January 02, 2015

2014: A Crazy Good Year

2014 has been crazy.

Crazy good.
Crazy busy.
Just... Crazy.

Since my last post, on my birthday back in May, life became utter chaos. I had only been back at work for a month and a half following my maternity leave and there was no rest for the weary. Between travel, a new baby, a demanding 6 year old and my running training, there was very little time left for my little blog. In the list of things that had to be cut to make more time in a demanding life, my blog had to be one of them. Oh, how I have missed it! Writing, sharing, chatting about my healthy life victories and epic mom fails is something that I enjoyed.

Let me catch you up on what you may have missed...

Kids: 
My son, Jack, turned SIX in September. SIX!! He started first grade (which is a whole other controversy to be discussed at a later date). It started out a little shaky - new school, new teacher, new friends to make and all. Thankfully he has things figured out and is doing beautifully - no question we made the right choice in sending him forward instead of holding him behind. He continues to be ridiculously smart which forces us to stay on our toes and sassy to the point where I wonder if he suddenly went from 5 to 12 years old. He ADORES his little sister and is a great big brother to her. We also discovered through his having a sibling that his heart truly belongs to his mama - this boy is a mama's boy and this mama is not complaining!


Then there is my sweet Mackenzie. Can you even believe she turned 1 a few weeks ago? I still continue to stare at her in awe that she is even here in this world. She is seriously the easiest baby ever (or perhaps it is from our years of practice with Jack that she SEEMS so easy). From the moment we brought her in to her first day of daycare, she has been known as the "Smiling Baby." This year has not been without drama with her - she has issues with one of her eyes and will be wearing glasses for a lifetime because of it. We discovered a mass in her belly over the summer - thankfully, it turned out to be nothing but a lipoma but a trip to Children's Hospital for testing is not something I really want to do again anytime soon. She has also been slow to hit developmental milestones. While in part, we think this may be the way she is - she does things in her time. Her way. (Not sure what this means for the teenage years...). She doesn't crawl, but she gets from point A to point B one way or another. Her pediatrician isn't concerned just yet. We are patiently waiting for her to take her first steps and praying we do not have to see yet another specialist. She's a champion eater. Girlfriend loves her food. All of it. Whatever we put in front of her so far she devours. Hmmmm.... like mother like daughter?


These kids are my everything. Despite my busy schedule, I rearrange everything to ensure they come first.


Health
For the most part, my 2014 health journey has been good. As you know if you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, I am incredibly hard on myself. I have managed to lose 50 of the 70 (holy crap) pounds gained during my pregnancy.

This year was also a pinnacle year for running. For those that have had a baby, you know that bouncing back is not easy. I had a high-risk pregnancy which meant no heavy duty exercise for 9 long months in addition to postpartum complications. Getting back in the game was not easy and not fun. It hurt. I struggled. I CONQUERED.
April - Get in Gear 5k: This was my first post-baby race. I had a sprained ankle. I was slow. But I did it.


July 17- Esprit de She 5k: I completed this 3 minutes faster than the Get in Gear, but it was not without struggle. It was HOT. The course was challenging. But I did it.

August 2 - Race for the Kids 5k: 2 minutes faster than the Esprit de She - I felt great about this race. The race was sponsored by my company so I was surrounded by many colleagues and cheerleaders. My husband also participated in the Inline Half Marathon so it was amazing to have him at the finish line.
My partner in life. I loved having him racing with me!

August 30 - Women Rock 10k: This was my next big challenge. I committed to it and halfway through my training wanted to kick myself in the ass for making this choice. How on earth was I going to run 6 miles when I could barely survive 3? I pushed through it  - running in the rain, the heat... I trained hard and gave myself a goal of completing it in under 1:20:00. I finished at 1:15:00.

October 25 - Monster Dash 10 Mile: Inspired and motivated by my superhero finish at the 10k, I convinced myself to take on the extra 4 miles and do the Monster Dash 10 mile. With the help of my running buddy and weeks of training, I actually did it. My goal was to finish in  2 hours or under, which was a bit aggressive for where I was at training-wise, and I finished at EXACTLY 2 hours. I PR'd both my 5k and 10k times and admittedly fell apart in mile 9. I discovered exactly which body parts need additional help in my future training and learned what runner's toe is (not sure what runner's toe is? Google it.).
My running buddy, Kathy. I could not have completed 10 miles without her. 

My sweet boy was at the finish line to cheer me through to the last, painful step!


I ran a 10 miler less than a year after having my baby. Surreal. I may not have lost all the baby weight, but I blew away my running goals for the year. Surprised that I didn't lose all the weight running those distances? I hit a plateau and because I was so focused on my run training, I wasn't able to cross-train to bust through it. Kind of an excuse, but, not really. I was focused on healthy eating and held my weight very steady.

Then the holidays arrived... and I jumped ship...

Work
Probably the biggest opportunity of my professional life was presented to me this year. I was given the opportunity to head up the launch of my company's field social media program. It was no easy feat - with hours of demanding work and many challenges I had to be 110% dedicated to the project. I am insanely proud of what I was able to accomplish in 2014 - fitting a full 12 months of work into a modified year because of maternity leave was not easy.

I am so thankful for an amazing team and for the opportunity to travel and meet so many awesome new people along the way.

In Summary...
2014 was GREAT. Despite having to work more and harder professionally than I ever have in my adult life and the struggle for work/life balance, I have zero complaints.

My family is complete. I have a job that I love. I ran faster and further than I thought I ever could.

I am so, so blessed.


 
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