Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016: The Year in Numbers

Happy New Year!

Wow. Can you believe it's the start of the new year? 2016 was a tumultuous year for many of us. You probably know how my year ended. I'm looking forward to the fresh start that the new year promises.

But it wouldn't be the new year without the yearly rewind! Because this is a running blog, I'm going to rewind my year in running! I've already recapped my year in bling. Today's post is all about the numbers. I'm also going to review the goals I set a year ago at this time. On Wednesday, I'll share my goals for 2017.



I was fairly surprised when I added up my miles for the year! So close to my yearly goal of hitting 1000 miles! That made me super happy. How did I do with the rest of my goals?

Last year, I set 5 goals.


Slow down and enjoy the ride: Well.....this one kind of ties in with the goal to stay injury free. Let's just say I didn't intentionally slow down. That's because I didn't stay injury free. I struggled all year with plantar fasciitis. You may recall my Big Sur Marathon training that involved very little running and a whole lot of cross training. I ran the Sarasota Half Marathon with that PF and paid for it with a lot of pain afterward. I took it easy over the summer, but ran those 2 speedy 10ks, even though I wasn't in speedy 10k shape. I still do like to run fast. Towards the end of the year, my PF went away. So did my endurance. It was really troubling to me--no matter how slow I ran, I just ran out of gas on my long distance runs. This was something new for me, and I couldn't figure it out. I started to wonder if something was wrong with me. As it turns out, there was. When I was diagnosed in December with rheumatoid arthritis, all those question marks were erased.

Practice mindfulness: I did a lot more yoga this year and I attempted a few rounds of Deepak and Oprah's 21-day meditation. The meditation was hard for me. I did it right before bedtime, and I often fell asleep before the meditation ended when, as Deepak says, "it's time to release the mantra". I think I released the mantra way too soon. I wonder if meditation is too meditative for me. I really think I have ADHD, and I need to be moving all the time. I will continue to work on mindfulness for 2017.

Meet up with running/blogging friends: Oh yes, I did! I came away from this year feeling blessed and grateful for all the wonderful runners I have met through my blog. Runners, we get each other, right?
Clockwise from large photo: PCB ladies weekend with Tricia, Darlene, Marcia, Judy, Holly, Karen, Me, and MaryBeth;
Kristina and me pre-Big Sur with some beach yoga;
Sam and me meeting for lunch and a trip to mecca;
Me, Alicia (a reader), and Sara at the Stampede 10k, AG awards to all;
Meb, Holly, Sherry, Marcia, Sharon, and me pre-Chicago Marathon;
Me and Meb;
Holly and me,
Me, Marcia, and Erica spectating Chicago in the Bloggers press box!
Continue to grow the blog: I had a lot of fun making the title infographic and the picture collage for this post. That's one of the things I accomplished this year--jazzing up the blog and having fun with graphics and pictures. I've enjoyed playing with the blog--I'm still not in love with my header--and I've tried to make the most of the free platform offered by Blogger. Yes, I realize that those WordPress blogs look really polished. But I'm still convinced that good content aka substance wins over style. I've worked hard to publish posts that I think are well written and interesting. I've really enjoyed watching the blog grow this year. I don't have the numbers that the big bloggers do. But I'm getting a lot of spam and emails wanting to help grow my blog, so clearly someone's reading me.

Speaking of spam, earlier this month, I received a comment from a troll who took me to task about a post I wrote on irresponsible dog owners. Among the many gems he shared was this comment: "you wouldn't know the difference between raccoon sh*t and dog sh*t" and my personal favorite: "you aren't anything more than a middle-aged privileged runner". He (I assume it was a man but I could be wrong) also called me this mystery word: C*!t. It took me a while to crack the code, but suddenly the lightbulb went off and I said oh! he called me the C word! Clearly, his code was a very clever attempt to fool the spam patrol at Google and it worked! Dude's got skillz!

The truth hurts...
I was surprised that a post I wrote several weeks ago, 5 Things You Might Not Know About Winter Running, was my most popular post of the year. I never know what is going to take off, and when I published it, I wasn't thrilled with that post at all. I guess I shouldn't worry about trying so hard! My second most popular post also surprised me and that is the book club review of Suzy Favor Hamilton's Fast Girl. Clearly, s*e*x is the way to go, and I may need to rethink my focus on writing about just running. I'm not sure how I'm going to tie it all in but Suzy did and did it like a boss! So game on! I've been watching Shameless  and I'm getting all kinds of ideas...

