Saturday, December 31, 2011

A fabulous 2011 and an even better 2012

Well, a year ago I sketched out my goals for 2011 (HERE). Life had just fallen apart and I was struggling with my identity as a single adult for the first time in my life, I didn’t know where I was going to be living, was staying with my parents part-time, and the kids were turning three and seven. Not to mention, I had a passion for running and blogging on my hands that I was hoping would continue, grow and help me through the tough times.

Fast forward twelve months and I have really kicked some serious a$$ this year. I came out of my struggles with a smile on my face and my sense of humor intact. I’m finding my way through co-parenting. I’ve found an awesome place that we now call home. And I now have a four year old and an eight year old that are happy and adjusted to their new routines. I’ve learned how to finally enjoy some alone time all by myself, but have also expanded my social circle tremendously and continue to surround myself with happy, positive, like-minded individuals.

In the process, I’ve accomplished many of my goals for the year. Yet admittedly failed on some others. And, that’s fine. It just gives me more to focus on in 2012, right?!? It’s all about balance. I didn’t want this year to be just about surviving during a time of tremendous changes. I was determined to excel forward, onward … upward. I envision big things in my future. I wanted to embrace the changes, adapt to them and learn from them. I also wanted to help others through their struggles. Whether it be training individuals to 5Ks or giving advice to others going through the divorce process … I’ve been given the opportunity to give back. And, it feels phenomenal. I continue to tell everyone that everything happens for a reason (the quote hangs over my kitchen sink) … and I truly believe it. I needed to go through everything I did to make me appreciate what I have, meet who I’ve met, make some mistakes and learn from them. I’ve learned how to accept, apologize, forgive.

I am still the same person I was twelve months ago. But, I really believe that I am an even better version of myself. The experience has made me a stronger person and I believe that the experience will make me a better partner-in-life someday. The running and the coaching have given me the leadership skills I need in life, to not only survive, but conquer, the world on my own. The people I have met this year, and the time alone, have made me realize that it is ok to not always wear the “mom hat” … That even though I’m not always chauffeuring around a bunch of kids in the Marathon Mommy Minivan … that I am still their mom … and it’s ok to get out and have some adult time. I am not only Mom. I am Jamie. I am me.

On the last day of 2011 ...

The kids were headed out of town this morning, and I was scheduled to meet a friend at the local athletic club's indoor track for six miles. Six miles was going to round me out to an even 1,200 miles for the year. 300 miles short of my initial mileage goal, but I was happy with it nonetheless. My friend ended up running three miles with me and I continued on with another three miles with my tunes after she left. About ten times around the track equaled a mile. I was handling the turns well and my pace was great, especially with my tunes. I had a bounce in my step and thought -- heck -- I'm just going to try for a half marathon. And, wouldn't that make a great blog post anyway?!?! Just then, I saw another friend outside the track. His great attitude and conversation carried me through another three miles or so, after he decided to join me. When he left I was alone with my tunes ... until I completed 130 laps around the track ... and another half marathon! I can't think of a better way to end such a fabulous year ....

Half Marathon #16

Check-in on Goals for 2011:

Do something special with each of my kids (separately) each month - YES
Expose my kids to one new food every month - NO
Finally get Little Dude fully potty trained – YES (just working on overnight)
Start some new traditions with my children – YES (fishing, hiking, The Nutcracker)
Hang out more with friends – YES (old and new!)
Run 1,500 miles – NO (finished 2011 with 1,207.9 miles)
Run over 100 miles every month – NO (though my mileage averaged out to 100 miles every month)
Run one full marathon and twelve half marathons – YES (completed one full marathon and sixteen half marathons)
Lose five more pounds (already lost 12 with the “divorce diet”!) – YES (but my weight has been fluctuating a ton this year)
Work on my upper body and arms - NO
Come out of this situation financially fresh and be more financially responsible - YES
Read four (non childrens!) books – YES (Water for Elephants, Mr. Maybe, Fit Moms for Life, Hot & Sweaty Mamas)
Start a food diary again – YES (on and off)
Limit my Diet Mountain Dew intake to two cans per day - NO
Meet ten new bloggers, in person - YES
Spectate more races - NO
Participate in a running group – YES (and started my own!)
Downhill skiing - NO
Rock climbing - NO
Boating – YES (also tried kayaking and fishing!)
Camping – YES (in a tent!)
Sign up for a new exercise class at the gym - YES
Visit a beer tent – YES (and had my first full beer and my first green beer on St Patrick’s Day!)Date (for the first time in my life) – YES (and have learned a lot!)

