The first thing I had to do as I began to write my 2016 Year in Review, was to calculate how many races I ran in 2016. I opened up an Excel spreadsheet, looked through my Instagram feed, and began adding each race date, name, and distance. I was shocked when I concluded with this:
|Distance||# of races|
Within these 29 races, 4 of them I paced as a pacer with Beast Pacing, 1 of them I earned a half marathon PR of 1:52:32 (8:35 / mile), 1 of them I earned a 10k PR of 51:36 (8:19 / mile), 1 of them I qualified as a Half Fanatic, 1 of them I qualified as a Marathon Fanatic / Double Agent, and for the first time ever I ran over 1,000 miles in one calendar year!
Not only am I celebrating completing an amazing, memorable year running, but I’m also celebrating one year of runstrongrun.com! One year ago I stumbled upon the Instagram running community. I thought to myself, “I want to be involved in the online running community!”
I did some research and discovered that I needed to “brand” myself. I already had the name Run Strong Run (read more about how this name came about HERE) and a blog titled runstrongrun.blogspot.com. Now I needed to recreate my blog and focus my social media accounts to all be centered around Run Strong Run. That is what I did and I’d consider this first year to be a success! There’s still more to learn, but isn’t there always more to be learned?
Here’s a sample of how my Instagram posts have changed over the past year
My word of 2016 was "joy". I strive to live my life joyfully despite life's circumstances. Not every day is filled with sunshine and roses, but each day we can choose to live joyfully. Do I still have moments of sadness? Yes, of course. Do I still trip up every now and again? Yes, of course. Thankfully God continues to show me His grace and mercy. With each new sunrise comes a new day to try again and live joyfully. 💕 • • • #momentumjewelry #livejoyfully #gogarmin #run
One of the things that I’ve learned about the online running community is that when you take a picture with your Garmin watch, Pro Comopression socks, Momentum Jewelry wrap, and shoes, you’re more likely to gain likes, followers, and comments. Why do likes, followers, and comments matter? This is how you grow your audience. Why does growing your audience matter? This is how you become an influencer, an ambassador (more about this in a later post), and a motivator.
A year in review blog post would not be complete without a #16bestof16 post. In 2016, I posted 483 pictures on Instagram, collected 111,190 likes, and received 4,867 comments! Thank you for all of the love IG community!
What’s next for 2017?
First, for the second year in a row I am signed up for the Run the Year challenge. In 2016, I joined up with two friends for the challenge and we only logged intentional running miles. This year, I’m on my own and am going to log my daily step mileage from my Garmin Forerunner 235 while still keeping tabs on my intentional running mileage as well. I don’t expect to run 29 races in 2017. Currently, I have five races scheduled for 2017. I have told my husband that I will not sign up for any races since we are trying to save a nice chunk of change. (Hmm… that’d be something else to calculate… how much money did I spend on races in 2016? Hmmm… how about we don’t calculate that.)
Second, I am going for a marathon PR! I already broke my promise to not sign up for any races and I signed up to race the Modesto Marathon on March 19th. It will be my 33rd birthday and there’s nothing I’d love more than to earn a 33 minute PR! Ok, perhaps I’ll settle for a 3 minute PR. 😉 Really, just anything faster than 4:28 and I will be SUPER stoked!