Thursday, 31 December 2015

Looking Back on 2015

This is the last day of 2015! How on Earth did that happen already??? Basically I feel as though I blinked, and BAM it was Dec. 31 and I realized I had yet to write this recap! LOL.

I went back and checked and I've started the past two year-end recaps with a tune. So here's one of my current faves: Vance Joy's Fire and the Flood. Amazeballs! It would be suoper cool if you played it while you read. :) 

Now, let's get going! 

Originally waaaay back in January 2015 I had decided that I would Race less to Run more. It became a personal focus of mine not to burn out my body so that I'd have more gusto for races that really mattered to me. I LOVE going to races and experiencing the camaraderie and adrenaline it offers. It's quite motivating to me as well to see my friends and random strangers achieve their goals. 

2015 had a few surprises in store for me. The first one being the ever-lasting Winter we would experience and the challenges it presented when I was training for my third Boston Marathon. Yeah, definitely not ideal. This was certainly the toughest winter weather-wise since I've become a runner.

I launched the 2015 racing season with the Hypothermic Half Marathon that I had registered for earlier on, like much earlier than the snow/ice arrived. On the day of the race I made a decision to run the route in Yak Trax since the entire route had been ice coated from the previous day's melt and then freeze. So many falls that day and a few bloody elbows, but I didn't fall once! That's probably why my stabilizing muscles were sore for a week post race!

Sam and Katie came to cheer since they were both on the dreaded injury list.

A few weeks later a local running coach passed away while training a few elite runners in Kenya. This year's Moose Run 25km was dedicated to him and Matt and I took part. We had had, get ready for this, another snowstorm the night before so parts of the route were a little tricky.

I tried really hard to embrace the 2015 Snowmageddon. But it just wouldn't give up. The snow. just. kept. coming.

After A LOT of treadmill running because of ice-coated sidewalks and two already tumbles on the snow/ice, it was off to Boston in April for some real good running. ;)

I had no idea as to what my level of fitness was with such little outdoor training and so much shovelling, but apparently I would eventually surprise myself.
I suggested to Matt that he wear something bright to stand out in the crowds. This was his outfit choice, lol. I still managed to see him though!
Boston was awesome! I even got to meet Hungry Runner Girl!!!

I had not gotten a PR in the Marathon distance since 2013 at the PEI Marathon, which was then only by seconds. I had become okay with the fact that I had probably reached my potential and would likely never run a faster marathon.

Well, through the hills of Newton with gusty headwinds and chilly rain, I fought through the numb thighs and hands to a new PR and BQ at the 2015 Boston Marathon!!!!!

Bring on the ugly cry in 3, 2, and 1...

LOL I crossed the finish line like this and I can still remember every soggy windy detail of that day.
I WAS JUST SO FREAKIN' HAPPY!!!!!!!! I can't wait to run it again in 2016!
In May Lola and I headed to Fredericton to cheer Matt to his BQ Marathon!

Still riding the Boston high, I wasn't going to miss out on the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon. I take part every year to some degree, (one year volunteered). This year I ran the 1/2 Marathon and yet again was recovering from a head cold and probably shouldn't have ran it. But of course runner's envy and a prepaid registration would not let me miss out. This race was tough for me.

In June we drove to New Glasgow for the Johnny Miles Running Event where I decided to give the 1/2 another go. I finished seconds apart from the 1/2 I had run at the Blue Nose the month before, lol. On some level, I felt like my amazing run at Boston had satisfied that part of my running, which I know doesn't sound like me. But I didn't have that drive to push. I just embellished in the fact that I was 'hot, cramped tummy, etc.' (Yeah, smallest violin was totally playing).

Then in July I headed home to Newfoundland for an unseasonably cold Tely 10. Yes I'm wearing gloves and YES I did get a new PR!!! My family comes out to cheer and it's always super motivating.
Oh look: A camera!!!  ***See Matt, this is what bright clothes look  like!

In August a bunch of us ran the Navy 10k. I was in the midst of Chicago training and my heart totally wasn't into this crazy hot 10km race, so post-race I hit up the trail for a 13.1 mile run and called it a long run for the day. On a brighter note a photographer who has a mutual friend of mine snapped this shot which I think is pretty cool.

As summer finished up, I joined a group of Pacers in White Rabbit Pacing! We got together for a group run and of course got cool matching shirts and tutus!

Our first event would be the Maritime Race Weekend Series. I was pacing the 1:50 half but for the Friday night Sunset 5k  I was running all guts out for a new 5k PB!!! Yes, it's by seconds, but it STILL COUNTS!

We just might be experiencing the Runner's

My first experience in pacing was really cool. I was beyond nervous and you can read all about it here. :)
How cute are we in our bunny ears?!
I was so nervous I wore two gps

Shortly after Maritime Race Weekend I got hit with a cold, I'm assuming from standing around in the cold after the half in the drizzle. The cold then turned into my first ever sinus infection that caused my teeth, face and nose to really HURT! I had my first ever DNS and had to call on Steve to replace me in my leg of the Rum Runner's Relay. :( 

Lola and I still went to cheer on team Upright and Mile-ing. 

