goodbye, 2015! hello, 2016!

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Holy crap! That year went fast!!! 2015 is nothing but memories now, and we are moving full speed ahead into 2016 with as much busyness and craziness as we had last year. It seems like I don’t have time to catch my breath sometimes, but it’s not all bad. Honestly, I thrive on being busy. The thought of sitting at home to watch a Netflix marathon is horrible to me; I would much rather be active doing something, anything. Even cleaning the house takes a front seat to couch sitting.

If I could describe 2015 in one word, it would be stressful. This seemed to be a theme in all aspects of life, and I’ve excited for a new year. That doesn’t mean that some absolutely awesome things didn’t happen in 2015. I choose to focus on those below and leave the craptastic things in the past.

On a personal note, Dan has officially put up with our family/me for two years, and yes, he deserves a medal for that. We are not an easy bunch to live with, and that’s putting it lightly. He started as a running friend and for some crazy reason that I have yet to understand, decided he would stick around. Thank you. I love you.

Running wise, I kinda kicked ass in 2015, even though I didn’t take part in a lot of races. I set not one but 3 personal records – a 10 mile PR at the Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler in April (1:25:09), a half marathon PR at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in May (1:54:45) and a 5K PR at the Downtown Willoughby 5K in September (23:28). Hell, I even placed in my age group at the Willoughby race, and there were a LOT of people in my age group! I had the great privilege of being a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador with the most amazing group of people. We started January 2015 as ambassadors and ended as friends. I was so thankful to have all of them in my corner supporting me along the way. I also tried something new – a marathon relay as part of the Akron Marathon – with a group of my CLE marathon friends and Dan, honorary CLE ambassador. Team #ShareCLE was one of the highlights of my year because it brought many us together again doing something we all love. We also had a chance to support other CLE friends who were running either the marathon or half.

As far as work goes, I accomplished my most important work project to date – leading a team to submit all of our documentation for public health accreditation. Think of it as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for health departments. In December 2014, we submitted our application, and we were able to start uploading documents in May 2015. In exactly 7 months, my team and I worked to finalize all of our documents to help meet the hundreds of requirements. Everything was sent off on December 22! We still have a ways to go before we hear our decision on accreditation, but we are hoping the outcome is a positive one. More stress to come on this as we prepare for the site visit in spring/summer.

The kiddles have grown and have become their own little people. I think they learned a few life lessons this year (at least I hope they did) and possibly gained a little more respect for the people who love them and take care of them. It was not an easy year, more of a learning experience. And as mad as I get at them for some of the crazy things they pull and way they act, I think they know that no matter what, I love them and will take care of them.

Looking forward to 2016, I have some exciting things ahead of me. I was graciously asked to be an ambassador again for the 2016 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon! This will be my fourth year, and I am proud and thankful to represent this great race and organization. That being said, I have some running goals to crush. This year, I am participating in the new Challenge Series where I will run an 8K on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. AND I am gunning for a sub-4 hour marathon, which would be dropping nearly 25 minutes off my current PR. Crazy, I know, but I love a good challenge. It gives me something to work for, and I always run better with a lofty goal. There is a quote that says, “Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.” I will be thinking of this as I embark on my training plan.

I also want to be the person who leads my health department to accreditation. This is a huge deal for me, both personally and professionally. We should expect to hear the decision in fall 2016. I have faith in my health department and the team who put in the time and effort to get us this far. We just need to make it to the end of the journey.

As we start another trip around the sun, I want to say good luck and best wishes! Hope this is a great year for you!

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