Wrapping Up 2015

As 2015 has recently come to a close, I am reflecting on what my goals were I set this time last year and how I measured up to them as well as working on what I would like to achieve in 2016. When setting my goals I focus on 3 factors, fitness, financial, and personal goals I want to achieve. Here are the goals I set for 2015:

  1. Complete another half marathon and improve my current PR time
  2. 2016Run a race as an individual
  3. Do a fun run with my kids
  4. Try two new OCR series
  5. Run a race in “Elite” heat
  6. Finish a Spartan Race in the top 10 of my age group
  7. Finish the VT Spartan Beast in less than 8 hours
  8. Double Spartan Trifecta
  9. Qualify for the OCR World Championships
  10. Perform 6 consecutive strict pull ups
  11. Go parasailing
  12. Obtain an additional fitness certification
  13. Complete a 5K in under 26 minutes
  14. Run 1008 miles in 2015 (my half of the 2015 mile challenge)
  15. Take 5 CKO classes in one day

So how did I measure up to reaching my goals?

  1. On May 16, 2015 I ran the Superhero Half Marathon and my goal was to not only beat my time from the previous year on this course of 2:18 but my overall PR achieved at the NJ Haunted Half which was 2:10. As I was running, I felt really good, but my training had decreased significantly so I really doubted I would be able to beat these times. About mile 10 miraculously I still felt really good as did I when I was at mile 11, which by this time I am usually really getting frustrated and ready to just finish. As I approached the final stretch, I looked at my watch and realized that I just may reach my goal, so I gave it all I had and crossed the finish line with at final time of 2:07 beating both times and achieving my goal.
  2. On Saturday May 31, 2015 I instructed class at CKO Franklin and then headed to Tuxedo, NY to do my first race as an individual. The morning was very hot and sunny, but unfortunately by the time I was able to make the venue, the storm clouds began to roll in. I would make it to the starting corral but no further as the race was called due to torrential downpour and vicious thunder and lightning. As I waited in the parking lot hoping for the storm to pass, once I realized that wasn’t a possibility I headed over to have my timing chip cut and had to walk through water up to my knees. I was only in the car for less than an hour and that much rain fell. I would begin to feel defeated, like I was not going to be able to reach this goal but I didn’t let this get me down. I was issued a free race to use at another time so on July 12th I headed to Blue Ridge, PA and at this race not only would I run my first race alone and pushing myself, but I would finish this race 6th in my age group and in the top 7% of all females.
  3. On June 27, 2015 I took my twin boys and daughter along with some friends to do the Color Vibe 5K run. This run is one where as you run, they shower you with color powder along the course. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, both from this kind of a race and how my kids would do because my first 5K experience with my boys (the American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Walk) and my previous one with my daughter (the Spirit 5K in Sparta) both ended with me carrying my children along a majority of the course. Well, this race would be no different as I carried one of them on my back pretty much the entire time. They said “mommy, but you have races to train for” and they were right. Although I lugged an extra 40-60 pounds on my back throughout the course, we had a really good time and my kids would actually like to do another one in the future.
  4. On June 30, 2015 I completed my first OCR of the Battlefrog series in Englishtown, NJ. I had become a field team member a few months prior and become quite intrigued about how this series would measure up to the Spartan series. Between the time I signed up for the race (it was a 15K when I signed up) they had some restructuring and took the course down to an 8K distance but those who were already registered had the option of running the 2 laps just as the elite heat would. Although I cracked a rib on one of the obstacles in this race, it was really a great race. I enjoyed it so much, a few weeks later on July 25th I drove up to Barre, MA to do the Battlefrog NE race. While it wasn’t as good as the one in NJ in my opinion, I still really enjoyed this race. My second series to try would be the Bonefrog, also held in Englishtown, NJ on October 24th and would be my coldest OCR of the season. Both courses although at the same venue were very different and both challenging. While Bonefrog and Battlefrog are both military based, Bonefrog is actually owned and operated by Navy Seals.
  5. On August 22, 2015 I set out to Nellysford, VA to run my very first elite heat. I had heard the stories of how grueling this mountain was and I was very nervous, but regardless I set out early that morning to take it on and 4 hours and 21 minutes later I would cross that finish line and see my family cheering me on. This race was one that was very emotional as not only was it my first elite race, but the first one to have my family there and I really pushed myself through it, cramping pretty badly the entire last 2 miles. Crossing this finish line would also represent my first of two trifectas earned in 2015. This race would have me finishing 12th among all Female Masters, a ranking that I am very proud of.
