As the year draws to a close, it’s time for the final installment of Let’s Wine! Why not pop open a bottle of your favorite bubbly and enjoy a glass (or two) as I reflect upon this past year? Overall it has been a great year, both personally and professionally. I have been working in a variety of nursing roles in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) setting since graduating from nursing school in 1983, and in July of this year I celebrated 30 years in my current job along with the 30th anniversary of our NICU. I was even featured in a promotional video that you can check out here! I think I’ll keep my day job…
I did lots of traveling across the U.S. and Canada for my personal business, and I also had some fun personal trips including a trip with my family to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (probably my favorite place on earth), a trip to Phoenix for my niece’s wedding, and finally a trip to Las Vegas (probably my second most favorite place on earth) with my family to celebrate our youngest son’s 21st birthday. We even managed to get some exercise in along the way!
And of course as any of you who stopped by throughout the year knows, the best part of 2017 was my eldest son’s September wedding. We are still reeling about what a happy and wonderful day it was!
I managed to run almost 750 miles this year and while that’s nothing earth-shattering, it’s pretty good for me. I’m such a wimp when it comes to cold-weather running, and as you can see by my Strava data from the year, I follow an almost exact bell-curve and stay indoors when the temperatures drop!
This year, I ran a 17.75K, two half marathons, two marathons, and a Ragnar relay race. I really (really, really) wanted to run the Marine Corps Marathon this year, but I didn’t want to take a chance on the lottery. Running the 17.75K (1775 for the year the Marine Corps was established) guarantees entry to the MCM in the fall, so when registration for the March race opened, I was at my computer with my finger on the trigger (or mouse, if you will) ready to go. The race sells out in minutes, especially since so many people want that ‘golden ticket’ guaranteed entry into the MCM. I was lucky enough to get a spot, and so on Friday, March 24, I flew to DC, ran the race in Quantico, Virginia the next morning, and then flew home that evening. It was a bit of a whirlwind, to say the least, but a runner’s gotta do what a runner’s gotta do! This was quite a hilly race, much of it on gravel trails, so it was a new experience for me!
My second race this year was the Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathon in beautiful Santa Barbara, California. If you are looking for a destination race, I would highly recommend one of the DR Wine Country Halfs. I ran their premier Napa to Sonoma race (which typically sells out in less than an hour) in 2016 and was hooked! So much so in fact, I became a DR Ambassador! You can use my promo code DRAMBJUR for $10 off of any of their races (except, of course for the sold-out Napa to Sonoma race). I was fortunate enough to run Napa to Sonoma again this year, and will be running it again in 2018!
In May my two eldest sons and my (then future) daughter-in-law participated in Chicago’s Bike the Drive along the lakefront. It was a beautiful morning and we loved riding on Lake Shore Drive, which closes to traffic for the race.
In July I ran my second consecutive Destination Races Wine Country Half Marathon from Napa to Sonoma. It’s no surprise this race sells out so quickly. The weather is perfect, the views throughout the course are absolutely breathtaking, and there is a huge wine and music festival at the finish! I was lucky enough to get another spot for 2018, and I will continue to run this race as long as I can get in!
October brought the cool fall weather and my fifth consecutive Chicago Marathon. It was this race in 2013 that started my crazy running journey, and since I earned Legacy Runner status this year, I will continue to run (or walk) it as long as my body will let me! Chicago is my home town, and there is nothing like running through the diverse neighborhoods throughout the city to get a true feel for what a great city this truly is.
Just two weeks later, my eldest son and I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. He could not do the 17.75K, but he was lucky enough to get a spot in the lottery. We had an amazing time exploring DC together and are always so happy to share our marathon experiences with each other.
I topped of my racing year by running the Ragnar South Beach, a 200-mile relay race starting in Melbourne Beach, Florida and ending in South Beach. What a weekend that was! I had a blast and somehow was able to stay awake for the 36+ hours it took to complete the race and enjoy the festivities. I had so much fun meeting new people and running a race I’d never run before. It was exhausting, to say the least, but definitely an experience I will remember forever!
What a fun and adventurous year it has been! If someone had told me five years ago I would be running all these races, or especially that I would be blogging about them, I would have said they were off of their rocker! But it is a sport I have embraced and have grown to love, and I can’t wait to see what the coming year will bring. I wish all of you a happy and prosperous (and injury-free) 2018!
How was your 2017 running year? Did you meet any goals you might have set? What are your goals for 2018? Happy New Year!