Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year In Review: Laying The Foundation And Living With Joy

2017 has been a special year of running for me. It has been a year of the very beginning of great things ahead - I feel that in my heart (and importantly, my coach said it). I had so much fun running this year, I learned a lot of lessons and I realize that I am strong and getting stronger. When I have moments of doubt, God keeps nudging me along... encouraging me through good and bad, I feel his presence and for that I'm grateful.  I'm ever aware that my children are watching and learning from me...I hope I'm doing a good job. I'm so far from perfect, but because of my love for them and desire to be a good role model - I'm optimistic that those things outweigh the imperfections. We were out on a trail biking and exploring this past week, and stopped for a while to play some games. At one point we decided to run a relay race and Josh and I ended up running against each other. Oh boy, I didn't feel ready to sprint in the least, but he wanted to, so of course we did. He dusted me in that 100 meter dash - in his jeans no less - and in that moment, I realized 1. This kid is freakin FAST - I mean really fast and 2. he truly loves to run and I hope a little bit of that comes from me. Afterwards, he said: "Mommy, don't worry, I know you could beat me any day in a long distance race." 
Nice work kid - make your Mom feel good :)
I couldn't be happier with this year in my running life.

Running in January on one of my favorite trails



This photo is everything to me


It felt sweet to break 1:30 in the half this year. That wasn't something I was extremely focused on, but when it did happen I felt in my gut that it was time. The training was there and although I was in the middle of marathon training for CIM, I knew I was strong and ready to put this under my belt.
In January, I started off the year training for Boston and ran a 1:37 half in Carlsbad...



and then nine months later in October ----> ran a 1:27 half in Ventura...



When I crossed the line in Ventura, I realized that my future is bright and I have so much more room to get faster. After careful thought, I would have to say this race was the highlight of my year. Not just because of the time, but because I felt so strong and in control the entire race - even through the hard parts, I kept it together. That race summed up months of work and I'm proud of that. An excellent launching pad for 2018!

Another year at the Boston Marathon and it never gets old. I love this race and part of me is sad not to be going back in 2018, but I've had a blast the last two years!



When Lauren Fleshman sends you a DM asking if you'd like to be on the cover of a Picky Bar, which you geninuely love... I mean - really? That was a highlight for sure...



Trail running has such a special place in my heart. I know I have to reserve time for some trail racing in the future.





The beach runs never get old. NEVER. My heart pulls at trails and then I get to the beach and I'm in love all over again. This year, I ran a lot of both - which by the way you can do a lot of both when you are injury free the WHOLE YEAR! :)

Oh the sea means so much to me...




I raced seven times - broken down like this:

Carlsbad Half in January: 1:37

Encinitas Half in March: 1:33

I really did have fun in Encinitas - really. #painface


Boston Marathon in April: 3:23

Students Run LA Trail 5K in June: 21:13 (emphasis on TRAIL - oh see...I am running trail races ;0)

Shoreline Half Marathon in July: 1:36 (it was SO hot during this race, but so fun... beers and tacos afterwards!)


We are melting...


Took a break to regroup (and took a first time trip to NOLA where of course I did a lot of running), and build a slow base before going into CIM training...

Ventura Half Marathon in October: 1:27

CIM Marathon in December: 3:13


Don't stop your watch! #rookiemistake


Almost 10 minutes faster than Boston, 8 months prior. Let's just say I made a lot of rookie mistakes in this race (and I'm not a rookie runner, so humm...), but I'm proud of knocking down my marathon time and can't wait for the next one. #iloverunning


My total miles for 2017? 

2,408.8

I've never totaled yearly miles before and it was neat to add them all up. I also ran my first 70 mile week ever, which was cool. That alone sets me up for many 70+ mile weeks to come in 2018.




Fired up, pumped, ready to have a blast, ready to put in the work in 2018! I mean, you kinda have to be motivated after watching all the the amazing women distance runners tear it up this year. Wow.

As for 2017 - I'm proud of what I accomplished in running (and in life - I love writing, I love this blog and also this year I started writing weekly for Women's Running Magazine after writing for them a few times in 2016. I also created Running Is My Recess in 2017 - a community of runners who celebrate running. After all, why should kids have all the fun?) and there's a reason why my famlily is in so many of these pics... cause they keep me going, they are the center of it all.

After a 20 mile run in March and they are so much bigger now!




Cheers my friends. Cheers to family, friends, beautiful memories and lots of great running in 2018.

Do awesome things.

xo,
Natalie

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