Sunday, January 1, 2017

Year in Review

This year was the most eventful year of my life, and included the biggest life change ever--a new baby. Calvin is almost a year old, and it's been an amazing year. Being a father is sometimes challenging, but it's worth every minute. I won't break down every month with Calvin, and since this is a (mostly) running blog, I'll write a bit about my running and racing.

Our lives changed forever when we were blessed with a healthy baby boy on January 22. Calvin seems to be doing something new nearly every day, and though it's been almost a year, I still feel like a new parent.

February and March
February and March brought a lot of visitors eager to meet Calvin. We were also blessed with a lot of support from friends and our young adult group through church who brought us lots of meals. In March we got to see lots of friends and family at Calvin's baptism.

As far as running goes, I ran the Lake Johanna 4 Mile. I wasn't in as good of shape as I was at the beginning of 2015 and was over two minutes slower than the year before, but I still had fun.

In April my running started to pick up. I trained pretty consistently starting the end of February, and I came up just short of a PR at the 25k distance on a terribly cold and windy day at the Ron Daws 25k. I got to enjoy going out for drinks and talking to a couple running buddies after the race.

In March I ran my first ever Mudball 4 Mile race, and took second overall. Even better than that, Laura and Calvin came to watch me run.

May and June
May was a busy month for running. I paced the Valley Fair, Minnetonka, and Fargo half marathons. I also got in the most running I had for the year, logging 276 miles. In June, I paced the Lake Waconia Half Marathon. At the end of June, I took it a little easier with running and reduced my mileage and took some extra days off. I wanted to be fresh going into my marathon training.

July and August
July brought a lot of fun. We had a Hill family reunion (my mom's side of the family), a trip to a lake house with Laura's side of the family, and Calvin turned six months old.

Hill cousins
Calvin also got his first haircut. He was completely calm during his haircut, and he sure was handsome when it was finished.

As far as running goes, July started my official training plan for the Milwaukee Marathon. I also ran a 5k, Juliette's Race, with goal of running under 17 minutes. The weather didn't cooperate as it was very hot and humid, and I missed my goal by just under 10 seconds.

August brought me into the thick of marathon training. I ran every day of the month besides the first, and put in over 260 miles, averaging over 60 miles a week.

September and October
In September I raced my one half marathon in 2016, the City of Lakes Half Marathon, and came away with a shiny new PR of 1:16:08. It felt pretty good to set a PR as my previous PR was over four years ago in 2012.

October brought my low of the year, being hospitalized for symptoms of bipolar just over a year after my last hospitalization. Though it was a bummer, it resulted in some adjustments to my medications which have now become even more effective. It also led me to a therapy skills group where I learned more strategies to manage and prevent future bipolar episodes.

November and December
In November I raced my first marathon in over a year, the PNC Bank Milwaukee Marathon. I had high hopes for the race, but due to a turnaround that wasn't well-marked I ran over three miles extra, and I missed out on an official PR. My unofficial split when I had run 26.46 miles was good enough for a PR, but since it wasn't official I'm going to try for a PR again this spring at Grandma's Marathon.

Though the race was disappointing, we did have a good time in Milwaukee visiting some friends.

December brought some nice holiday fun including our annual Christmas party with Laura's side of the family in Eagan. Unfortunately we were unable to make it to Rochester on Christmas Day due to weather, but we did get to stay with her family for several days after Christmas and celebrate then.

December also brought me to my second highest mileage total for the year. I ran over 2,300 miles in 2016, only about 100 miles short of my all-time highest year in 2011.

All in all, 2016 was a great year. A new baby has brought so much joy to our lives, and we got to do many fun things with friends and family. I'm looking forward to another great year in 2017.

Looking Ahead to 2017
We don't have any big trips or vacations planned for 2017, but I know it's going to be an eventful year. Calvin will turn one in January, and soon he'll be walking and talking. He'll also start going to Laura's school in September--another big change.

As far as blogging goes, I'm planning on writing more about my challenges and successes with bipolar, sharing a bit of my story.

Happy New Year!

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