January 1, 2019. I had signed up to run a local 50K, remembering how depressed I was the previous New Years Day, the first since Ray’s passing. Ray’s parents spent the day with us but I was miserable nonetheless. Not wanting a repeat of that, I decided to do something different. Why not tackle a 50K? It was a fatass-style race, which meant no entry fee or bling, and you bring food and water to share. It was three ten(ish)-mile loops on the trails in Prince William Forest Park, and looking at the results from the previous year, about a third finished one loop, a third finished two loops, and a third finished all three. I figured there was no pressure to complete the whole thing. After each loop I could assess how I felt and decide whether to do another one. No pressure. I convinced a coworker to do it with me and we were both excited.
Unfortunately they cancelled the race. I think it was because there had been so much rain during the fall that it would be too muddy. I can’t remember exactly why. Rather than moping about it, my friend and I decided to spend the day running as many miles as we felt like. I ran 21 miles that day, and she ran 26. I must admit that it was a pretty cool way to start the year.
(My friend Patricia joined Maureen and me for part of our New Year’s Day run.)
For the first half of 2019, I was pretty consistent with my blogging, and I told you about some of the things that were going on in my life, like Chris’ joining the Air Force and how we got to see him graduate from basic training and then hang out with him for a few days in San Antonio. Matt’s graduating with a bachelor’s from Virginia Tech. Nick’s propensity to steal the show in every drama performance he’s been in, like as Black Stache in his high school’s production of Peter and the Starcatcher, or as Orsino in a local production of Twelfth Night. His graduation from high school. The awesomeness of running the Blue Ridge Marathon and meeting Jeff Galloway and his wife Barbara. Going skiing with my boys on Groundhog Day. Getting re-acquainted with an old friend from high school, a friendship which I hope will continue into 2020 and beyond.
Going plant-based and discovering the endless benefits of eliminating meat, fish, dairy and eggs and eating an abundance of plants. OH, and in March I got to meet the great Michael Wardian, Ultrarunner Extraordinaire. (I did not include this in any of my previous posts. So now you know.)
July 1 was my last blog post before last week. I’ll start there. In chronological order, I present my most precious memories from the last 6 months of 2019 (drumroll….)
A week at Ocean Isle Beach with everyone from both Ray’s and my side of the family (except Chris, who was in Biloxi for tech school).
Having Chris home for ten days after tech school, before he had to report for duty in South Dakota. I made sure he got to see both sets of grandparents.
My dad’s brother, Uncle Don passed away. A great human being who is sorely missed.
Running the Hokie Half.
Celebrating Nick’s birthday in Blacksburg, which is his second home nowadays. It’s nice having both of them at Tech.
Running the Savannah Rock and Roll Marathon. I did it in honor of Ray and to raise a little money for Colorectal Cancer Alliance. I managed to snag a PR!
Spending Thanksgiving in Rapid City, SD with Chris, getting stranded for an extra day because of weather, and driving 6 hours on snowy roads to Denver to catch a flight home. We saw both a coyote AND a roadrunner on that road trip. (Not at the same time, but wouldn’t that have been funny?)
On that visit I ran a local Turkey Trot and found a few geocaches too.
The Tacky Light Run. Boy was that fun!
Then I had surgery and Chris came home for a week and we had a quiet Christmas. Now he’s back in South Dakota and I don’t know when we’ll see him again. I’m feeling a bit mope-y today if you want to know the truth.
I did a bit of geocaching in 2019 too. I found 205 caches, the most I’ve found in a year. If I attend the upcoming New Year’s Eve event my total will be 206. I found my 800th and my 900th geocache in 2019, and it looks like I’m going to hit 1000 sometime in January. I’ve been trying to attend more geocaching events and have met some really nice people to hopefully go caching with in the near future.
I ran a total of thirteen races in 2019, and finished twelve. (Yes, you read that right; I took a wrong turn during a trail half marathon and ended up with my very first DNF.) I finished three half marathons, two full marathons, three 5Ks, two 10Ks, a 5-miler, and a 4-miler. (Technically the Turkey Trot in Rapid City and the Tacky Light Run in Richmond weren’t “races” because they weren’t timed. I’m counting them anyway.)
Beginning tomorrow I have to start thinking about work again, and immerse myself in lesson plans and report cards. I don’t know when I’ll run again. (I hope I won’t go bat sh*t crazy for lack of exercise, and I hope January 1 won’t suck like it did two years ago. Spending the day running is off the table.) I’m working on some fun adventures to look forward to in 2020, so stay tuned. (Right. As if I’ll have time for any blogging. Just watch my Instagram, that’s pretty reliable.)
Thanks for reading, and here’s to making 2020 the year to make our dreams come true.