Year of Destination Races: Well, yes, all of my 3 races (excepting those 2 10ks) were destination races. It was a lot of fun traveling and running these races. I had big plans for this year, but life had other ideas. Will I do attempt to do more destination races again? What do you think?

In spite of my health issues, I really enjoyed my year of running. Overall, I accomplished what I set out to do which was to run that Sarasota Half Marathon that I had to defer from the year before and run the Big Sur Marathon, which was my dream race. I also got to run Panama City Beach and meet my blogger friends, which was a #holottafun! Sure, I would have loved to run more races. I hoped to run RNR St Louis with Marcia. I really wanted another fall half. It's funny how things work out. To me, it feels as if my races were even more meaningful because of the challenges I overcame to run them. I also learned how much fun it is to spectate a marathon, especially a marathon that you've run multiple times and one where you know a lot of folks running.

So what's ahead for 2017? That's the subject for my next blog post. There are a lot of unknowns ahead for me. But the one thing I know for certain is how much I love this community. You guys make me want to keep running. It's amazing how we can meet for the first time and it's like we've known each other our whole lives. Running is an amazing sport. I feel so blessed to have all of you in my life. Thanks for all the love and support.


How was your year? What was a highlight for you? Anything you'd do differently?

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap! And with Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup!







96 comments :

  1. Just wow on your spam comment!. I don't understand why people are so crude and rude to people they don't even know! I haven't checked my blogging statistics, but I think my post about Running Myths was probably the most popular. It goes wild on Pinterest every know and then and quadruples my pageviews for a few days each time.

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    1. I need to check my stats on that Winter Running post to see where all the traffic came from. My top post was actually from 2015. It was a product review from SLS3. I published the link in my amazon product review, which is why I think that one is so popular. I'm such a numbers person!

      My oldest son tells me there are people who sit around all day and just troll for fun. At least this guy was creative...

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  2. Isn't looking at the year-end stats so much fun? I love doing it every year! I'm super impressed with your 10K times and your longer races on little training!

    And - I'm always really surprised at what posts take off. This year, it was Five 2016 Books that Deserved the Hype...and Five that Didn't...it got repinned a bunch on Pinterest, which accounted for all the traffic. How random. Wish I could figure out how to replicate it!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. I spent all day looking at numbers--I was trying to decide what to include in my post. Most of them wouldn't be interesting to anyone but me, tho.

      I'm hoping to keep some of my speed for 2017, but you know...

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  3. That's a great year, darling! You and I should move from bloggie friends to runner friends at some point...Yes, I know...I'll have to become a runner again...all in due time. :P Happy New Year!

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    1. Yes, I'm thinking the very same thing! We can slog along the lakefront together!

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  4. Just Wow, on those comments. Do you think it was computer generated spam or an actually person who read the blog and actually wrote the comment? Just horrible either way and I know how reading stuff like that can deflated your spirit. I use to check blog stats and all that when we first started blogging because that's what I thought you were suppose to do. I haven't checked in such a long time anymore because it just doesn't seem important. But thanks for the reminder, it will be fun to check it out once in a while.

    You had an amazing year and if I know you (from what I've read) you won't let RA set you back and you are going to do something even more amazing in 2017! Happy New Year Wendy!

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    1. His comments didn't deflate me because they were so inflammatory and weird. I was actually entertained by it--clearly he read my post and put a lot of thought into what he wrote. Most of the spam that does get through (thankfully Google catches most of it) is computer generated and makes no sense.

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  5. Haha the Fast Girl book review is one of the only book review posts I read and I did go out and read the book! SEX SEELS FOR MEGAN!!! :)

    Also, don't get down on yourself. I am fairly certain you could tell the difference between raccoon shit and dog shit!!

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    1. I could see racoon shit having just like way more feathers and organic material in it. But then they probably eat a lot of processed foods like cheese slices and chips from garbage bags. Hell, raccoons are so gnarly that they probably have garbage bag plastic in their poo.

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    2. We don't have any raccoons around here anyways. And I'm pretty sure that plastic bag my neighbor was stuffing into the storm sewer didn't contain raccoon sh*t. Although you never know.

