looking back at 2017

Happy New Year (a few days late)!

2017 was quite a year for me. Obviously, every year has its ups and downs and we had our share of losses, heartbreaks and struggles. We also had our triumphs and victories and there was much to celebrate.

On a personal note, this year held some pretty interesting surprises for me. I’ve stepped up and truly owned some big leadership roles, which is so unusual for me (I much prefer life behind the scenes). The empowerment I’ve found in my fourth decade on this earth is pretty unreal. My one regret is that I wish I had dug deeper sooner.

But let’s talk about fitness. I did a lot of running this year. To be honest, after my triathlon in spring, running is about the only thing I managed to do.


Best race experience in 2017: 

This is such a hard one to answer. I can always take something great away from every race.  This year, I loved taking on the 26.2 with DONNA relay

But I also enjoyed finishing with these lovelies at the fountain at Forsyth Park after a comeback half at the Publix Savannah Women’s Half Marathon(Remember, code PUGS18 saves you 15% on either distance).

There are just too many from which to choose!

Best run of 2017: Gate River Run

So the Gate River Run 15K is a great race, and I do always enjoy it. This year, I wasn’t feeling it. I was tired and not feeling great. All the people who said they wanted to run with me ended up getting sick or bailing. I came thisclose to not running. I was in a fog all morning leading up to the start, and I was braced for a crappy race.

What ended up happening was I ran my 15K PR! It was unplanned, unintentional and unexpected. I guess sometimes, that’s the way to get it done.

Best new piece of gear: Aftershokz Wireless Trekz Titanium Earphones

I didn’t think anything could beat my Forerunner 735XT in terms of running gear, but these earphones come close to topping them.

Not only is it nice to not have a wire flapping in my way, but the bone conduction technology allows me to enjoy my music or podcast while still hearing all ambient noise, like cars or other people. It’s a huge safety benefit, and it’s also better for my ears and hearing. On top of that, they are comfortable, don’t slip or bounce, have great sound, and a solid battery life. I can’t recommend them enough.

Best medal of the year: Durbin Trail Mix Relay and Space Coast Half Marathon

Tie! The Durbin Trail Mix Relay medal was crazy cool: a piece of stamped wood on a leather thong.

However, the Space Coast Half Marathon Medal (and Intergalactic Challenge Medal) represented the final chapter of a crazy journey. Five years ago, I signed up for a half marathon without having ever run a 5K. I committed to complete five consecutive years of that half, and on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I honored that commitment.

Total number of miles in 2017: 835.42!

This is 200 more than each of the last two years, which is INCREDIBLE! I had the most rough idea of shooting for 1000 miles, and now I feel like it so much more attainable, especially considering how much I slacked on my running in May and June.

Total number of races: Twenty seven!

This was a huge year for races, and I loved every second of (almost) every one! My community has grown so much this year and it’s just amazing getting out there and spending those weekend mornings with awesome people doing active things.

Total number of shoes: ???

Is it terrible that I lost count? I definitely had two pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 13s that are hanging on. I had three pair of Brooks Adrenalines, one pair of Adidas Supernova STs, and a Saucony Guide. It was hard letting some of these shoes go this year, but it was time to retire and replace a few.

In the meantime. there are some other makes and models I am looking to try. I’m lucky in that most stability shoes feel pretty good, so I am comfortable mixing it up.

Worst running experience: random December training run

There was a random day in December. It was hot and humid out of nowhere and I just could not get myself going. It happens and I always prefer for the awful runs to occur in training, but it really does drain the motivation right out of me.

Race I probably wouldn’t run again: Bridge of Lions 5K

Some races are truly just one and done. While Bridge of Lions is a lovely run, through a beautiful city and neighborhood, it was really a miserable day. Hot. Humid. Beating sun was no shade or cover. Generally, I love running with the boys, but once we got into the thick of this one, I was desperately wishing to be done.

Race that surprised me: Daytona Lap The Track 5K

Y’all. This was just freaking fun. It was well organized, the course was great (I mean, you can’t beat doing an actual lap around the Daytona International Speedway) and the swag was top-notch. We absolutely loved this event, and I’m excited to try out the half marathon portion in a few weeks.

