Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 - A Happy Healthy Fit Year in Review

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year

I don't know about you, but I cannot believe 2015 is already coming to a close. Where did the year go??

Like any Type-A person would do, I spent some time reflecting on what I accomplished in 2015. 

I had set some fairly vague goals for this past year-- 2015 focused on the themes of choosing happiness, health and fitness, sustainability, nutrition and simple living. Overall, I think I did ok. But maybe that's what happens when your goals are vague ;-)

What were the major highlights of my 2015? What did I actually focus on? Where was my time spent?


Running, Fitness & Nutrition

Health, fitness and nutrition are always a major focus for me.

I spent the first three months of the year working with a personal trainer {Casey from True You Fitness is amazing}. After my time with Casey was up, I continued to include strength training in my fitness routine 2-3 days per week. The results have surprised me. Strength training hadn't been much of a focus for me in previous years, but it has helped my running tremendously. 

I had an on-again, off-again relationship with yoga throughout 2015. I cannot deny how good I felt after a yoga session, but it just never made a regular appearance in my fitness routine. I tried. I even wrote it in my calendar. But other fitness activities always won out.

I attended my first ever running clinic with Laughing Buddha Racing! Why hadn't I ever gone to one before?? Game changer. The half day session was filled with both theoretical and practical training. We were videoed while running before and after the training and everyone showed improvement. How cool is that? This is definitely something I want to do again.

I made some small nutrition changes this year. Nothing major, but the changes were in a positive direction and were sustainable. The biggest change was my breakfast. I swapped my granola cereal for a smoothie. My smoothies are packed with fruits, greens, super foods like chia or hemp and protein powder. Super healthy and keeps my full longer. 

At the start of 2015 I wanted to do one race per month. I sorta got close. I missed January, November and December. Overall, it was a pretty good running year. I ran a mix of shorter races and longer races. As of writing this post I have run 1,476 miles this year! Not too shabby.

. Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon {February} 2:13:59 -- At the point I ran this race, I was less than a minute slower on the trail than my road half marathon PR. I was pretty stoked about that!


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Half Marathon, Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon

. Marine Corps 17.75K {March} 1:49:22 -- I have no idea how Nick and I both got lucky enough to register for this before it sold out in less than 7 minutes, but we did! Completing this race gave us Access Granted into the coveted Marine Corps Marathon.


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Marine Corps 17.75K

. Blue Ridge Half Marathon {April} 2:19:04 -- Our second year running Blue Ridge. Love love love everything about this race and the Roanoke community. Finished 10+ minutes faster than 2014!


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Half Marathon, Blue Ridge Half Marathon

. Earth Day 5K {April} 0:26:16 -- A small local race and a 1+ minute 5K personal best! I was pretty shocked because of how windy it was that day, but I'll take it.

. ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon {May} 2:24:04 -- One of my slowest half marathons. Not my best performance. It was hot and hilly.


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Half Marathon, ZOOMA Half Marathon

. SMECO 75 Mile Bike Ride {June} 5:36:00 -- My first organized bike event. So.much.fun! Can't wait to do this again in 2016. 


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year

. TaTa Trot 5K {July} 0:26:37 -- A great race for a great cause! Bonus is that I got to do this with my parents.


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, 5K, TaTa Trot 5K

. Pikes Peak Ascent {August} 5:08:32 -- This was our big running event for 2015. We put so much time and energy into training for this race. Definitely one of the most difficult things I've done to date with an elevation gain of 7,815 ft over 13.32 miles finishing at 14,115 ft. Holy altitude.


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Trail Running, Pikes Peak Ascent, Half Marathon

. The Color Run DC 5K {September} -- I was selected as a Color Run Ambassador! My aunt and cousin did this race with me. Tons of fun!


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, 5K, The Color Run

. Corelle 5K {October} -- Quickly becoming a yearly event. Perfect shakeout before the Wineglass Half Marathon. Walked with my dad and sister.


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, 5K, Corelle 5K, Wineglass Half Marathon

. Wineglass Half Marathon {October} 2:05:08 -- Finally, I broke the 2:10 half marathon barrier. Some days everything aligns and you have the most perfect race. That's what happened with Wineglass 2015.