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  6. Wendy, I am so glad I found your blog this year! It's been so great to follow along on your journey and I find your writing very engaging and I love your sense of humor and sharp wit! I know 2016 was full of challenges and I am hoping that 2017 brings some answers and clarity for you. It's not always easy to accept what life throws at us and it's really not easy to see it as a sign of failure when our bodies don't cooperate. I know for me a big lesson is that I have to understand that sometimes I make life happen and other times it's best for me to just let life happen. I am not sure if that makes sense, but that is what I am working on right now. Peace & blessings to you!

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    1. It makes perfect sense. I need to do a better job of letting life happen. The hard part for me is accepting the things I cannot change (isn't that a saying?) and the things I cannot control.

      Thanks for following along!

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  7. "I think I released the mantra a little too soon." <--- HILARIOUS. I'm so glad I found you. That was a really mean comment that guy left! I've had a couple of doozies, but they never pass the spam filter, so they must not be as bright as the superfan you've got.

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    1. The weird thing was that he just signed up for blogger that day...so I thought maybe it was one of my neighbors. You never know.

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  8. I don't understand how people have the time to troll and post spam! I mean, I could use an extra 3 hours a day just to get in the essentials (enough sleep, exercise, healthy food prep), so I can't imagine taking even 30 minutes to read a post just to troll. People, man, people!

    My highlight this year was running the Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney with my BRF! The only thing I would do differently is more XT as the year began. I have a lot of cardio fitness, but not nearly as much strength as I would like! Here's to 2017!

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    1. I think there will be a whole lot of XT in my future! Even before my diagnosis, I had discussed with Becky about more XT in my marathon training. It's like I knew....

      Happy New Year!

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  9. The only thing that I would do differently would have been finally getting that beer with you!!!

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  10. I really enjoy your blog and loved following your running adventures. As you know, I am taking a blogging break as of today ... After my 2 marathons I am feeling a little lost. No big objective on the horizon and it feels weird. Uncomfortable. But my kids need me at the moment, and I have a lot of travel coming up... I need some time to float a little, and maybe a little spontaneity is good.

    Hoping 2017 treats you well !

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  11. I want to be a part of your 2017 -- no ifs, ands, or buts. We've got to get our MAPR jive on. We are already expecting you for water skiing, btw. You had a wonderful year despite the issues with your foot. And I suspect you will have a wonderful 2017 despite your recent diagnosis. I know you'll face your new challenge with strength and grace. Happy New Year. Thanks for linking, Wendy!

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    1. And our MAPWS jive too! I already prepped my hubs for that one. I expect that you and I will be having a #holottafun!

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  12. Racecations are always my highlights. And Sedona & PCB were definitely the highlights of my year. Meeting up with Karen. Running a race in NYC. My personal life was such a mess this year, but my races & travels made up for a lot of it.

    Still working out deets for 2017 . . . at the moment 2 halfs scheduled and I'd like to do a third. Gotta add more states!

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    1. Sedona would be on my to-do list! We were there when the boys were little. I'd love to go back. I could use a little of that vortex energy!

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  13. My highlight was Disneyland. It was such a fun weekend, and I have a successful race. I don't know what my blog stats were, but I do want to get better at tracking my cardio. I need a 2017 planner so I can start writing down my stats already.

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    1. I use Garmin connect to monitor my running stats and Google Analytics for my blog stats. I'm a numbers junkie!

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  14. You sure had a wild ride this year! I'm glad you enjoyed your destination races so much and got to meet up with so many bloggers - it's really fun to connect in real life, isn't it?

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    1. Meeting all the other bloggers really was a highlight of my year. As great as all these races were, I have no doubt they wouldn't have been as wonderful if it weren't for the friends that met me at all of them!

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  15. You had such a great year! Other than the ending, I guess. But congrats on meeting so many goals. Isn't it funny how the popular posts are often not what you would expect?!

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    1. I'm still stunned about that winter running post taking off! Pinterest... I need to investigate a little more.

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  16. All things considered, you had a really great year! I looked back on my mileage and saw that I ran just under 900 miles in 2016. I was surprised it was that high considering the injury!

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    1. I plan on another epic year, just with revised goals. Stay tuned...

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  17. Ok.... the name calling...wow!! Maybe it's Trump!!!! Looking forward to following your adventures in 2017.

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  18. Love your graphic to recap 2016! I need to work on growing my blog next year, but it's not an official goal of mine.

    You can check out my 2017 goals tomorrow. :-)

    Looking forward to following along on your adventures!!

