Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Year in Review - Colin

So, where to start..   

Last fall I finished the year health wise in good shape.  I had learned how to eat properly, and how it affected my conditioning and health. It was a lesson well learned, and only partially forgotten in 2015. The reason I mention it here is that in 2016 I will be revisiting that diet plan, with the goals of dropping the sugar and treats in order to drop my body fat, and become a healthier person all around. Some of you remember this picture.  It was my before and after numbers from a simple diet called the Whole 30. These numbers were from 2014.
For 2016 - I hope to drop my body fat below 10%, and keep my cholesterol and sugar in check. 

I started the year with a goal of running 1000 miles for the year. I had some big races planned for the year, and as the years progressed I stepped outside of my believed limits to test myself a bit. The first race of the year was on January 3rd, a planned snowshoe race without any snow, so a trail race. This was only my second trail race ever, though I had already signed up for others. It was a fun race, and I was an outsider, looking in through a window, and seeing a group of folks having fun with each other's company. 
Later that spring I ran my furthest distance ever. Breaking outside of a half marathon distance first with the Frozen Snot race in Pennsylvania, a race with a load of climbing and tough as hell.
A few weeks later I once again broke my distance record running in the Cast A Shadow race - a 6 hour snowshoe race, consisting of laps. I stopped after just under 4 hours and nearly 15 miles. 
I also placed in my second race ever at the Tour de Bristol Race to the Summit. 

Spring thaw had me running the Mess the Dress race - where I would have age grouped my first race, had there been age groups. 

In April my first 25K - the Hyner, and 4 weeks later my first marathon - a trail marathon called Sehgahunda. 

All in all I raced in 25 races in 2015. I ran over 1200 miles (just over - 1200.6), and climbed over 107,000 feet. In achieving these goals I met and befriended a new group of people and scratched some of my bucket list items off the list, and of course added others.  

For 2016 - I hope to run 1500 miles total, and run my first road marathon and my first trail ultra. In 2015 I was a bit of a running bachelor, and though never forgetting my family, sometimes putting running first. With this in mind, coming into 2016, I asked Kris for reasonable limits for the coming year. The request from her was 1 "event" a month. The quotes being that an event might be a weekend run with friends or a race. It's limited to time away from my family. If they're with me, she said that one doesn't count as my 1. She also has the option to approve an extra in some months. I can deal with this, as it gives me more time with my family, maybe even more time convincing them to join me, like the boys did in Colorado on this hike. 

I can't say enough about my good fortune and won't delve into it too deeply. I will say that it was one of my most successful years hunting ever. Starting with 2 weeks in Colorado helping a friend hunt Mule Deer in the High Country above 12,000 feet where he was successful on a hunt he'd been waiting 17 years for.

We slept in a tent at 11,860 feet for 10 nights, and it was amazing.
It helped condition me for my first true mountain race and bucket lister - the Imogene Pass Run, a 17.1 mile race climbing over a 13,000 foot pass. I convince one of my best friends and housemate from college to run the race also, and got together with Keith a few days before the race to catch up for the first time in nearly 25 years. This is from the morning of the race. 
Hunting season got better for me personally on November 9th when a great buck I had been seeing at my cousin's land followed a doe right under my tree. 
And then just 12 days later on the opening day of gun season a huge buck followed a doe into view on my land and I was successful ending my gun season with 2 shots. Shooting the buck, and the doe he had been following. 

For me, hunting season, which typically lasts another month was over, and some of that time I had neglecting spending with my family was recovered. Our freezer was full, and some of the to do list was getting completed, or not. But I tried, and we had nice weekends together. I had taken the two biggest bucks of my life. My biggest archery buck, and my biggest gun buck. 
In 2016 - I hope to see Kelleach (our youngest) get his first buck. I hope to have some success myself also, only time will tell. I am also going to Colorado to hunt Elk, so fingers crossed there also. 

The best for last. 
I love my family and cherish them deeply. As the boys get older (Brogan is 15 and Kelleach 13), they are more of a joy to have around and laugh with. I made a rule of sitting down together at dinner with no TV as often as possible, and now I find that they're shutting the TV off before dinner is even served and sometimes helping set the table and help out. They're enjoying the talks about "how was your day", and it's really amazing how much it has helped us all bond. 
Brogan and Kelleach both run track. Brogan PR'd his mile this year towards the end of the season with a 5:27, and we have big hopes for them both in the coming year. 
Soccer also went well with improvements for both boys with excitement rather than dread about what 2016 will bring for them.  
They also got into trail running as a family, and I hope to do an overnight hiking trip with them in PA. 
Kris has been fighting trail running and claiming she hates it, yet placed in her age group at her first trail race, and though she claimed to never run another, has run one other with me, and plans to run one this weekend with the boys and myself- Frozen Assets, the first race of the year. 
We've had a tremendous year as a family. The boys still appear to think that Dad is somewhat cool and aren't trying to avoid me, and Kris seems to appreciate me being around. We have a few house projects planned and a 10 day Colorado vacation. I expect 2016 to be better than 2015 was if that is possible and look forward to it. 

I hope everyone else has had a stellar year, and 2016 answers some of your wishes also. 

Kris should be chiming in soon with her own post, and I plan to be more active with my posts. 

Oh yeah - She got me this AWESOME coffee mug for Christmas!!  

Signing off for 2015..