As 2014 winds to a close, I am going to hit some of my personal highlights. I, like a lot of bloggers, do it as much for myself as for anyone else. Hopefully there are some things you can relate to.

I spent some time at my mother’s house today reminiscing with her and my brother about all the stupid, funny crap we did as kids. I have to say, though we did not have much in the way of material things, we made due with what we had because we didn’t know any better. One thing we agree on is that it is a wonder we survived as children of the 70s. After all, we DID drink out of garden hoses, rode our bikes without a helmet AND rode them behind the bug spray truck (most of you will not know what that is), but we had FUN! We had a great time without electronics or any form of social media and we knew what is was like to be physically tired from playing outside all day. Anyway, my point is this-it seems as if it were only yesterday. It has been said that the only thing that is permanent is change, and it is constant. Below are footsteps placed many years ago leading to the “Palace of Amusements” in my hometown- a structure that was designed to feature stage shows , billiards, bowling, dancing, boxing & moving pictures. Though the footsteps remain, the building has changed and the “Palace of Amusements” is now part of history.

Still there after all these years
Still there after all these years

So let’s get on with it shall we?

January 2014: Frustrated with my recurrent knee pain, I decided to hire a personal trainer to get me on a path to being injury free. I was with him for 3 months as an online coach and he challenged me like no other. I discovered my biggest problem was doing too much, too soon and not really listening to my body. He kept me on track for the first quarter.

February 2014: Sometime this month, I discovered “runchat” on twitter. My life as a runner has been the better for it. I have connected with people I would not have met otherwise. Kudos for social media. Training with coach continued. I also was training to be a “super-user” at work for a massive computer system changeover. I interviewed for a new job within the company. We had some mega snow accumulation in Missouri this month.

March 2014: Online training continued & I remained injury free. Highlight of this month was meeting and running with Jeff Galloway for a 5k on 3/15. He encouraged me to keep on keepin’ on to qualify for Boston.

Olympian Jeff Galloway
Olympian Jeff Galloway

April 2014: Sadly, the baby bird was kicked from the training nest. Actually, I chose to not continue the training with my coach although it was well worth the $ spent. I was now on my own with a good base. It was a turning point month for me as I turned a “half a century” old on the 5th. The GOLDEN age of 50!!! So you should all know me well enough by now that to me, age is a number!  Life is what you make it, and this temple that we live in is only as good and young as the care we give it. I was offered and accepted the job I applied for and started on my new unit on the 13th. It was definitely the right move for me, hard as it was to leave a unit I had been on for 8 years. Change is good. I signed up and ran my first 1/2 marathon of the year on April 26th-the Garmin 1/2 in Kansas. Oh yeah…and I met Meb!

May 2014: Training for my goal marathon to BQ (Boston Qualify) began this month. I followed Galloway’s method in his  book “How to Qualify for Boston.” Hands down, the GREATEST thing that happened this month was the marriage of my youngest son to his high school sweetheart on May 30. I love them both SO much. They are the perfect couple and are going to have gorgeous babies!

The Perfect Couple
The Perfect Couple

June 2014: Heated up in good ole Missouri with the humidity factor creeping in. We have a festival in my hometown every June called “Waterfest” celebrating the history of the spring waters that made the area popular so long ago. I ran the 5k that is put on in conjunction with the festival and came in first female and first in age group. I also ran my fourth lifetime marathon in Maryville, MO as part of my training for a long run-no times to kill, just endurance.

First 5k of the year
First 5k of the year

July 2014: The fourth of July or “Independence Day,” I had a long run to do which was 21 miles if my memory serves me correctly. I ran it in conjunction with a virtual 5k I did for “Relay for LIfe.” The month was hot & humid and marathon training continued. My mother turned 76 and my oldest son turned 29. The circle of life goes on.

A Toast to Mom's 76th Birthday
A Toast to Mom’s 76th Birthday

August 2014: The pivotal goal race month. Leading Ladies Marathon in Spearfish, South Dakota where I FINALLY got my Boston qualifying time. Even more thrilling than that was the 11 hour road trip up and 11 hours back with my oldest son and having him there at the finish line.

Fun on the Road
Fun on the Road

September 2014: Moving toward fall. This was the month I signed up for Boston and hoped to make it in with my qualifying time-I did. I also ran a 1/2 marathon and a 10k, with a PR in both. Met a twitter running friend. Still injury free.

October 2014: I ran Des Moines half marathon with a new PR which I have yet to surpass, beating September’s race time. I also ran a 4 miler with a new PR for that distance. But the greatest time of all was watching my KC Royals in the World Series Playoffs & subsequent World Series. It was a magical time in which the bad news of the world was put on hold for awhile. I had the privilege of attending the playoff game on 10/14/14 at Kauffman Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles.

A Night to Remember
A Night to Remember
Magical Year
Magical Year

This was also the month I chose to jump out of a perfectly good airplane on 10/25…Bucket List…check!

Tandem Jump
Tandem Jump

November 2014: Cooler weather was definitely rolling along in Missouri style. We had our first snow this month and I ran a half marathon in 26 degree weather on 11/15/14. Thanksgiving with my babies and their beautiful mates was the highlight of this month.

First Snow of the Season
First Snow of the Season
My babies
My babies

Which brings me to December 2014: I had hoped to finish the year with a race this month, but scheduling didn’t allow it. My training has scaled way down in preparation for serious marathon training coming up in January for the beloved Boston. I am also doing my first fifty miler in March-no times to kill- just in preparation for Boston to avoid “hitting the wall” there. For you non-runners, that is the point in the marathon where you feel you can’t go on. I ran a 30 miler in preparation for my race in South Dakota and I avoided the dreaded “wall.” I have also remained injury free.  My beautiful daughter- in- law graduated nursing school with her BSN in nursing on 10/12/14. So very proud of her. I will go see TranSiberian Orchestra on the 23rd as my annual gift to myself. Since I work Christmas Eve & Day, we will have our Christmas one week from today. I am looking forward to having all of my kids together at my mother’s house. So many memories there as it is the same house that I grew up in. We moved there when I was 9 months old. On the 31st, 2014 will be history and a new year will be ushered in.

The greatest times of all are spent making memories with those you love. If you don’t have time for that, you are too busy. Sadly, so many chase the “American Dream” only to realize at the end of their life, they have a handful of material items and no one left to share them with because they failed to put THE most important thing first in their life-people. My hope is that in some way, this recount of my year helps you to think of what was meaningful in your life in 2014. This blog is my gift to you. I get no financial kickback from it. I hope to help others see that we are all just passing through on this journey called life and we share commonalities of the human experience. I hope to make the most of this journey with no regrets.

What footprints will you leave behind in 2015?

May you have the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of times in the New Year!

Until We Meet Again,

Stephanie

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.”

~Tommy Lasorda

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “It Happened in a Blink~Reflections of 2014

  1. SD will absolutely be one of the most memorable things about 2014 for me! So much fun and being there when you qualified will be a moment that will stick with me for the rest of my life and a story I will tell your grandkids about!

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