Monday, December 12, 2011


Tonight I was going through old blog posts, re-reading them to remember what my life was like last year at this time.  The winter is always hard - cold temperatures for the most part - although this year thus far has been abnormally warm - little sunlight, a lot of darkness, wind, and many gloomy days in Chicagoland.  I am a person who is always cold, so when the weather turns cold, it is more of a challenge to me than most people. 

However, the coldness of winter is not what this post is about.  I was reflecting on how different I am today than I was one year ago today. 

Last year at this time I:
  • Was still trying to build up my iron
  • Was sick with a cold
  • Went out to bars on weeknights
  • Went to bars on the weekends
  • Was skiing in Wisconsin
  • Thought 10 miles outside in winter was a long distance to run
  • Thought I knew what my race schedule would be for 2011
I can say I am a far different person than the person above.  It almost amazes me how much I have changed in just one year.  When I turned 26 last year, I was in a post-college-wish-I-would-have-enjoyed-college-more mindset.  Every weekend was consumed by staying out late at the bars with friends.  Although I grew out of this behavior after only a few months, I think it taught me a lot.  In college, all I did was study.  I spent more time at the library than 99.9% of people.  I studied, and then studied some more.  I can probably count the number of times I was in a bar in college on my two hands.  My college experience was very different than the typical person, which is why my phase of life last year was necessary.  I'm just glad I grew out of it rather quickly.

Last year I also had all of these dreams about getting certain times in races (see: half marathon goal of 2011), but failed at nearly every one.  In the past month I've realized that when I concern myself purely with time, and not with enjoyment, running becomes a chore that must get done rather than my favorite thing to do.  And I don't like all. 

What have I learned in my 26th year to make me wiser going into year 27? 
  • Running with friends is better than running alone.
  • Some races will go far better than you ever anticipate.  Others will be a complete disaster.  Learn from each one and take that knowledge with you to the next one.
  • Confidence is impossible if you beat yourself up for not being perfect. 
  • Being patient is hard, but it is necessary for success.
  • Never be ashamed of how you did at a race.  If you gave your best effort, that is all that matters.
  • Sometimes what we want and what happens in life are not the same.  Take time to adjust and then move on.  Life goes on and some people/things don't need to be a part of it.
Although life has taken many strange twists and turns the past year or two, I am ready for the year ahead.  I am excited to see what it will bring.

What did you learn this past year? 


  1. I learned to expect the unexpected. Both good and bad.
    Happy Birthday fellow Saggitarius!

  2. Its amazing to look where we came from to where we are now and how, in the past, the things we do now seem so daunting back then

  3. Funny, we are at really different stages in life, but I learned a lot of the same things you did this year. Here's to another great year for you!