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Half Marathon, Wineglass Half Marathon

. Marine Corps Marathon {October} 4:42:59 -- Training for this race was a huge challenge for me. Not my best time, not my worst time. Glad we did it, but it's not on my list of repeat races.            


2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Running, Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon

Work & Education

We spend so much time out of our day working that it's hard to think back through the year and not reflect on career accomplishments. 

Many of you know me as a runner and fitness nut. What you might not know is that I'm also an aerospace engineer. Kinda geeky, but super cool too.

I'm lucky to work for someone who will pay for advanced degrees as long as it compliments the primary career path. I spent the past few years working part-time towards my Master Degree in Engineering Management from Florida Institute of Technology and graduated this past May-- woot woot!

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Engineering, Master Degress

The group I work for has a 5-year developmental program for engineers. Before I left for the Grand Canyon, I interviewed for my promotion out of the developmental program to become a journeyman-level engineer. I passed! More responsibility, higher expectations and a huge promotion-- I am up for the challenge! It's crazy to think that I've been living and working in Maryland for 5 years already. Where did the time go? 

I had another great performance appraisal this year and the project I led won an award! Plus, the team I work on is top-notch. Things are much nicer when you work with awesome people.

Unapologetically You

Unapologetically You has really grown this year. It's amazing what can happen when you really hustle

Hard work, quality content, a positive attitude and authenticity will get noticed. It might take some time, but it will happen.

Joining the Fit Approach / Sweat Pink community as a Sweat Pink Ambassador was the push I needed to take Unapologetically You seriously. I am grateful for all the wonderful ladies in this group who are kind, supportive and realize that we are stronger together and can make a bigger difference by sharing and building each other up. 

Through Sweat Pink, and connections I have made through the community, I have had the opportunity to work with several new-to-me brands which have easily becomes favorites. 

The Sweat & Hustle Fitness Blogging Accountability Group and the Turn Your Blog into a Money Making Brand eCourse were game changers for Unapologetically You this year. I am already looking forward to our first Sweat & Hustle Google Hangout next week! 2016 is going to be an awesome year working with these ladies. 

Like so many other things in life, there's a snowball effect with blogging. I was an ambassador for The Color Run DC in 2015 and I am currently an ambassador for the Blue Ridge Marathon {are you signed up??}. I also found out a few weeks ago that I was selected as a FitFluential Ambassador-- I'm playing with the big kids now!

Unapologetically You also has business cards {which are super cute, btw} and a shop with a ladies fitness tank that reads 'Happy Healthy Fit'. You can purchase your tank top here!

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Blog, Girl Boss, Business Cards

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Fitness Fashion

Adventures

If you follow me on social media or visit Unapologetically You regularly you have probably heard a bit about the 23-day Grand Canyon white water rafting adventure. This trip was in the works for at least a year, so much of 2015 focused on preparing for the Grand Canyon-- recruiting people, planning the meals and itinerary, purchasing gear, reading guidebooks, swift water rescue and wilderness survival courses, spending time on the river and research research research. 

Nick and I went on a few semi-local white water rafting day trips to get comfortable in the water. One trip on the Upper Yough and another in Harpers Ferry. Although, as we later learned-- there's nothing comparable to the Grand Canyon. 

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, White Water Rafting


The trip was a success! You can read my first post about the Grand Canyon here. Be sure to check back regularly as I'll be sharing more of our tales from the river in the coming weeks.

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Grand Canyon, White Water Rafting

Speaking of the Grand Canyon-- guess who got engaged about the bottom of the Grand Canyon? Yep, that's me! Nick proposed on a hike from Granite Park Camp on Day 16 of the trip. He didn't want to worry about losing or ruining a nice ring, so he brought a plastic one and attached it to a piece of paracord so I could easily wear it around. True love ♥

2015, Year in Review, Happy Healthy Fit, New Year, Grand Canyon, White Water Rafting, Engaged

"2015 was a #happy #healthy #fit year, indeed! Looking forward to what 2016 has in store."

2015 was a good year. We had a lot of fun, and got a lot done. I'm looking forward to the new adventures that await us in 2016!

Your turn! What was your favorite memory of 2015?

♥AK