As the famous song from Rent goes, we measure a year in daylights, in sunsets, in midnights and cups of coffee... in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. And of course love! As I measure 2016, I'll borrow the miles measurement and combine it with the love measurement, to get a year of joyful miles - here are my 2016 highlights!
The first month of the year brought my first race in a Team USA jersey, at the Great Edinburgh XC Challenge in Scotland. It was muddy, wet, sloppy, and challenging, but an incredibly awesome experience.
Aside from the trip to Scotland, I spent the rest of January in my hometown of Davis, CA, enjoying warmer weather than Providence as I prepared for the Marathon Olympic Trials. I logged many miles along Davis farmfields, but also along the beautiful American River Parkway in Sacramento. My dad and younger brother Bryce accompanied me on bike on my long runs, which I was so grateful for - marathon training takes a village!
February was highlighted by the Marathon Olympic Trials in Los Angeles. It was the warmest Trials on record, and over 1/3 of the field dropped out of the race. I was proud to have finished on a warm day, even though the last 10 miles were a slow death march. I left LA disappointed, a little frustrated, and hungry for more.
I was back home in Providence this spring, preparing for the track season. Fueled by my disappointment at the marathon in LA, I trained with a vengeance and was rewarded with a 5k PR of 15:29. In between track workouts and races, I explored some new routes in Providence and enjoyed coaching athletes as part of my online training program, Training Joyfully.
The summer brought the Olympic Trials Round 2 - the Track Trials in Eugene, Oregon, and the realization of a long-held dream of mine. I competed in both the 5k and the 10k, and my season was highlighted by an 11th place finish in the 10k. My brother Brendan also ran, finishing 8th in the 10k (proud sister alert!). Our family was there to cheer us on in every lap, and I was so grateful to be able to share the experience with the people I love most.
From Oregon, I jetted off to Europe for the summer track circuit. I traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Finland, and Germany on a whirlwind running tour. I went on some pretty epic runs, explored new countries on the run with my Strava Track Club travel buddies Annie & Laura, ran a 3k PR, ate a TON of gelato, and overall had a blast!
The fall was marked by some changes - at long last, I went back to grad school! I began a Masters in Public Health program at Brown University, which I am loving. I'm studying Global Health and am doing research on obesity-related health interventions. I also changed coaches, officially joining Ray Treacy's Run Providence group to train with Kim Smith, Molly Huddle, Emily Sisson, Katie Dicamillo, and Aisling Cuffe. Back home in PVD, I logged many miles locally, with my training group and with the monthly Run Club I host in conjunction with Whole Foods Market.
I'm closing out the year back in Davis, California, running on the dirt levees where my love for the sport was born. Overall, 2016 has been a banner year - thanks for sharing in the journey! Onward to 2017 - may there be many joyful miles ahead for you & yours!