Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - The Year in Review

Wow!  It's hard to believe it's New Year's Eve and tomorrow begins 2010!  When I was a kid I had a hard time imagining the 2000s, let alone imagine what I'd be doing in them.  How crazy is THAT?  It's been a crazy year, some good, some bad.  It's been mostly good and for me to say that, it probably was a great year.  LOL!  So, without further ado, here is my recap of 2010 focusing on my goals that started this whole blog thing:

Healthier Eating

I had a banner year in healthier eating.  I joined Weight Watchers just before the start of 2009 and stayed with it almost all year.  I had times when I feel off the WW wagon, but I always checked for injuries, brushed the dust off, and got back on.  It's faster to reach your goal ON the wagon than off.  I lost a total of 31 pounds this year (I am NOT going to count the holiday pounds I gained, I lost 31 pounds this year and I'm sticking to it!) and am now back to the weight I was 5.5 years ago when we moved to PA.  I'm really happy about that.  I am really proud that I stuck with it all year and lost what took me 5 years to gain.  :-)  It was a good year.


What a year!  I started off thinking I would up my running a bit, so I made sure to run on Saturday mornings since it was the only time I had really.  So, I ran in really cold temperatures all winter to get into the habit.  During the week I used my Wii Fit hubby gave me for Christmas and I have a small pedal bike that I used on other days.  When I received the Wii Active, I used that too, using the 30-Day Challenge to up the ante.  In April, when classes ended, I started running in the evenings, upping my mileage at the same time.  I had no IDEA I could run more than a mile!

I then decided I could run a 5k.  Well, I had HUGE doubts, but my friends and family felt I could do it, so on June 28th I ran my very first 5k at the Baltimore Women's Classic.  It was a fabulous race and I ran THE WHOLE THING!  Which was my goal.  I had no goal for time, just to run the whole thing...and not to be last!  LOL! My final time was 45:25.  :-)  I was so proud of myself and excited.  I couldn't run a mile in HS, but I ran 3.1 miles IN A RACE!  Oh, it was glorious. Will be doing this race again next year.

The summer was rough.  Heat and running for me don't mix well.  LOL!  It's ok though.  I had a small set back with a knee issue, but I was able to overcome it and ran in the Fort McHenry Tunnel Run on Sept. 20th with a time of 44:20, and improvement of 1:25 over my Sept run.  I know I was a tad disappointed that I didn't finish in 43 minutes, but there was a nasty uphill at the end that I didn't count on.  It was a blast and our friend Ada came out to cheer us on, which was so lovely! Thank you Ada!!  It was great seeing you and enjoying post-race donuts.  :-)  Will be doing this race again next year. 

In Oct., hubby and I went on vacation to WI and IN.  Yup, aren't we exciting folk.  LOL!  One of my dear friends lives in Milwaukee and allowed to stay with her and her husband for four of which was Al's Run, and 8k.  She and her husband were running it and she invited hubby and I to join them.  Now, my little 5ks surely were fine and dandy, but said good friend upped the ante with an 8k.  I went from 3.1 miles to 4.97 miles.  That's a HUGE jump for me.  But, I accepted her challenge and on Oct. 8th ran Al's Run in the freezing cold.  And I mean that, the temps were UNDER 32 degrees and we were on the lake, so lots of wind chill.  I finished the race in 1:07:48, which is 5 minutes faster than I thought AND 2:12 minutes faster than I hoped!  I think the freezing cold had something to do with it.  LOL!  I will not be running this one again sadly.  :-(

Then, we capped off the year with the Jingle Bell 5k in Harrisburg.  Oh what a fun one!  They gave us bells for our shoes!!  How can you NOT like a run like that???  It was a cold day, but I wore my Santa hat and went for it.  This was a loop run and it was a little discouraging at the halfway point to know I had it all to do again, BUT when I crossed that finish line I SMASHED my PR for a 5k finishing at 38:14.  Woohoo!  What a great way to end my running career of 2009.  This is definitely a race I will run next year!!  I LOVED it!!!

Finish My Masters Degree

I DID IT!  I completed my Master's program this past fall and earned an MA in American Studies from Penn State Harrisburg.  There were many times I doubted I could do it, but I did it!  I finished up classes in the spring of 2009, spent the summer researching and wrote my butt off in the fall to finish.  My thesis topic was The National Sports Media Perpetuates National Fan Stereotypes: A Case Study of the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Eagles.  Yes folks, THAT earned me a Master's degree.  LOL!  I unfortunately missed my graduation due to a blizzard that we could not get through to attend the ceremony.  This made me exceedingly sad honestly.  I really wanted to walk.  But, in a week or two my piece of paper should arrive and I will officially be Master Chris.  Yea!

Find A Job I Love

Well, this was the one failure of the year.  I was laid off from a job I hated, which is good in one sense, bad in another (given the state of the economy and all), but it did allow ample time to write my thesis in the fall, which was sorely needed.  Due to thesis writing, I really didn't look for another job per se.  Yes, I scanned the paper on Sundays, yes I checked all my automatic emails for anything remotely interesting, and yes I went to the places I would like to work to check for openings, but I focused my attention solely on writing my thesis so I could change careers.  So, while I am not currently in a job I love, I am not in a job I hate.  I suppose that's the positive to take out of this.

I will say, that over the past few months I have had an idea germinating for my own business that I will further elaborate on tomorrow (in the goals portion of the blog).  I also received an email in December asking me to write for a New Jersey on-line history magazine, which I am going to take them up on.  So, some positive employment is on the horizon, which I think may help fulfill the "find a job I love" criteria.  Let's hope so!

And that's that.  My review of 2009.  I must also say I want to thank all of my friends who have been so good to me this year.  You really are wonderful people and I don't know what I would do without you in my life.  Thank you for your love and support on all my ups and downs this year.  Hope you'll stick around for 2010 cause I'll keep writing on this here blog.  Maybe a goal will be to gain some additional readership.  LOL!  

Happy New Year
Much Love and Happiness in 2010!   

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