2016 Wrap Up

Well hello again, and happy holidays! Hopefully you are all enjoying some relaxation, celebration, and time with family and friends. It’s hard to believe Christmas has already come and gone, and that there are only two full days left of 2016. I started out this year thinking it was going to be “the best year ever”, and it certainly has had it’s high points. Here’s to making 2017 an even better and brighter year!

One of the definite pros (among many) of being a teacher is that we get a full two week break for the holidays. I absolutely LOVE this time and in fact, pretty much live each year awaiting the magical holiday season (a terrible thing to do, always wishing for the future, I know). The holiday season never disappoints – the time with family, time for relaxation, and time to reflect and set some goals. I love the feeling of a fresh, clean start on January 1st and can’t wait to sit down and reflect on this year and plan for the next.

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Being away for the holidays and visiting families actually makes running easier for me. Visiting mine and my fiance’s families puts me right next to two beautiful running trails, which are often much easier to run on than the county roads back where I live. I’ve gotten in quite a few runs this break, none more than 5 miles, but all of them with family or friends. The trails and sidewalks have been snow covered each time, especially around Christmas when it warmed up and melted into an ugly slush. This certainly does not make running easier, but it sure makes me feel pretty hardcore when I come back from a run and realized what I ran through when many others stayed inside. The slush slowed me down each time and made the run significantly more work, but was definitely still manageable.

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We just returned from 3 days in Petoskey, Michigan, where we skied at Boyne Highlands. This has been a family tradition for the past 3 years and I am loving it. My fiance learned to ski last year when we brought him and he is catching on faster than anybody I’ve seen before. I started skiing when I was 4 years old and somehow he has caught up to my skill level in just 2 year. We had much more luck with the weather this year compared to last year – we spent 2 out of 3 days last year skiing into the snow machines because the hill was practically all grass when we arrived! Snow is so beautiful and I just can’t seem to get enough of it in life.

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For Christmas this year, I received a spin bike from my parents and am absolutely pumped about it! I am way too chicken to take group exercise classes by myself for the first time, so I have never worked up the courage to attend a spin class. I have read and researched excessively about it however, and have always been excited and curious about the workout I could get while spinning. Well, as luck would have it, now I will be able to find out! Biking indoors will be great cross training for running. I love the low impact of it, and how quickly I am able to get my heart rate up when spinning. This will definitely be a work in progress, and I will have to do plenty of research to discover the best workouts and spinning secrets, but so far I’d say the bike has not disappointed. I also received a new Garmin 235 with a heart rate monitor in the wrist. I am SO EXCITED about this. I’ve had my fair share of Garmins since I’ve started running, all of them perfectly useful and helpful. I currently wear the Vivoactive and love that it is waterproof, looks fashionable (I wear it all day long) and counts my steps. However, I don’t love that I have to strap the heart rate monitor around my chest to use. This is nearly impossible to do by myself, so much so that I gave up on it about 2 months after I got it. I can’t wait to start using the HR monitor more often, and incorporate HR training while planning paces for my speedwork.

Ending the year and starting a new year always makes me excited to reflect on what I have accomplished running-wise in the past 365 days, and what goals I want to set for the new year. I am ridiculously excited to sit out and think through my 2016 races and workouts, and plan new goals for this year. I hope you all wrap up these last few days of 2016 in the best way possible and start the year off feeling hopeful, rejuvinated, loved and excited. I will be back with goals and plans at the beginning of 2017. HAPPY NEW YEAR 🙂

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