looking back at 2018

Happy Wednesday! Happy New Year’s! Happy everything!

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday – yes, he’s a New Year’s baby!

Today, we are going to take a little trip down memory lane.

I always try to stay positive, even (especially) when things don’t go according to plan.

Best race experience in 2018: Tie – Jekyll Island 10K & Starlight 5K

Sorry to have to tie, but these were two brand new-to-me races and I loved both experiences.

The Jekyll Island 10K was such a beautiful course. Jekyll Island is one of our favorite day trip/staycation destinations and the opportunity to stay at the Westin, enjoy the beauty of the island AND race (with Meghan) was the perfect trifecta.

The race itself was fairly simple and it was absurdly cold, but that didn’t detract from the gorgeous ocean views.

The Starlight 5K was an impulse race, and it ended up being a huge win. I still have to write the race recap, but I loved the fact that the race incorporated the road, a bridge, some trail and some boardwalk. It was a night race, which usually isn’t my favorite, but the holiday lights and post-race party vibe more than made up for it.

Best run of 2018: Run Turkey Run 5K

I hate that a 5K was my best run, but I felt amazing during the Run Turkey Run 5K. It was very local, very small and everything just went great. It wasn’t an overall PR, but it was the best run I had all year, and it was such a boost to my confidence and motivation.

I ran hard, felt good and was even pretty happy with my overall placement.

Best new piece of gear: none

Mmmm. I’m not sure I even got a new major piece of gear this year. I’ve been holding strong with my Garmin 735XT (I did get a replacement Garmin after it broke, but nothing new) and my Aftershokz Trekz Titanium. For the most part, the only other things I need are my trusty shoes.

Best medal of the year: Best Damn Race Orlando Challenge Medals

I kind of loved the Best Damn Race Orlando challenge medals. I’m excited to earn a few more BDR medals this year, and you can still save $5 on the Safety Harbor, Orlando, Savannah and New Orleans races this year with code RUNPUGS.

Best piece of running advice received: Just. Run.

I have a tendency to get into my head a little bit (ok, more than a little bit). The advice of “just run” really resonated because honestly, that’s all there is to it. Just getting out there and doing it. I’m not saying it’s overcome all of the anxiety, but it’s made me focus on the actual act of running and not so much on the head games my brain likes to play.

Total number of miles in 2018: 1005!

OMG!!! Last January, I set a goal of running 1000 miles in 2018, and by Jove, it happened! I did it!

And Mr PugRunner commemorated it with this beautiful necklace from The Run Home.

Total number of races: 19

I would have liked to have run more. It just wasn’t in the cards. There was a lot of balancing of family activities and family time vs. going to and especially traveling to races. Obviously, family won. I really felt the lack of half marathons in 2018, and I am hopeful to start adding some of those back in this year.

Total number of shoes: Five

This was the year of the big shoe retirement. I retired a lot of my old shoes and moved into four new pairs: two pairs of Brooks Adrenaline, one pair of the Brooks Bedlam and two pairs of Saucony Guides. I will need to start adjusting the rotation soon, and I’m not sure what direction I’m going to go.

Worst running experience: ???

I know there were some difficult and frustrating runs this year, but nothing really stands out as the “worst.” Which is a good thing, I guess. It means that I am just taking things in stride and getting it done, regardless.

Race I probably wouldn’t run again: Winter Beach Run 5 Miler

Not that it was terrible, because it absolutely wasn’t. However, it’s hotter than Hades, and I just don’t know that I feel the need to run five miles on the beach in the dead of summer, ever again. Not even for tacos.

Race that surprised me: Daytona Speedway Half Marathon

This was a bit of an interesting race for me. My goal was to accompany a friend, and so I got to experience a race from a very different perspective. I was so impressed by how well all the runners were treated, no matter their pace, and I loved that the first runner and last runner got the same amount of respect from the course. Great medals, awesome swag and free photos sealed the deal.

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

I am really looking forward to taking on a few more states in my Run 50 States quest, This year, I checked off North Carolina and California. Next year, I am hoping for Massachusetts, and maybe South Carolina and one more. I just have to finalize travel plans.

The most important thing I took away from running this year: My answer is always… the memories.

Most inspirational runner: You know who you are.

The runners in my life are all so incredible. I have learned so much from each and every one of them, and I am grateful for them in my life.

Goals for 2019: I’m not sure where this year is going to take me. Here’s what I have in mind, so far.

  • Run 1,019 miles. I mean, it’s less than 20 more than what I did this year. Shouldn’t be a problem. I’m tracing through Run The Edge this year, so we will see how that goes.
  • Add two more states to my Run 50 States quest.
  • Build more half marathons into my race calendar. Last year was a little lean and I don’t want a repeat in 2019.
  • Get back in the gym. I took a hiatus after an uncomfortable incident, and then I got sick. I never found my way back to it, but that needs to change.
  • Drink. Water. It’s my greatest fitness/nutrition challenge. I need to improve.
  • Make one new recipe a week. We’ve gotten a bit away from experimenting in the kitchen and it’s time to get over it.
  • Continue to build myself professionally. I’ve had some great freelance opportunities and I’d like to stay strong in that facet of my life.
  • Keep building the blog. I love this space and I hate that I can’t always focus on it as much as I’d like. I hope to be able to carve out the time to be more consistent with posting and spend more time growing my audience.
  • Get a library card. It’s not that I don’t read (quite the contrary). It’s that I read too much and lack the patience to wait for the books I want. My house is full of purchased books that I either keep and reread or share and donate. Reading shouldn’t be a line item on our budget, so I want to take advantage of our awesome public library system.

I’m sure I’ll add and adjust to this list as the year passes, but here’s our starting point.

Here’s to 2019! I am hopeful to see great things in the next 365 days!

 

How was your 2018?

What are some of your goals for next year?

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16 Responses to looking back at 2018

  1. Kim G says:

    What an amazing year Jenn! I have no doubt that 2019 will bring even more fun for you and your family!

  2. Congrats on your running mileage in 2018! You really had so much fun traveling and racing. Cheers to a happy and healthy 2019

  3. Lots of great memories here, and so many fun friends you have to share them with 😉 I’m curious how the Bedlams compare to the Adrenalines?
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…2018 in ReviewMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I am especially grateful for all the friends who have carried me through this year.

      I like the Bedlams. They are light and bouncy and flexible and fantastic for runs under five miles. I really wanted to love them, because I feel like there aren’t a ton of great stability options but I feel like they are a wonderful speed work shoe. The Adrenalines are definitely much more reliable.

  4. I really enjoyed reading your recap of the year, you had so many great highlights! I can see why you like the Best Damn Race medals, so pretty!

    Good luck on your goals for 2019!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Zwift Run App – Making the Treadmill More Fun!My Profile

  5. You had some great racing experiences this year! So impressed with your killing 1000 miles (and then some)! Congrats on a great year, and here’s to an even better one in 2019.

  6. How awesome that you met you 1000 mile goal! You had a great year of running! I am really looking forward to the London Marathon this year. I have a bunch of other races in mind, but I’m already pegging that one as a favorite!

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was a wonderful feeling. It’s been a very longterm goal and I’m so excited to see it come to fruition.

      London is going to be such an incredible experience. I’m so excited for you!

  7. Wow, you had an amazing year, lots of fun races and great pictures!! I look forward to following your adventures in 2019 🙂

  8. Farrah says:

    I’m generally not much for night runs either but the Starlight 5k sounds kinda awesome! Great job on breaking 1000 miles too!! That necklace is super pretty!
    Farrah recently posted…Chocolate Chip Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

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