Happy new year! I hope everybody’s 2017 is off to a good start. I was originally going to have my first run of the year at the annual Hair of the Dog 9k race located in the Beaches area of Toronto. I was all set to go and got into my car only to discover that it was dead. We hadn’t allotted enough time to cover the 5kms to get to the start line (and sign up, and check bags etc.) so I said forget it. It was a sign. We celebrated Jan. 2 with a brand new car battery.
I’ve really neglected my blog this year and have many half written posts in the draft section. Now that it’s the new year I thought I’d get off to a good start by doing a quick sum up of 2016. While 2015 was my year of PBs (personal bests), this year was full of slower times and many struggles to finish my races (my own fault for doing too much). This year was also full of many positives and if I had one word to sum up my running experience in 2016, then it would be community. I think deep down we’re always searching for that feeling of belonging, and this year I found it in the running community. Here are some highlights.
Disney, Disney, Disney2016 was also the year of Disney. This year we ended up running at not one, but three different Disney parks! We ran the Rebel Challenge (10k and half marathon) in Disneyland, then the Dark Side Challenge (10k and half marathon) in Disney World where we completed the Coast to Coast Challenge (run in Disneyland and Disney World in the same calendar year) and Kessel Run Challenge (run the Light Side half and Dark Side half in the same calendar year).
After that for good measure, we also ran the Disneyland Paris half marathon where we earned the Castle to Chateau Challenge medal (run a half marathon in Disneyland or Disney World and Disneyland Paris in the same calendar year). I can’t resist a good challenge and we also spent a week eating our way through Paris!
High fives while running down Main Street USA at the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon.I love Disney and hope to go back someday to Disney World to tackle the Dopey Challenge. Another highlight was meeting Mickey Mouse five times on our trip to Disney World (though kind of hilarious considering we’re a middle aged couple with no kids!). Beaches Running Room
The Beaches area in Toronto is like my second home. This year I continued to run with friends in the area as well as make new running friends. I had the privilege of running in clinics instructed by my friends Beth and Lyndsey (with Jose as the team leader), and Larry. I learned a lot from them and they continue to give me advice and encouragement.
Ottawa Marathon and STWM
I had such an amazing time (both chip time and experience) at STWM (Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon) in the fall of 2015 that I decided I wanted to run more marathons. Both marathons were hours slower than my PB so I’ve learned my lesson; respect the distance. I signed up for the Ottawa Marathon on a whim, thinking that “it would be fun.” Instead it taught me how to persevere. I wanted redemption at STWM but the summer kicked my butt and the hot and humid temperatures turned my goal into finishing. This year I’m taking a break from full marathons to give my body time to recover and hopefully not repeat these mistakes again!
JP’s Team I also had the privilege to join JP’s Team for a few fun runs and cheer for them/be cheered by them at races. They are an amazing group of runners and I’m proud to support them as they raise money for The Gatehouse and Little Warriors, as well as awareness of childhood sexual abuse. I made a video of one of our fun runs.
RunTOBeer This year I also ran a lot more with RunTOBeer. As a regular attendee I’ve now met more runners through them (enough that some of them have recognized me and said hi at other races). They’re a fun and inclusive group and give me an excuse to run and explore a different part of the city, as well as try different craft beers. I’m looking forward to more running, beer and high fives with them in 2017.
Beaches Runners Club
This year I started running with the Beaches Runners Club (BRC) though some of their members have been telling me that I’m a member since last year. They also run out of the Running Room, which is how I met most of them. They’re a great group! There’s a lot of overlap between groups (most of the pictures that I put under the Running Room also include members of the BRC).
Other non-running related highlights
In 2016 I also got to celebrate the marriage of one of my oldest friends, as well as the marriage of one of my closest friends.
We also had a girls weekend in Florida where we saw dolphins (probably one of the best moments of my life. No exaggeration!). For 2017, I’ve decided to take it easy and run less races, focus more on quality workouts and cross training, and continue to have fun.