Fall 2016: The Leaves Changed, And So Did I

Well, I did it again. I dropped off the face of the Earth for an absurd amount of time. My bad. It’s not that I didn’t want to write or even that I didn’t remember to write. There were several times in the last few months where I physically sat down at my computer with a blank word document open in front of me, totally ready to let the words flow, only to have something else pull away my attention before I could get through the first sentence. But as frustrating as that was, the majority of the time that something else was related to a particularly monumental life event that occurred approximately one month ago: my marriage to John Schilkowsky!

The wedding was fantastic – everything went perfectly and everyone had a marvelous time – but man oh man, the build up to it was so hectic! No matter how many weddings you’ve been to or how much you think you know about the wedding planning process, the truth is, you have no idea just how much time and effort goes into wedding preparations until it’s your wedding and you’re right there in the throws of it. Wedding planning, as we quickly discovered, was like a vicious hydra: the minute we checked one thing off our to-do list, we found ourselves adding three more. There was a seemingly endless number of things that needed to be taken care of, and we soon found ourselves devoting almost all our free time to contacting vendors, choosing colors and menu options, and making seating arrangements.

Yes, there were parts of the planning process that were exciting and fun – sharing the engagement news, picking the bridal party, dress hunting – but there were also many parts that were incredibly stressful and overwhelming. Were it not for the support from our friends and family, particularly my parents who graciously and generously helped us with literally everything (THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!), I’m not sure John and I would have made it to the altar in one piece!

But we did. And now we can finally relax and take joy in the simple fact that we are now officially together for life.

While the wedding was clearly the most exciting thing that happened this fall, a number of other cool things happened. In the coming weeks I’ll go into more detail on some of these awesome developments, but for the time being, I’m going to be lazy and simply list them.

I won the USATF New England Grand Prix Road Racing Series
rabbit launched their fall line, which I am absolutely obsessed with
I came in 17th at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships and ran 20:18, which is only 7 seconds off my 6k PR
I acquired a new sponsor: ShinTekk!
The Heartbreakers Racing Team fielded full men’s and women’s squads for the first time, taking 2nd each at the USATF New England Cross Country Championships and 11th and 13th, respectively, at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships
I finally caved and embraced the world of social media, namely Instagram
I was accepted as a 2017 brand ambassador for both Run Gum as well as Topo Athletic!
I PR’d in the half marathon by accident; 1:16:44 at the Wicked Half Marathon where I tempoed the first 8 miles then let loose
I came in 21st at the USATF 10 Mile Championships. I set a PR of 57:41, but I struggled mightily throughout the race.
I learned the hard way that if you over-race on the roads (especially when those races are long), you can and will get completely burned out.

With my last legitimate race of 2016 now over (save for the local Jingle Bell 5k John and I are doing on Sunday!), I find myself looking back on the year as a whole and realizing that it truly was one heck of a year.

I did a lot, I learned a lot, and I grew a lot.

So here’s to you, 2016. It’s been a real.

And now, I turn my eyes to 2017.