And here we are, once again. The Year In Review.
2016 was quite a year. Let’s take a look back…
I kicked off the year with a new car and my #AreWeThereYet road trip to Disney World for WDW Marathon weekend. (I deemed my “revenge race” after failing to finish the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon). I entered the weekend feeling rather miserable and isolated and nervous…and left feeling fulfilled and fuzzy inside; I attended my first runner meetup with We Run Social, and I joined Team Shenanigans. I learned that runner camaraderie can really pull you out of a funk in about five seconds. All it takes is love, laughter, a margarita and a spin around Mexico.
I didn’t know it at the time, but at a Kappa Kappa Psi meetup the night before the marathon (where it was raining cats and dogs), I would meet a Life Member who would eventually adopt me as his new Little. (Long story short: when you’re a colonist for your chapter, you don’t necessarily get a Big, so you’re kinda on your own to figure everything out.) Chris is a major piece of my 2016 story, on fraternal/professional/friendship levels. He claimed, “You look like you need a Big Brother”, and history took off from there. We have traveled many places this year, had many deep talks about life, and there are more adventures in store in the coming future. I encouraged him to start running, and his first race was the Dark Side 10K. He paced me for an 8:55 mile in March (even on my bum knee from GSC weekend), we ran our first race together in October (Run For The Badge, right here in D.C.), and I paced him for the Everglades Half Marathon in November. We have several races lined up for 2017, including the WDW Half and the Rock ‘n’ Roll D.C. Marathon (his first full!).
One of the biggest highlights of my year came with the penning of the Princess Half Marathon Survival Guide. I have a knack for telling stories and writing how-to guides (it’s the internal teacher in me). 2016 was my fourth PHM and third Glass Slipper Challenge. I was reading on many groups about how many firsties were freaking out about the little things, and knew I had to do something to assuage and educate them that there was nothing to really be concerned about. The series became a huge success, and I received many thank yous from readers while attending meetups and while on the course during the races!
A major goal of 2016 was to PR in my races, especially the half marathon (which I have now deemed my distance). I went into PHM weekend aiming for a sub-3 hour half…and ended up with my second worst half to date. I dealt with GI issues the entire week leading up to the race and during, and it affected my performance for both races. (Note: fiber is your friend!) I also left that weekend was an injury to my left knee (runner’s knee), and it stalled my Run the Year 2016 efforts for a month and a half….
…but 2016 also yielded many athletic firsts: sporting Sparkle Skirts (#BeAwesome, Team Sparkle!), volunteering for races, cheering for runners during Marine Corps Marathon, and running 5Ks/virtual races. This year yielded to eleven medals (with a twelfth and thirteenth on the way), my first finisher mug, a couple of personal records, so many fun memories, and eyes to 2017.
The travel bug bit once again, and I found myself traveling: Pennsylvania (I surprised Chris for his birthday with tickets for Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls experience), Florida (because Food and Wine/Flower and Garden/Halloween Horror Nights/Everglades Half racecation), and a road trip to Georgia (wedding time!!).
My travels were not quite as diverse as 2014 or 2015, but I’m still glad I escaped the rat race that is Washington D.C. Speaking of D.C., I finally ended up getting my first legit job almost a year after graduating graduate school. After my job search in the higher ed/student affairs department yielded a big goose egg, I am now currently in the hospitality/food and beverage industry (which is far more intricate and intense than one may realize). It’s still not my dream career, but I’m trying to make it work the best that I can. It definitely has its ups and downs, and but I am semi-content with where I am at the moment. How much longer I stay here working in such a large city, I really do not know. I’ve come to terms that I am not a city girl at all, and I so much prefer a rural, quiet life. I am often riddled with anxiety and stress that sometimes affects my performance, but I have a great team of managers and staff that have my back and keep me sane.
I made my way up to Edinboro this fall to watch the latest class of Kappa Kappa Psi brothers get inducted for my chapter. While there, I was officially presented with the “Miss Nu Zeta” award for “unswerving support of the organization and members since the founding of the chapter”. What can I say…I love my brothers, and am still incredibly honored to have made such an impact on the organization that it yielded to an accolade of sorts. 🙂
I am very much looking forward to 2017. There are some big events on the horizon, such as four marathons (yes, four…with focus on the Chicago Marathon!), runDisney funtimes, Kappa Kappa Psi National Convention in Orlando, and turning the big 3-0 in June!
Thanks for following along with me this year! If you ever have a topic that you would like me to write about, don’t hesitate to suggest it. I’m always looking for fun things to write about (runDisney or otherwise). Have a fantastic New Year’s, and I will see you in 2017 from the place Where Dreams Come True!
❤ Christina ❤