So, I know I haven’t finished my Australia/New Zealand recap, but I’m getting caught up in all the end of the year hubbub and thought it might be fun to look back on some highlights from my year- some things that I have blogged about and others that I haven’t.
Here we go, starting with January:
Perhaps this isn’t quite a “highlight,” but it was definitely something significant for Steph the triathlete. While out on a long run in preparation for the Best Damn Race half marathon only a few weeks away, I sprained my ankle. Oof. 2016 was off to a great start…
A few days after the sprain, it was my birthday, and it was quite possibly one of my favorite birthdays ever. 33 is nothing special in itself, but Bill and our friend Domenique made sure I would never forget this one. We got dressed up and went to Ciro’s speakeasy for some fun drinks before hitting up Edison for a delicious meal. The best part of the evening was my gift, which was so incredibly thoughtful. Bill had collected notes from my friends, which highlighted what they appreciated about me, and put them in a jar for me to read. We read each and every one of them, and my heart overflowed with joy. I still read them every so often- its a great way to cheer up when you’re feeling a little down!
Bill and I got to spend Valentine’s Day together. Sure, he was performing, but it was a fun excuse to get dressed up:-)
I took the plunge and got myself a power meter. I’m still learning more about how I should best use it, but it has definitely given me some interesting data to look at and analyze so I can keep improving!
And finally, I started classes for my Certificate in Project Management at the UW. It was fun to be a student again and to learn something that was totally applicable to the work I do!
In March I had the pleasure of attending my first ever triathlon training camp with TriMarni. I had an absolute blast spending three days doing some of my favorite things: swimming, biking, running, EATING, and learning about how to be a better triathlete. On top of all that, I got to meet my amazing coaches and teammates in person for the first time. It was awesome.
I also did my first tri of the season, on the last day of camp. I went out with ZERO expectations because hello tired, and I had a blast! It’s amazing how different a race can be if you just let go of all expectations and your only goal is to enjoy your day.
Since I didn’t get a chance to run the Best Damn Race, I was looking for a redemption race, and I found it in the IronGirl Clearwater half marathon. I was still getting my fitness back from the sprain but was definitely well enough to race. So glad I did because I PRed! (caveat: I haven’t done that distance stand alone in a very long time!)
I also did the St. Anthony’s Triathlon for the first time as an individual athlete. In 2015, I did it as a relay, but this year, it was all me. It was a hot day, but I PRed the Olympic distance and ended up with a 5th place AG award. Oh, and I met Rinny!
The highlight of May would most certainly be our hiking trip! We spent several days on the AT, saw some beautiful scenery, and met some pretty fantastic people. We spent our last night at the Top of Georgia Hostel, hanging with our new friends, learning from Sir Packs a Lot about the top tips for a successful through hike, and relaxing after some long days of walking. It was awesome. Unfortunately, the fall of 2016 wouldn’t be so good to TOG- the surrounding area was overtaken by fire, causing parts of the trail to be shut down, and thus, the steady stream of hikers that TOG relies on to survive all but came to a halt. They’re currently doing some fundraising to help get back on track, so if you feel so inclined, please donate here.
June was pretty busy for me, work-wise. I had two trips to Madison, and one of them was a longer-than usual trip so I could finish up my last course for my Project Management certificate. I “graduated” from the program this month, and can now put MCPM behind my name if I so choose!
One of the reasons the Madison trip was so long was because the two weeks I needed to be there were back to back, so I stayed for the weekend. It just so happened that there was a 70.3 that weekend, so of course I raced! Oh, and the Madison farmers market which is Ah-Mazing. It was really fun to race with my SOAS teammate Kathy! (I’m coming back for this race in 2017, and it will be an IM branded race then!)
I had one other race in June, a sprint tri, the 2nd in the Crystal River Sprint series. I won my age group!
In July, we celebrated the 4th with our friend Domenique, who recently bought a home in Tampa. We helped remove tile from the inlay suite and then stuffed our bellies with delicious food.
In August, my friend Domenique got some chickens, and I learned that I think chickens are pretty cool. I’m adopted mama #2 for these babes, and I had so much fun watching them grow in 2016!
I also hunkered down and got in my last push of training before my A race in September. Hard training meant I needed some good recovery, and I tried a float tank for the first time. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I also wouldn’t say I hated it. It was a different experience, and I think it’s one of those things where you need to do it a few times before fully “getting it”.
The triathlon I had been working towards all year was in September: Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City. It was a great excuse to get home to Jersey at one of the best times of year there. I didn’t have the race I wanted, but I still had fun!
Australia and New Zealand. ‘Nuf said.
New Zealand pics: (hopefully I’ll find some time to write up these posts!!)
I spent Thanksgiving with some friends and then had a 2nd thanksgiving with another friend on Black Friday, and then had a 3rd Thanksgiving when Bill got home in early December. I love thanksgiving!
I also started training with TriMarni as a one on one coached athletes. I felt the excitement of seeing my workouts loaded into Training Peaks for the first time (#triathletenerd).
In December, we celebrated Bill’s birthday with a surprise party. I’m so glad I was actually able to pull it off!
I also was able to spend Christmas with my cousin and her family. It was so fun to experience a Christmas with children (6, 2.5, and 4 months old); seeing Christmas through their eyes really helps bring back the magic and joy that we can sometimes lose sight of as adults.
Thanks for the memories 2016. I wonder what 2017 will bring!