However, once I started going through pictures from this year, I saw that I had a ton of really great experiences! I started flagging photos to use on this post, and when I was done, I had over 30. THIRTY experiences that could have made my "Top 15 of 2015". It was tough to narrow it down.
In the end, this is what I decided on. Here are my Top 15 of 2015, in chronological order:
1) We adopted Joey! Bringing Joey into our lives has been so amazing. I used to have a big fear of dogs, but adopting Joey and spending so much time with him has helped me to "read" dogs much better. I no longer get scared of them when I see them on a run. Joey has also changed my kids' lives--they've learned that Joey will always be their best friend, and they have a blast playing with him.
2) I traveled to Portland to visit my BFF and see the Pacific Northwest for the first time. I fell in LOVE with Portland, and it is my favorite destination I've ever visited. While on the trip, I went on my very first hike, and I couldn't have picked a more beautiful place--14 miles of the most gorgeous scenery I've ever laid eyes on. It was during this hike that I decided the Pacific Northwest was my favorite place that I've traveled.
3) In April, I ran a race with all three of my siblings for the first time ever! I'd done a race with one or two of them at a time before, but never all three. It was so much fun!
4) In May, I went to the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon with seven of my Sole Mates Ragnar team! We had so much fun--tons of laughs, a couple of the teammates showing up as a surprise to everyone, more bonding, fro-yo lasagna, and more great memories of my team.
5) My younger brother, Nathan, and I were the top fundraisers for Justin Verlander's Wins for Warriors Detroit 9K. The money went to a charity that meant a lot to Nathan and me--it provides mental health support to Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans and their families. Since Nathan experienced post-war PTSD firsthand; and as his sister, I saw the effects it had; we wanted to do what we could to help. Thanks to so many of YOU, we raised more money than any other fund raiser! We were invited to attend a Tigers game in a suite, and meet Justin Verlander himself. Nathan ran the 9K, and I was a volunteer at the race. It was a great experience overall!
6) When the last person to pass by my volunteer station at the Detroit 9K, something deep inside me told me that I should walk the rest of the race with him (I learned his name was Daron). The sweeper was walking with him, but I just wanted to be there to encourage him to finish. It was an amazing experience--we were dead last to finish, but the Detroit Police were awesome in giving us an escort the whole way, and even giving Daron a bottle of water as needed. He hadn't realized how far 9K actually was, and it was a huge struggle for him, but he FINISHED!
7) In July, Jerry was able to come with me to New York, where I was going to be sitting on a panel for Prudential at the BlogHer Conferences. Jerry and I rarely get to travel alone together, so even though it was a very short trip, we had so much fun!
8) Both of my brothers happened to be in the Pacific Northwest on the exact same day for work, and naturally, I couldn't stand the thought of them being in my favorite place without me ;) Brian offered me a buddy pass to fly out there, and I was able to spend the weekend with my brothers and sister-in-law in Portland!
9) Jerry and I celebrated 12 years of marriage in August, and we returned to the chapel where we were wed so that we could take some fun pictures!
10) I coached cross country for the 2nd-4th graders at Eli's school. I absolutely LOVED coaching the kids, and I hope to do it again.
11) Thomas came to visit in October in order to run the Detroit Marathon. I was originally supposed to run it with him, but due to my stress fracture, I wasn't able to. Thomas, Jerry, and I spent a full day in Detroit, which was my favorite part of his trip--we went to Redsmoke for lunch, lost our money at Greektown Casino, walked on the Riverwalk, sampled coney dogs from the two rival Coney Islands (American vs. Lafayette--Lafayette was our favorite!), had a beer at a dive bar, and then watched the Red Wings lose. It was a super packed day, but I loved spending time with these two.
12) Jerry, the kids, and I ran a 5K together in November. It was a fun, active family thing to do together. The kids enjoyed it, and asked if we could do races together more often.
13) I did something I'd always wanted to do--a boudoir photoshoot! Even though I wasn't at my goal weight, I embraced the body I had at the moment. I had my hair and make-up done, and the photoshoot was so much fun!! I felt beautiful and girly, and the pictures turned out amazing. It was one of the best experiences of my life--honestly.
14) In November, I went to NYC with Purina. Purina hosts some amazing blogger events, and I've met some really great people at them. On this trip, I also conquered my fear of the subway system--I used Google Maps and actually figured out how to get around on my own! I even took the subway and a bus to get to the airport, saving myself about $40 in cab fare.
15) Just before Thanksgiving, I got back to my goal weight!! I switched from Weight Watchers to calorie counting on My Fitness Pal, and it was a much-needed change. I stopped feeling obsessed with food, and the weight pretty much fell right off. It happened quickly and without feeling deprived. I am thrilled with the results!
As you can see, I had a pretty awesome 2015... and I look forward to 2016!
Some fun facts for 2015:
- I ran 457 miles (down from 1,151.86 miles in 2014). I spent much of the year injured, which is why my mileage is down so much.
- The day of the week I ran most often was Thursday; the least often was Wednesday.
- The month that I had the highest mileage was July, with 77.3 miles.
- My average pace for the whole year was 10:31/mi (up from 9:51/mi in 2014).
- I burned 49,752 calories from running... that's equivalent to over 14 pounds of fat (or 638 chocolate chip cookies)!
- My most memorable meal was at McMenamins in Portland--I had a Chicken Caesar Wrap and Cajun Tots. Very simple, but SO very good!
- My current favorite breakfast is a Larabar with peanut butter, and tea.
- My current favorite evening snack is a couple of cookies.
- The thing I am most looking forward to in 2016? Focusing on the 10K distance. I'm really excited to see my potential when I work my hardest at it!
Happy New Year, Friends!!