  6. As previously mentioned I placed 6th in my age group for the PA Spartan Sprint which allowed me to reach my goal of a top 10 age finish.
  7. The VT Beast has kicked my ass since 2012. My first race there I finished in just over 8 hours feeling broken and sore as I injured my knee halfway through the race. When I came back feeling stronger in 2013 and sure I would beat the 8 hours, the course became harder and so it defeated me again as I was not able to beat that 8 hour mark. Then came 2014, which I thought would be my last year on this mountain for a while, so I didn’t go for time I just wanted to enjoy every experience this mountain had to offer. 11+ hours later I would finish in the dark and while that was a great experience, when I decided to return in 2015 I had my eyes set on that sub 8 hour goal. Well this year we would start as a team but slowly break off and run our own race and 7 hours and 30 minutes later I would cross that finish line, beating my 8 hour goal and earning my second 2015 trifecta.
  8. Earning my 4th & 5th trifectas in 2015 were not just doing 3 more races (sprint, super & beast) but one of these trifectas ended up being a #normfecta because the moist sadistic course creator out there, Norm Kotch, would have planned out the PA Sprint, VA Super, and NJ Beast. He definitely made us earn those medals!
  9. With a 6th place finish at Blue Ridge PA Sprint I would qualify for the OCR World Championships. In addition to this race, I would also qualify by finishing 3rd in my age for the Battlefrog NJ, 12th in the VA Female Masters, and 10th at the NJ Super. Although I had planned on attending the OCRWC, due to a change in my financial status I would have to forgo this event, but just the fact that I qualified four times made me truly proud of how far I have come since my first race in 2012.
  10. To perform 6 strict pull-ups was a goal in 2014 but unfortunately due to a shoulder injury I was not able to complete it, but in 2015 I was finally able to check this one off my list!
  11. While not very physical, I wanted to always go parasailing but I had a fear of the heights and being over the water so the fact that I did it and even had the opportunity to do it with my daughter made achieving this goal even more special to me.
  12. I set a goal to obtain an additional certification in 2015 but I had no idea when I set that goal that this would go from my part time job to my full time job. In April, I got re-certified to instruct spin classes.
  13. On December 19, 2015 I set out to do a fun run all dressed in a Santa t-shirt complete with a Santa hat and crazy socks. Because I don’t really run many 5K races anymore, this was my one chance to achieve my goal of a sub 26 minute 5K. This fun run would not only be one that I achieve my goal, but I would cross the finish line with a time of 22:30 and would place 3rd overall in the Female Masters division and 2nd in my age division.
  14. In January I was asked to do a “2015 miles in 2015” challenge, which basically meant that you would run/jog/hike/walk 2015 miles between everyone on your team. My team consisted of 2 of us so I would have to commit to doing 1008 miles as an individual to hold up my end of the challenge. After logging all miles for 2015 my final mile count was 1,603.
  15. My final goal would be to take 5 CKO classes in one day. Little did I know when I set this goal that I would be in fitness full time, I thought a day off to do an endurance event like this would be cool. Well I never actually made it to take all 5 classes at CKO, however, there are MANY days that I physically workout well over 5 hours. One occasion I can recall doing a cardio kickboxing class (no bags but not the dance type), then doing a pound class followed by a 1:00 CKO class and then later taking a 5:00 CKO class, instructing the 6:15 (which I still work out quite a lot in), and finishing it off with taking the 7:45 CKO hybrid class that same evening. Well, I survived and while 2 of these classes were not CKO and one I instructed being active in 6 classes at this intensity in one day was quite enough for me to say this one got checked off the list.

In regards to my financial goals and personal goals, I did reach many of these as well and will still continue to focus on them in 2016. Just to name a few, I paid off 2 more credit cards even though in January 2015 I gave up working full time in the Accounting field after 20+ years  and still became even closer to becoming debt free. Although this was a year of big changes for me in many ways, I still managed to do some really rewarding projects in the community, such as collecting food donations and clothes to charity. I increased my family by rescuing an 18 month old Pitbull named Lexi. As I look at what I have set out to do in 2016, I have set some even bigger goals for myself and am very excited, and even somewhat terrified for the challenges that lie ahead. But as I always say…”if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!”

For a full description of many of these races above, please check out my blog posts about them in the “my adventures” section. Some are separate posts, such as “A Race of Firsts” and others are compiled events, such as “Tough Mudder x3”. Thank you for supporting me and reading about my crazy adventures on my blog.  I look forward to sharing more with you in 2016!

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