Okay, so I swore I wouldn’t write one of these nostalgic “Looking Back” entries, but 2011 has been a super busy and exciting year for me, and I’ve gotten a lot of new readers. So, since I wanted to look back on it myself, here goes nothing. I’ll even break it down month by month!
I ran my first half marathon on January 8 and finished with a time of 2:08:35.
I was happy with my time- it was under a 10 min/mile pace, which is not bad for my first time running 13 miles. Despite the race being super small, cold, and having to run through a construction zone and over two overpasses, I really had a great day.
Unfortunately, I got incredibly sick after my half marathon and ended up missing most of the next week at work, but I got better in time to run the Polar Bear 5K with some of my running friends and my friends from work. This race IS taking place in 2012 and I can’t wait to do it again (I actually ran 4 miles of hill intervals on the treadmill this morning to get ready for that big hill!).
February was spent getting everything ready for my wedding. Clay’s family threw me a bridal shower where I got lots of amazing gifts, and it was super fun coming home to packages being delivered from family members who live out of town or getting wedding cards in the mail.
I also went to Myrtle Beach with my amazing best math nerd college buddies, Jenn and Tiffany, for a pre-wedding getaway. We went to Margaritaville and shopped and had lots of fun.
March 5, 2011 was the big day for Clay and I… we got hitched!
We also had an amazing reception at our apartment, and when we went to visit my family this Christmas, people were still talking about how good the food was (yep, simple wedding, big food. We know why people really come to weddings!).
We celebrated our marriage that night by going to Brusters in our pajamas for free ice cream. I have a feeling every anniversary will be celebrated with ice cream and pajamas, and that’s totally fine by me!
I also ran the McLeod Sports Medicine 10K and finished first place in my age group.
I spent April taking it easy, dealing with an infected wisdom tooth, and packing for our honeymoon. Clay and I also went to our friends’ Brian and Ashley’s wedding in Columbia. Clay was a part of the wedding, and it was neat to be a spectator at a wedding only a month after our own.
May was a super busy month!
Clay and I went on our honeymoon- a 7 day, 6 night cruise on the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas! We had an amazing time, met some neat people, went on a sailboat for the first time, went ice skating and rock wall climbing, ate tons of amazing food, and still avoided gaining the newlywed nine.
I also ran the Race for Taylor, which is one of my favorite races and I can’t wait to run it again in 2012. I placed second overall female in the 5K. The race was on the day when the rapture was “predicted”, so I even made a goofy sign!
I also ran the Run for the Heroes Memorial Day 5K/10K here in town. It was Clay’s first 5K, so I was excited to run it with him and since it was an out-and-back, I saw him to cheer for him on my way back and when he finished. We’d ran 3 other 5Ks together since this race!
I was technically the first place female overall, but the race did not given overall awards to women (there were only 3 overall awards, and obviously males won them). Needless to say, the race director had 6 very angry females talk to him after the race, and even though he said he’d have female categories in 2012, I won’t be running it again.
Clay and I went to our amazing friends’ Ashley and Neil’s wedding! It was an outdoor wedding and slightly hot, but we had a great time. They even had ice cream at their wedding, which was a pretty cool idea since it was in June! Ashley and Neil are one of our best couple friends, and it was great being there for them on their special day.
I also had an article about online giving published in my company’s newsletter. I edit the newsletter each month, but it was super cool seeing my name in a byline again for writing :).
I started doing CrossFit and Couch to 5K with my coworkers! We did this for about 8-10 weeks and it was a lot of fun, I really hope my job offers it again this year. Doing CrossFit really pushed me out of my comfort zone, which I needed, and Couch to 5K showed me how much I really like motivating people.
I also started painting classes at the Painting Chameleon gallery in Darlington. I’ve done three classes so far, and they are tons of fun. It’s a great way to spend an evening and get a cool piece of art for your home or for a gift. I hope to do more in 2012.
August was sorta like July… I spent a lot of time laying out in the sun, doing CrossFit and Couch to 5K. I also dyed my hair a reddish color for the first time, and one word of advice… NEVER dye your hair red because it looks red forever. My friend Angela (affectionately known as “The Hitchinator” in the running community) and I also ran the Hot Dam 5K in 100 degree weather because we are crazy like that.
I ran three races in September, including slogging through the very muddy trails for my company’s sponsored race. I ran them with some of my best friends who’ve taught me so many lessons about life and running, and it makes me realized how blessed I am to work at ACS Technologies and have so many great people in my life who support me and support each other.
When Couch to 5K ended, I started looking for other ways to get involved with running instead of just running, so I started volunteer coaching with the Florence Track Club. I loved coaching Cross Country- most of our kids are between the ages of 6 and 11. It’s neat being involved and hopefully making a healthy difference in their lives, but the kids inspire me more than anything else. I can’t wait for track season to start in April so that I can see everyone again.
I celebrated my 26th birthday by running the FMU ROTC 5K with my friend Terence and going out for Indian food with Clay and his sister Jelenna. I also got one of the most amazing gifts ever- my coffeemaker!
I ran the Camp RAE 5K for the third year in a row with Clay and some of my amazing friends. Clay ran a personal best in the race and so did my friend Tiffany.
I also wished my cousin Gary well as he embarked on his journey of enlisting in the Navy. He’s now graduated from his first basic training and is headed to Florida for occupation specific training starting this week.
November consisted of LOTS of cross country coaching and practices. I also ran the Run Like a Nut 10K, went to the Pecan Festival with my friends, and ran the Turkey Trot 5K with Clay on Thanksgiving Day, before a wonderful dinner with his family.
We watched a lot of college football and the Gamecocks had a 10 win season :).
December included a couple of awesome work Christmas parties, friend Christmas parties, trips to Riverbanks Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas display and Dollywood, and of course, our first official Christmas as a married couple.
So… wonder what’s in store for 2012?
Well, Clay graduates in May with his second degree (he’s getting a Computer Science degree but he already has a chemistry degree and works as a chemist). Hopefully, he quickly finds a job with good hours and pay so that we can take more cruises and weekend getaways ;).
We’ll also run a few more races together, and I hope to run another half marathon and break 2 hours in it. I plan to coach track in the Spring, which should be an adventure since I never participated in track when I was a kid. I also plan to get together with friends for lunches and coffee and hopefully some other fun things like game nights and trips to the zoo.
I don’t make resolutions, but above all, I just want to have lots of fun, be healthy, and enjoy life :).