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    1. Heading over to check out your goals! Happy New Year!

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  19. Meeting other bloggers is always so so fun! I'm really surprised at that comment you got - who writes stuff like that?! Ugh, annoying. I know you are going to have a great year and we WILL run together during one of my Chicago trips!

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  20. Great post, Wendy Dear ;-) I'm with you on the blog stuff.....I'm striving for the content over pretty bells & whistles thing as well LOL My little blog ain't much, but I dearly love and appreciate all the followers who make the effort to support me ;-) I look forward to several
    "encounters" with you this year ;-)

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    1. I can't wait for our meet ups! I still want to come to Iowa to run with you.

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  21. I've gotten a lot more spam comments lately too but I never read them! There are some crazy angry people out there. I love all the stats you shared I should check out some of mine. I've really enjoyed connecting with you his year. Here's to happy running for both of us

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    1. It was fun to check out the stats. I've enjoyed connecting with you as well!

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  22. Your infographic is so fun! I started pulling my stats together this afternoon for mine, but we'll see if I actually put anything together in a timely enough manner...

    Happy New Year!

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    1. I've been resting on the couch a lot more than usual, so I've had time to play around...

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  23. Your infographic is so much fun. And I loved that you shared your blog stats. It must be awesome knowing that you are inspiring and helping so many people with each post you write. I've enjoyed getting to know you this year, Wendy. Keep it up!

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    1. I'm just glad to know that people are reading my blog!!! I'm so glad we connected. I have a feeling you are going to have a fantastic year!

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  24. First time stoppin by your blog and I am impressed! I loved your infographic and how you reflected on each goal - why you did/didn't achieve it and your plans to move forward - I do this activity with my high school students quarterly actually :) KEEP RUNNING - and as to the troll he's an @$$h0l3 ;)

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    1. Thanks for checking out my blog! Heading over to yours as we speak.

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  25. That asshat better not find me on a dark sidewalk because I DO know the difference between dog, coon and coyote crap and I definitely know an asshat when I see one. Your year (and mine) just go to show that running (and life) is what we make it. Keep squeezing those lemons my friend. I predict 2017 is going to be another wild and crazy ride. In the best way.

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    1. I did take that "scat" class when we were at the Grand Canyon. Just sayin'.

      Yep, running away from lemons is my specialty! <3

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  26. Happy and Healthy New Year, Wendy! You had an awesome running AND fitness year! I saw your blog stats earlier on FB - these are some awesome numbers! Sunday Fitness & food will be back next week! Have a great week!!

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    1. I'm pretty excited about my readership. Mostly for the interaction I have with wonderful folks like you!!! Happy New Year!

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  27. OMG the trolls!! Doesn't he know that ALL running bloggers are privileged? And probably the "c" word too :-) So ridiculous!! And yes, substance will always win out over flash, plus, I think your blog has both!!
    I hope 2017 is the year we get to meet!!!

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    1. Oh, I'm hoping! I've got big plans to meet ALL the bloggers this year. Ha! I wish!

      Happy New Year, my friend! <3

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  28. What a year! I should take your 2016 of slowing down and enjoying the ride for 2017!

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    1. I'm going to continue with the theme as well!

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  29. You may not have the numbers like big bloggers but your blog is much more interesting than other big bloggers that I will not mention here. :-) Yous are actually interesting and I love reading each one. I may not comment on each one but I do read your posts.

    Wow, those comments? How rude!!

    Hopefully this year we can meet up again and take a picture.

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    1. You are too kind! Yes, I hope we can connect this year!

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  30. Lots of ups and downs this year! I've enjoyed reading your blog and sharing your love of running. Congrats on a great year blog wise and I hope 2017 is even better.

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    1. I've enjoyed getting to know you too, through your blog! Looking forward to another year of reading!

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  31. Losing my job was not fun or having a job that I hate. But it is what it is and we cope and move on.

    I ran a lot of races and I would run most of them again. Running keeps me sane and I was lucky to not have any major injuries.

    The highlight were my race-cations - running in NYC, Sarasota and PCB.

    Especially our girls weekend. It was awesome and those comments made for fun conversation.

    Hope to meet you again at another race.

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    1. I sure hope we can connect again! That was such a fun weekend!

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  32. Wow! The trolls never cease to amaze me! People really need to get a life.

