December 31, 2013

Top 13 of 2013

Last year on December 31st, I wrote a post that highlighted my favorite events of 2012. I like looking back at that post and reminiscing, so I decided to do another for 2013. Here are some of my most memorable moments of the year, in chronological order:

1. When I'm an old woman, this first event of 2013 will probably still be on my list of top 5 favorite events of my entire life: meeting up with my Ragnar Relay team in Miami and running to Key West! There is no way to write about this entire thing in a nutshell, but the whole story can be found here, with links to the posts about it. Here is the gist, captured by the Today Show:

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2. The first Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K on my birthday! I couldn't believe how many people participated. I absolutely loved reading the race reports, seeing the photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and being completely inspired by all who participated from around the world. (I realize I still haven't posted the sign-up for the second annual Virtual 5K, but I promise to get that done within the next week! Just mark your calendar for January 25.)

3. Getting to host an Oscars party at my house. My girlfriends came over, dressed in black tie attire (well, except for Jessica--I told her she was welcome to wear pajamas, because she'd had a long day!). We had some yummy food and wine, and watched the Oscars together. It was so much fun!

4. I got my RRCA certification as a running coach! I drove down to Dayton for the class, and stayed at Carly's while I was there. It was a very long couple of days of learning about running, but I loved it! And it was fun to be able to see Carly.

5. I went on my first (and only, so far) blogging trip--to St. Louis! It was my first time in St. Louis, and I was only there for a mere 24 hours, but I loved every minute of it. I was there to learn about one of my favorite topics--cats. And what better place to learn about cats than the Purina ONE headquarters in St. Louis?!

6. Running (completely by accident) a sub-50:00 10K! I went into the race hoping for a PR of 55:04 or better, and I assumed I'd finish in about 53:00, maybe 52:00 if I really pushed myself. I never, ever could have even imagined that I'd run a 7:57/mi pace for a 10K race! It blew my mind, and that race made me a believer that anything can happen. It's funny, the pace of my current 10K personal record (this particular race) is faster than my current 5K personal record!

7. I finally got my long-sought-after sub-2:00 half-marathon finish time! I ran the Martian Half-Marathon in April, and felt fantastic as I ran an 8:34/mi pace to finish in 1:52:07!

I would love this picture if only my eyes
weren't closed!

8. Surprising my sister by showing up at her house in Illinois to run her first half-marathon with her! My brother-in-law, Shawn, and I schemed about this, and he generously paid for my trip out there to surprise Jeanie. I threw her off track, so she had no idea I was coming. It was a super fun surprise! She ran a fantastic first half-marathon, and I was so excited that I got to be there with her.

9. Doing a "goal weight" photoshoot with my friend Stephanie! I wanted some nice pictures of myself at my goal weight, so that I could always be reminded of how happy I was to be there, and, if I'm being honest, how good I look while I'm still young enough to enjoy it ;)  Stephanie did an awesome job, and I love the photos. She got some of our family, too, which turned out better than any "professional" photographer would have captured.

10. Going on an overnight trip to Cedar Point with Jerry and the kids. It ended up pouring rain at the amusement park, and the entire park was flooded up to our ankles, and even our calves in a lot of spots. It was like a scene from an apocalyptic movie! The rain ended up being the most fun we had all day--we ran (well, waded) through the park, and were completely drenched. We went back to the hotel and had some delicious pizza and watched a movie. It was a great family time!

11. Jerry and I reached 10 years of marriage in August! I simply cannot believe that we've been married that long. We've had good days and bad days, but he's still my very best friend.

12. Traveling to Chicago and running the Chicago Marathon! Despite everything about this trip falling through, I still decided to go and make the best of it. I'm SO glad I went, because I got to meet Caitlin and Cat from my Ragnar SoCal team (the rest of whom I'll meet in April). I had a blast meeting up with and getting to know them, and on top of that, I had an AMAZING race. The Hansons' Marathon Method really pulled through, and I felt better than ever during the marathon. My legs never quit, and the only issue that held me back (only slightly) toward the end was a stomach upset from eating too much Gu. But I finished in 4:16:38, a 35-minute PR!

13. Last, but not least, I've loved seeing the overwhelming response to my request for Mark. He's gotten about 400 cards (maybe more, and they're still coming!), and he's loved every single one of them. I'm so used to seeing on the news all of the bad things that people do, but seeing how kind everyone has been in supporting Mark (a complete stranger to all of you), through his terminal lung cancer diagnosis, has made me see so much good. Nobody should ever have to die alone, or with very little support, and I love showing Mark each time I visit just how many people care for him. He loves to tell all the nurses and doctors he meets, "I got SO MANY people that care about me! Hundreds of people!" They just kind of nod and smile, until they see all of his cards--then their eyes get huge as they realize he's not exaggerating. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for every single card, picture, letter, and gift you've sent him!!

Some fun stats about 2013:

  • I ran 1,558.5 miles (up from 1,186.5 miles in 2012)--a total of 236 hours, 1 minutes, and 5 seconds. 
  • My longest run was 26.6 miles (the Chicago Marathon).
  • The month that I had the highest mileage was September, with 205.1 miles.
  • My average pace for the whole year was 9:06/mi (down from 10:08/mi in 2012).
  • I burned 133,639 calories from running... that's equivalent to over 38 pounds of fat (or 2,265 chocolate chip cookies)!
  • The food I consumed the most of was probably ice cream; followed closely by eggs (I was never an egg person, but I've eaten them nearly every day all year).
  • My most memorable meal was Mahi Mahi Matecumbe at a restaurant called The Fish House in Key Largo, Florida. Words can't even describe it. I've tried to replicate, but it doesn't even compare.
  • My current favorite breakfast is two eggs, scrambled, with cheese, and an orange or English muffin.
  • My current favorite lunch is a tuna salad sandwich and fruit.
  • My current favorite evening snack is a glass of red wine and popcorn.
  • The thing I am most looking forward to in 2014? Meeting my Ragnar Relay SoCal team in San Diego on April 4th!

As evidenced above, 2013 has been one AMAZING year!! I'm so grateful for this blog, all who read it, the opportunities I've gotten from it, and having a place to write about these things as they happen in my life. I can't imagine that 2014 can even compare, but I'm willing to try! :)


  1. Happy 2014 to you!! You have certainly had a great year :) Seems like next year has a lot to live up to! Thank you for sharing your blog with all of us.

  2. Happy New Year! I'm so excited to be able to participate in your virtual 5K this year. Consider this calendar marked! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  3. Happy new year.
    Hope 2014 is even better.

  4. Happy New Year, I´m sure 2014 will bring much joy as well. :-)

  5. Happy New Year, Katie! I'm definitely looking forward to following you through 2014 :)

  6. Happy New Year to you and yours! Thank you for sharing your 2013 with us. Wishing you a happy & prosperous 2014!

  7. Yay!!! Happy New Year!!!!

  8. How did I miss you were in St. Louis? I'm just 30 miles east in IL!

  9. Happy New Year! I'm sure great things are in store for the coming year! Hope to see you at some of the southeast Mich area races this year!


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