and last but not least, TWO half marathons.  I PRed in my 5K time at 25:35, my sprint triathlon time I beat my 8 minutes, and I PRed in my second half marathon by about 16 minutes finishing in 2:03:41.  And while I wasn't running in races myself, I cheered for friends who ran.  I volunteered at the Ragner Relay. With the rest of the running community, New Englanders, and the world, I mourned the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.  For the first time in my life, I built weekend plans around when I was going to run.  I started waking up at 5:00 a.m. three times a week to meet friends to run.  I ran through rain.  I ran through thunder and lightning.  I ran through snow.  I ran through slush.  I ran in Albany.  I ran in New York City.  I ran in Atlanta.  I ran in Germany.  I ran in New Hampshire.  I ran in Greenville.  I ran in Chicago and I ran in the many other places I traveled this year.  I ran with friends.  I ran with coworkers.  I ran with my mom.  I ran with my brother.  I ran with strangers and I ran with my closest friends I've had since kindergarten.  At the beginning of the year, I had no idea I could do any of this.  Running in a half marathon was a reach goal.  It was terrifying.  I'm not sure anything will ever beat the feeling that I had when I ran the Nashville Rock and Roll half marathon.  It was insane, pure, raw, all encompassing bliss.  Happiness. Pride. Relief.  Joy.  Words cannot really describe how it felt, but I am getting goose bumps, chills, and butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.  My next half marathon, in Providence, was a completely different sensation and but wonderful all in itself.  I had my family and friends cheering for me, I pushed myself to go harder and faster than I thought possible, and again, blew my own expectations for myself out of the water.  I say nothing can beat that feeling in Nashville... but if I had to guess one thing that could beat it would be finishing a marathon.  Which I just happen to be signed up and training for.  So, in addition to all that I accomplished this year, 2013 is also the year that I registered and began training for my first marathon.  April 6 in Paris, France -- here I come!
So, for all of this in more, I am feeling incredibly proud, blessed, thankful, and energized about what the past year has brought to me.  And to be more frank, what I brought into the year myself.  The goals that I pushed myself to accomplish and the things that I achieved.

You know, on January 1, 2013 when I registered for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in Nashville, I did it planning to go that weekend with the support of the guy I was dating at the time.  When we broke up early in my training, it could have made for a really convenient excuse to not do the race.  I don't think anyone would have blamed me if I decided to not go to a city I'd never been to, by myself, and try and tackle something that I never imagined was possible for myself.  But, I'm really proud of myself that I didn't give up.  I'm really proud of myself that I ran through it all.  Literally.  And running that race in Nashville I think changed my life.  Running that race in Nashville proved something to myself, that I am stronger than I ever thought.

I'm excited about what 2014 has to bring and I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year's Eve filled with lots of love and laughter.  And for those of you who are alone, or who are like me and don't really like New Year's Eve itself -- remember it's only one night.  How you ring in the New Year doesn't define what the year will be like for you.  Shake off the pressure to "start the new year right" and just do the best you can every day.  Come back here, keep reading, and let's conquer 2014 together.

Thank you to everyone who reads here.  I love you all!

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