    Congrats on a great year Wendy! I'm glad I got to know you this year and hope we get the chance to meet up at some point. Wishing you great things for 2017!

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    1. I've got you on my must-meet list! We need to make it happen.

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  33. Great year Wendy!! It was so great meeting you in Chicago! You will have a great 2017 despite your diagnosis! I've already got races lined up for 2017 but my main goal is to improve my marathon time at CIM!

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    1. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do! I hear CIM is the race to do that at.

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  34. I think the things that come up that are not expected, the issues with injuries, the blog post that you never expected to do so well the nasty comments, it is what keeps things interesting. It makes us stop, makes us grow, and just makes us adapt. How freaking boring would it be if everything went just as we planned it huh? That adaptation part is what makes us, all of us.
    I'm so very glad to be included in your year and I can't wait to see what this new year brings for us both! Proud to call you my friend and I can't wait to meet up with you again! :)

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    1. I think you nailed it when you said all that stuff keeps life interesting. You aren't kidding! That's the one thing I like about my job--it's never the same from day to day.

      I'm so grateful for your friendship and I can't wait to see you again!

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  35. OMG the trolls! Sorry you experienced that. I hope 2017 is more peaceful for you! OXOX!!

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  36. I love your info-graphic of stats for last year! So creative! That's something I need to spend a little more time doing as well. Injury free year - that was one of my goals but I failed at that. I'm hopeful that 2017 will be better!

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    1. I'm not even going there...my 2017 post doesn't include anything about staying injury free. I wish I could, but now I know I just have to be careful!

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  37. Congrats on a great year! It's definitely had its ups and downs but we do the best we can. Glad you've had your diagnosis so that you can tackle it and keep on running! I'm so happy that 2017 is here!

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  38. What a great year for you, in spite of your injuries and hurts! You should be proud!

    I made so many memories this year through my blog and running and I am so excited to see what 2017 holds. I am already filling in my calendar and planning our next trips and challenges.Eek!

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    1. I'm glad I did this recap because it reminded me that my year wasn't as bad as I thought! I can't wait to see what's to come in 2017!

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  39. Beautiful post Wendy! It is difficult to accept certain limitations our bodies place on us, but more important is the friendship we make along the way! I may never get back to running like I did in the past, but as long as I can run (some) and cross train, I'll be grateful for it.

    I would love to meet up with you some time this year ...as I've said before, Holly and I are STILL throwing around this cycling ride idea and would love to have you join us.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. I'd love to join you and Holly! Cycling will be perfect--no impact!

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  40. You are the proof I need that it's the quality not the quantity. Thank you! I'm glad I stumbled upon you from a book review. I enjoy your perspective! Now that the blog stalker is gone (restraining order) I can put you back on my to read list and not miss a post. I really didn't want that whack job starting to comment on other people's blogs. Happy New Year Wendy!!

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    1. Yeah, he was commenting here too. I just ignored. I didn't realize that you had to get a restraining order! Yikes!

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  41. I didn't find your blog until the end of the year. It was recommended on the snark site G.O.M.I. and they're a tough audience to please so I had to check yours out! Sounds like you had a great year until the end. Much like how runners hang tough through poor race conditions, I'm sure you'll find a way to adapt to your new limitations and do the best with what you're given. :)

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    1. Wow! I feel like I've hit the big time now...glad they like me and didn't diss me. Thanks for following along!

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  42. Those spam comments...wow. I don't understand why some people don't live by the old rule of thumb: if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all!

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    1. Not nice, but so over the top that I had no choice but to laugh!

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  43. Those are awesome numbers Wendy! Way to go!!

    you stayed strong and inspiring!

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    1. I was so surprised when I totalled them up. It made me feel so much better about my year!

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  44. I DIED at the pulp fiction reference! Ain't nobody going to step to Samuel L. pointing a gun in their face! :) Ha! Hey - I'm excited to see your fix and congrats on a GREAT year despite a few stinky set-backs. Glad I was on your journey with you friend! :)

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  45. Congratulations on a great 2016! A very Happy 2017 to you and your family!

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  46. What a great year for you! Tons of fun and adventure- to me, that is what it is all about! I am thrilled that I got to be a part of it! Funny what blog posts people read- you just never know! Keep being you! XXOO

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    1. I'm so happy you got to be a part of my year too! Looking forward to more fun and adventures!

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  47. Replies
    1. In spite of everything else, yes, it turned out to be a great year!

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