Go Matt!

We even made it into the race photos! LOL...we're in the turquoise Nissan driving behind the runners.

I missed a ton of training (including my last 20 miler) from being sick for two weeks but I was recovered in time to head to my second World Marathon Major in CHICAGO!!! 

You just have to do this marathon! It was Matt's and my first time in the windy city and to be honest, I didn't think I'd enjoy it. But I'm already begging Matt to go back! We loved it! Race day was hot, but flat and fun. You know, it was flat except for the little incline at the finish. How rude?! ;)

With my first ever port-a-john pit stop at around 16 miles I managed to get a BQ time and I was thrilled! TMI: I had to go on antibiotics when I got home in Nova Scotia because I gave myself a pretty serious bladder infection from holding my urine during the marathon. Yep, that happened. So don't hold your pee. ;)

Post Chicago, I volunteered at the second Annual BLT 5k hosted by Courteney. Marg and I gave medals to the finishers which was really fun!

Later that day Matt and I headed to Moncton where he ran the marathon and Lola and I cheered on the runners. Can you spot me in this photo??? ;) Hint: I'm taking a photo.

On Halloween I was psyched to haul out the spidy socks for a run on the trail. We had shorts weather!

To keep our training mojo going, in November Matt and I did a run streak I ran for 35 days straight and it was my longest streak ever!

During the first week of December I capped off the racing season by doing the Santa Shuffle with some running pals. :) We had so much fun and ended up on the Chronicle Herald's Twitter page.

I was so thrilled to become a part of Team tiux!!! You will see me as a part of the 2016 Ambassador team!

2015 has also helped me realize that I LOVE doing my long runs with friends. Jennie and I have toughed out some pretty tricky runs around Halifax, and each one zooms by, even if we don't. ;)

This year I also took part in the TTP Christmas Marathon organized by a member of our local running group, Craig. You run the marathon distance from Christmas Eve to NYE and it was super fun. 

Some pretty special loot:

As I reflect back upon 2015 there were definitely moments where I surprised myself and realized that I am capable of reaching my goals...if I just believe in myself. (<---enter cornfest 2015 lol).  "What the mind believes, the body achieves." (N. Hill)

Total Runs: 270
Total Races: 11
Total Miles: 1912   (3078 Km) NEW YEARLY DISTANCE PR!
Total Time: 262h 9m
Totally awesome ;)

A super huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of my 2015 running adventures! My family, friends, readers and followers are so important to me. You're my biggest sources of motivation and inspiration. So thank you. <3

Here's to 2016!
What were some of your highlights in 2015?
What are you looking forward to in 2016? 

Happy Running,
Heather :)


  1. Wow what a year!!! You raced a lot and you had a lot of really strong races. :) Congrats on reaching a yearly mileage PR! I am glad you PR'ed at Boston and was surprised to read that you thought you would never PR in the marathon again. You could have just asked me, I would have told you that you would! Also, as I look into my crystal ball, I see more marathon PRs for you!

  2. Okay first, I LOVE that picture of your shoes and medals and bibs, and second I LOVE this song. Vance Joy is awesome.

    You had such an amazing year!! Your races were SO strong and you really focused and trained so well this year. I know 2016 will be more of the same for you!

    1. Thanks :) Matt and I also love his song "Riptide!"

  3. I love the song!
    What an incredible year, that is a lot miles. You ran so strong this year, your marathon PR in Boston is amazing :) I was so happy for you.
    I smile every time I see that photo of you in front of the giant snow mound in your shorts, but I know it was really tough to train through that, I sure hope you get a kinder winter.
    I love your race pictures, you always look amazing.
    Congrats on a fabulous 2015! Cheers to a healthy, strong, 2016 Heather.

  4. What a fun recap! Lots of goals accomplished and a PB! Thanks for sharing a part of you. Here's to many more running days and a healthy 2016 to you your family and Lola!

    1. Thanks Tanya and a Happy New Year to you!

  5. I totally forgot about Snowmageddon, but seeing your snow pictures brought it all back. I know it was driving everyone up north crazy, but I secretly wishes we could have all of that snow too! It looks beautiful but I am sure it's super annoying to deal with day in and day out!

    You had such an amazing, amazing 2015! Congrats on everything, all of your hard work paid off big time!

    1. Hopefully I have NO photos this year of any type of Snowmageddon!!!!

      Thank Kristina!

  6. Way to go Heather! All the best in 2016!

    1. Thanks Crystal! And a happy new year to you!

  7. This is my first visit to your blog. I loved this post - so much joy! Sorry your got pretty sick a few times, but booyeah on the multiple BQs!