I originally had a post planned for New Year’s Eve that was going to be a big recap of all the races I did throughout the year and some of my different running and traveling experiences…. but it occurred to me that I’ve already written a bunch of other posts about all of that stuff so anyone that’s already read all of my race recaps would probably find something like that to be pretty boring. If you haven’t already read them though, check out my archives and 2014 race photos pages – some of my 2014 race highlights included a 120mph ride in a Camaro from Oklahoma City to Dallas, running through forests and checking out wildlife in Alaska, doing a 5K in one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, running down the coast in North Carolina, and a bunch of other stories in between.
All that being said though, I did a number of other things over the past year that I haven’t really mentioned a lot in my posts, so here are some of my other favorite memories from 2014:
I helped to raise just under $365,000.00 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in the Chicago to Peoria Relay. I actually did write a post about this run, but it was more about the run itself and not so really about what a great cause St. Jude is and how much money we all raised collectively as a group. I’ve been doing this run since 2006 and the first year I did it, we raised just over $200,000.00 so watching the donation amounts increase over the years has been awesome. I’m looking forward to doing it again in 2015.
I met a number of interesting people at races and made a lot of new friends either by talking to strangers at the actual events themselves or through social media, etc… and at this point I don’t even think I can count the number of people who have inspired me to push myself harder over the past year. I’ve also talked to a lot of runners who have accomplished some great things in 2014 – you guys know who you are and I’m proud to say that I know all of you.
I finally saw some of my finishing times start to come back down. I spent a few years watching them slowly climb up due to working long hours, not eating very well, and not training as much as I would have liked to but luckily I’ve been able to find a better work / life balance over the last couple years so that I have time to focus on running and eating better and the benefits are starting to really show.
I became a MESTRENGTH Ambassador and also a BibRave Pro, which is nice because it gives me the opportunity to support two brands that I really like and feel strongly about. It’s also given me the opportunity to meet some of the people behind these brands and form a couple business relationships that can hopefully be mutually beneficial down the road.
I ran 120 miles in December and as of this post on December 31st, I’ve been running every day since the day before Thanksgiving (36 days total). I have another post planned to talk about run streaks but for now I’ll just say that since I first started tracking my mileage a couple years ago, this is the most running I’ve done in a single stretch and I’m pretty happy about it.
Lastly, I started this blog. It’s starting to pick up traction as far as the number of readers goes, which has been fun to watch, and it’s also given me some other opportunities that I wasn’t expecting, like being asked write guest posts for other blogs and be a guest on podcasts. There are a couple other opportunities that I’m going to be looking into in 2015 as well, but even without all of that stuff, the main reason that I started this blog in the first place was because after being a runner for 15 years and doing races for the past 11, I’ve had a ton of stories running through my head and it’s been a lot of fun to finally have a chance to share some of them and hear other peoples’ reactions. I’ve been really happy with the feedback I’ve received so far, so hopefully I’ll continue to pick up even more readers in 2015.
So that’s my 2014 in a nutshell. I have a number of races planned for 2015 already along with a few specific goals that I’ve been working towards (I’m still in the process of working out the details on some of them, so I’ll be posting more details over the next few months). If anyone has any big accomplishments from the past year or specific goals for next year that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them.
Happy New Year everyone!