January 3, 2017

2016: A Year in Running & Beyond

Welcome to my 2016 year in review blog post. I know it's a bit cliche, but this is a really fun way for me to reflect on the year. I always forget all of the amazing adventures I went on, the races I ran, and fun I had this year.  It's nice to scroll through the photos on my computer and really spend time thinking about the past year before jumping into the next. I'm sharing a couple fun things that happened each month in 2016 running, fitness, and beyond!

2016: A Year in Running & Beyond

Snowzilla hit Baltimore in January bringing the best snow on record for the city. It was crazy.  I also started coaching at Charm City Run which was definitely challenging with lots of snow and ice on the ground!


I also spent plenty of cold mornings running and working out with November Project Baltimore, which celebrated it's second birthday. 


Besides a lovely Valentine's Day dinner in with my boyfriend and some more running, I ran the Nuun Year Dash with a group of fellow Team Nuun runners and some cool people from Harlem Run. It was great to spread the Nuun love and run the FitFam virtual race in person! 


March is always when lots of spring races start popping off despite the weather still being a crapshoot. I visited Asheville for the first time and ran the Asheville Half Marathon at the Biltmore Estate-a BEAUTIFUL race! 


Baltimore also held it's first Light City which was a lights festival with light art installations, performances, and events. 


In April I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC which I hadn't run in a couple of years. I was lucky enough to be a social media ambassador for the race. The race day was cold and had big wind restrictions, but ended up being great.  The highlights for me were meeting/fangirling Joan Benoit Samuelson who was the first-ever women's Olympic marathon gold medalist and accomplished long distance runner. I also met Meb Keflezighi, famous American long distance runner and winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon among other races. I was so run-nerdy and excited to meet both!



April was also the month where I raced every weekend I think. I ran my first ever RunDisney race (which I still need to recap, yikes!) at the inaugural Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon in Walt Disney World. 


I also ran a surprise half marathon PR of 1:38:21 at the Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon


You can  run this great race on 3/26/2017 and save $5 with my code LAURENLOVE :) 

May I finished another semester of grad school and celebrated a birthday which included lots of running and eating! 


In June I ran the ZOOMA Annapolis half marathon and had a pretty great race running with Cori

Another race plug-you can save 10% off any ZOOMA registration with my code LAUREN2017. 

I also started training for my 4th marathon (and 3rd Chicago Marathon in a row!) in June. That meant lots of post-long run treats and many very sweaty summer runs.  

In July I went to Boston to volunteer with LiveUp Programs, a community that plans weekend adventures in different cities across the country for adults with down syndrome. It was an amazing volunteer experience that I recommend everyone checks out! I also got to hang with Sarah and make a couple November Project Boston workouts while I was up there. 


JULY ALSO MEANT NOVEMBER PROJECT SUMMIT. A.k.a the best weekend of the whole year. I had an amazing time running one of the hardest races I ever ran-a trail marathon relay literally up and down a ski mountain in Ontario. It was also full of the most fun, funny, and loving people and a ridiculous NP Olympics/party. November Project is a free fitness movement-learn what all the hype is about. 


I won a surprise entry to the Seawheeze Half Marathon put on by Lululemon in Vancouver, BC. I decided to turn it into a big solo trip out west and spent a few days in Seattle first. 


Being in Vancouver was amazing. Seawheeze was maybe the most beautiful race I've ever run. I had an awesome time exploring Vancouver, hanging out with November Project members from all over,  making friends, hiking, and eat good food. Two thumbs way up. 


The rest of August involved training, running, enjoying summer, and relaxing while I had a few weeks off from grad school. 

In September I ran the Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon which I used as a pre-marathon tune-up and felt amazing. It was a great morning for a race despite humid conditions in which I surprisingly ran well in. 


I also continued tapering for the Chicago Marathon after running the Dogfish Dash in Delaware. I  partnered with Lululemon Harbor East in Baltimore to review some of their running gear and had some running glamour shots taken. 


My boyfriend and I drove down to South Carolina for a wedding and spent a couple days in Charleston. 


CHICAGO MARATHON 2016. The best I've ever felt during a marathon and where I surpassed my goal and ran a big PR and Boston qualifying time of 3:27:24, 7 minutes and change faster than my qualifying standard time. BOOM. This day was the best. It involved running a marathon, friends, pizza, and ice cream. 


A week after Chicago I ran the Baltimore Running Festival 5K and last-minute subbed in on a marathon relay team. It was so much freaking fun cheering for friends and running in Baltimore's biggest running event. Plus the crab medals are pretty sweet. 


::Whomp::Whomp:: Officially diagnosed with a stress fracture in my toe and not able to run or do much of anything, living that #bootlife. 


Thanksgiving was spent with my family followed by the Gilmore Girls revival, which was a bit disappointing but fun to get hyped up for. 


Officially 1.5 years done with graduate school. Finally got the boot off in December and am in physical therapy.  I also had the stressful experience of moving into a new apartment. 


Also a new surprise is that I became a Yoga Sculpt instructor at CorePower Yoga in Baltimore-another big goal accomplished! I visited my sister in Disney World before having a relaxing Christmas holiday with my family. 

Cheers to you 2016, despite the lows there were lots of highs. 

Here's to 2017: New year. Same me. New goals. 

What was one great memory or race from 2016? 


  1. Wooooo so glad I got to spend at least half the year with you and we got to hang out in July! I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR YOU about teaching sculpt. You're tempting me to make that leap too. I can't decide.

    Big news: I think I'm coming in March for a long weekend soooo let's run Shamrock 5k and eat lots of papermoon cake and make big plans for NP Summit round 5!

  2. Love the recap. Sounds like a fun year - congrats on pushing yourself and getting to experience new adventures! I am going to check out CorePower Yoga when they open their Hampden location next month.

  3. Loved your summary of the year! It looks like you had so much! I'm glad we got to meet last year and I didn't realize you're an ambassador for the Love Run, me too! I just had my first experience with CorePower Yoga but haven't tried the Yoga Sculpt...congrats on your new gig! Hope your toe is healing well!

  4. Wow, what a year!! Congrats again on that amazing PR! And boo to the boot, lamesauce! Wishing you the best in 2017. xoxo

  5. What an awesome year!!! Wishing you nothing but the best in this new year, happy 2017!


  6. You had a really great year! Its too bad it ended with a stress fracture but everything else was awesome!

  7. You are on fire!! Love following along on your races and know this year will be great too!!

  8. You are seriously beast. And I miiiiight have gotten a certain package the other day that I can't wait to open!

  9. Wow! You have had a great year(minus the boot). Congratulations on all your accomplishments. Here's to another fantastic year with many happy memories.

  10. You had an amazing racing year congrats on the BQ, so sorry about the stress fracture. PS - I live in Charleston :)

  11. It was so fun following your journey this year. Wishing you lots of joy for 2017!!