Run experience to which you are most looking forward in the New Year: 

Mmm… get back to me on this one. I have not finished fleshing out my 2018 calendar, and I really need to add a few more destination races to the mix. My eyes are on the Carolinas or maybe Tennessee. We shall see.

The most important thing I took away from running this year. 

The answer is pretty much to always have fun. Really. I had a blast in 2017, and while I didn’t hit my time goals, I’m having so much fun that it doesn’t even really matter much.

What new things did you try?

I have really been priding myself on trying things. That confidence I mentioned earlier? It’s helping me to do things I would never have normally tried. And that’s how I found myself climbing a rock wall

taking an aerial class,

trying a barre class,

and completing a sprint triathlon.


Goals for 2018:

While this year was pretty epic, running is a moving target and I have more to accomplish.

  • Run 1000 miles
  • Race in one or two new states
  • Continue a consistent cross-training regime
  • Get back on the bike and in the pool
  • Drink more water (I struggle with this every. day.)
  • Keep my base miles up so half marathon training is more routine rather than a big ramp-up of distance

And there you have it. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store! I can already tell it’s going to be special!

What made 2017 epic for you? Go ahead and link to your own annual recap, share some of your highlights from the year, or post some of your upcoming goals in the comments. I’d love to cheer you on!

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24 Responses to looking back at 2017

  1. TOni says:

    Looks like you had a pretty amazing year! Heres to an even better 2018!
    TOni recently posted…2018 Naples Half Marathon Training Recap Weeks 12-14My Profile

  2. Rachel says:

    Wow, what a year you had! Cheers to 2018!!
    Rachel recently posted…Run the Year: 2,018 Miles in 2018My Profile

  3. You all packed in some great family time this year and lots of fun races for you. Happy 2018!
    Deborah Brooks recently posted…Stock Your Home Gym With These Must HavesMy Profile

  4. You are quite an active gal! So many races and a lot of new adventures…congrats on stepping out of that comfort zone numerous times 😉
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Winter Running Hacks for 2018My Profile

  5. Kimberly G says:

    You had so many awesome adventures in 2017! Here’s to even more fun in 2018!!
    Kimberly G recently posted…Blogs I Love (Part 4)My Profile

  6. I’m excited to see you crush your goals this year! I too struggle with water intake. It’s something I’m constantly working on.

  7. Coco says:

    What a fun year! I did rock climbing once two years ago with my son – I need him to nudge me back, although my arms were shaking for two days (I know that means I wasn’t doing it correctly).
    Coco recently posted…The Best Laid PlansMy Profile

  8. 27 races?! That’s crazy/amazing! I don’t think my body (or wallet) could deal with 27 races, lol.

  9. What an incredible year! I think your 2018 goals sound like great ones, attainable, but still challenging. Congrats on such a great running year!
    I’m hoping to find some consistency again and really get back to regular running. This year I at least ran a few races, so hopefully next year, there will be more and maybe another half.
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…Thursday’s ThreadsMy Profile

  10. Wendy says:

    You did do a lot of running this year! I’m so impressed. I’m hoping to get to St Augustine this spring for a weekend to visit a friend. Maybe I can squeeze in a race and a meet up?
    Wendy recently posted…5 Tips for Surviving the TreadmillMy Profile

  11. Angela says:

    Wow you had a great year! I think it is awesome that you run as a family! How did you enjoy the aerial class? It kind of looks fun! I hope you have an awesome 2018!!!

  12. Wow! So many excellent adventures over the last year. I really hope you have an even better and more adventurous 2018!

  13. Revu says:

    WoW!!! really admirable. Seems like something freaky cool you have done. Keep it up with full of spirit. Thanks a lot for sharing your great thoughts and moments through your amazing post. Looking forward for more from you.

  14. Amy says:

    Hello Jen looks like 2017 was a memorable year for you! Your pics are very nice. Good luck for the new year!
    Amy recently posted…Best Mountain Bikes Under $500 – 2018 Top Models ReviewedMy Profile

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