I had great adventures this year. And I had profound sadness.
In running I ran further and faster that I ever dreamed. I met so many great people running and expect I will see many of these friends in the upcoming year. I also learned I can dig deep and go moderately fast. My biggest running accomplishments in the past year in my opinion are:
Umstead 100 in 27 hours and 42 minutes-while I was running this race I thought I was on target for over 28 hours and even during the last lap my only goal was to be just about 28 hours. Clearly I was an over achiever! And I ended up with a 1 hour PR for a 100 miler.
JFK50 miler in 11 hours and 10 minutes-while I was running this race I thought I would just beat my previous time of 11 hours 40 minutes. It was only at mile 38 that I started realizing I was well ahead of my previous PR.
New River Trail in 6 hours and 6 minutes-while I was running this race I had no idea I was going to set a 1 hour PR. In fact my time at the halfway point while an improvement of my previous 50 km PR was only about 10 minutes faster. But during the second half I somehow started to pick up the pace.
Frederick Marathon in 4 hours 9 minutes-this race was one of the most miserable experiences of my life. And yet somehow I set a new PR. The course is quite hilly, the weather included several hours running in a torrential downpour and it was quite chilly. But somehow I PR'ed.
But my favorite memory and proudest moment was my 50 miler PR at Rocky Raccoon. This was the last time I saw and hung out with my mom. Sadly she passed away in May and I still am trying to get over this. I miss being able to call her when I want to just chat.
In addition to these numerous PRs, I also had so much fun this past year. I had wonderful pacers at Umstead 100: my sister and my husband who even paced me a lap together. This 3 hour 12 mile jog was so much fun. We chatted, laughed and had a great time.
Another favorite memory is at VT100 with my pacers Dan and Shane. Both Dan and Shane really are 100% responsible for my finish at VT100. I was pretty depressed during this race and at one point my heart really wasn't in it. But they kept up my spirits, gave me all sorts of positive encouragement and were truly GREAT friends and pacers. I was so lucky to have spent ~10 hours with Shane and ~5 hours with Dan sharing my VT100 mile experience.
Also at VT100 I was part of a running community with lots of friends I knew before: Emmy, Debbie, Caroline, Frank, Bob and of course my adopted running club, the Reston Runners: Mary, Anna, Dave, Jim A, Jim B, Bill, Tim, and Jim. And of course during the race I was supported by my friend Tony (fresh from his Badwater finish!) and Mark M.
Friends is a common theme in why running makes me so happy. I was so delighted at JJ100 when I spent many hours running with (and perhaps even pacing at the end:-) my friends Susan and Rob. They are such accomplished ultrarunners and so kind and encouraging. The miles just flew by with them.
This year had many trips for business and pleasure. During these trips I got to see friends and family. Some places I had never been to before (for example, Sedona, Arizona with my dad) while other places I had been to before.
Of course in real life I also was very busy. I traveled to many conferences and even co-organized a large statistical conference. I still am recovering from this...although immediately heading to the VT50 might not have been the best idea (although the pre-race dinner with Steve, Tony, EJ, Shane, Tristan and others was so much fun!)
The year ended with two bits of good news. Gilligan who was diagnosed with cancer in early June is now considered fully in remission since he has not had a recurrence and based on X-rays and scans his cancer had not spread. And the final bit of good news is that I was selected for a team leader position at the FDA. Hopefully I will be a fair, reasonable and well respected team leader.