Other items not on my list, but accomplished in 2011:

New places visited: Michigan, Door County, plus Ohio & Indiana (if driving through counts!)Traveled on an airplane all by myself (and loved it!)
RDM was nominated by SHAPE Magazine as one of the Top 20 Fitness Blogs
I was given the opportunity to coach individuals to 5Ks through local rec program, I started my own coaching business, and now a running store has hired me to coach additional sessions.

Goals for 2012:

Have a new experience with the kids (place, activity) every month
Run in a new location every month
Remain debt-free by the end of the year
Lose 15 lbs before my trip to Florida in March
Meet 20 new bloggers in person
Run 1,500 miles
Run 2 full marathons , 6 half marathons and Ragnar Relay (Madison to Chicago)
PR in the full marathon (sub 4:02:02)
PR in the half marathon (sub 1:51:56)
PR in the 5K (sub 24:46)
Read three non-childrens books
Limit Diet Mountain Dew intake to one can per day and drink more water
Work on my upper body and arms
Volunteer my time at races or through organizations
Hike through five state parks
Expand my coaching business, coach 25 people to a 5K and implement a 5K to 10K training program
Downhill skiing
Cross-country skiing
Ice Skating
Take the kids camping
Visit a Drive-In Movie

What did you accomplish in 2011?

And, how are you going to make
2012 even better??


  1. That sounds fabulous Jamie! You are an awesome friend to have and I value our friendship. I would love to go with you on some of your adventures because they sure sound fun. Perhaps we can try the Madison Mud Run! Love ya babe, you're doing great!


  2. WOW, what a year you have been through, I think you have achieved a lot if not more through personal growth. Here's hoping 2012 continues to grow and be the best year yet xxx

  3. Being able to complete a half-marathon at-will...now that'd be a great 2012 objective. Happy New Year!

  4. Awesome year and looks like another awesome year coming up!

    I just posted my 2011 review and 2012 goals too. Seems we're on the same blogging wavelength :)!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Great job on 2011! You took what could have been a bad year and turned it TOTALLY around! Way to go!
    There aren't enough words to describe you . . . but here are a few.
    Inspriring - Beautiful - Caring - Funny - Dedicated

    Looks like you have some great goals for 2012! Can't wait to see you and hit the pavement with you this year! Happy New Year!

    And I see you followers are at 1,000!!!!! Awesome

  6. Great job! Great new goals! Things really do happen for a reason even when we don't like it at the time!

  7. Have thoroughly enjoyed following your journey this past year... and from the looks of your list, 2012 is gonna be pretty fun too!

  8. I knew your year end post would be great and it is. What a wonderful attitude you have. That really shows the like of person you are. I think you are inspiring a lot of people in many areas of their lives!
    Great job on your goals in 2011 and good luck getting that list for 2012.

  9. Happy New Years Jamie! Keep up the good work. Looks like you have a lot to accomplish and if you stay focused and determined, you will succeed with whatever you put in front of you.

  10. I know your 2011 started with a lot of upheaval, but you've done an amazing job at keeping yourself together through all of it. I like how you said you're not just Mom, you're Jamie. I have to remember that sometimes, too! You've made it through the year with so many positives, and I know 2012 will be fabulous for you as well!

  11. Sounds like 2011 was a great year, 2012 will be even better!

  12. I am so, so, so glad that you're learning that it's OK to be you and have that identity that isn't 100% tied to also being a mom. It's a hard lesson, but so necessary. Otherwise we lose our minds!

  13. Congratulations on all your accomplishments! :) Co-parenting is tough, but rewarding too. I can relate. Take care!

  14. Great year! Great new goals! Best wishes to you!

  15. Hey, I just found your blog today! I love your goal to do something special with each kid. This has inspired me to FINALLY write down my goals for the new year. Thanks!

  16. Jamie, Great goals! What do you think your predictions are for 2012?

  17. Jamie, how are you doing with your goals for this year? Would like to hear about them.