As 2016 comes to a close I thought I’d recap my top 10 favorite runs of 2016. All for different reasons why they made the list and not in any order (although maybe they’re in date order now that I look at it).

1. There was my first time running a 10 miler…

The Cherry Blossom 10 miler in Washington D.C. Jane, Amy and I got into this race via lottery and while it was cold and windy we all did really well and had a fun girl’s weekend. The Cherry Blossoms were post-peak but I was fortunate last year to experience them during their peak so I wasn’t too bummed about that. I left that weekend with this desire to want to run more 10 milers. Of course there just aren’t a ton of 10 mile races so I haven’t run one since.IMG_2267

Found one!

Found one!

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Jane, me and Amy FREEZING our butts off before the race

2. And a half marathon in Philly for the 3rd year straight…

The Love RunI set a PR (in the pouring rain) at the 2014 Love Run, the first year I ran it. This year I had a solid run. My fastest of my 4 half marathons of 2016.finish2016

The medals at this race never disappoint. Last year was a spinner medal. This year was just super glittery.

The medals at this race never disappoint. Last year was a spinner medal. This year was just super glittery.

Good times

Good times

3. A Meaningful run to honor someone’s memory:

On April 19, 1999 my husband died. I always find a way on that day to remember him and this year it was with a 4.19 mile run.

Rest in Peace Mr. Stilwell

Rest in Peace Mr. Stilwell

I'm wearing his favorite sweatshirt today. The photos on the right are from a trip we took to the Grand Canyon in 1997

I’m wore his favorite sweatshirt after running. The photos on the right are from a trip we took to the Grand Canyon in 1997

4. A 5 mile race Memorial Day Weekend that ended with waffles

The Spring Lake 5 Miler medal was so pretty this year. And I got to catch up with Jane, Lisa and Lisa’s cousin Bill. But the real reason this made my top 10 was for the delicious waffles that I had afterward.13321867_10205937990518627_3043037300860608129_n

Loved the medal. It was pretty and Springy

Loved the medal. It was pretty and Springy

Say hello to my blueberry belgian waffle with lemon curd and best iced coffee i've had in a while.

Say hello to my blueberry belgian waffle with lemon curd and best iced coffee i’ve had in a while.

5. The discovery of a peaceful and scenic canal tow path for some TGIF Trail Running

I made my 2 month full-time gig (between May and July) more palatable with the discovery of the Delaware and Raritan Canal tow path just a few minutes from my office. I created a routine of doing a long run on Friday evenings after work before driving home. These were some of my favorite evenings….usually around 6 or 7 miles and mostly filled with the intoxicating aromas of honeysuckles and roses. I listened to podcasts sometimes. And other times just the sound of my feet. The perfect way to unwind after a stressful work week.

I tried to take a real action running shot but it was too blurry

I tried to take a real action running shot but it was too blurry

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Running through a rose garden

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you know me and my honeysuckles....

you know me and my honeysuckles….

6. The smartest treadmill run

When there are grizzly bears around, all of a sudden the treadmill seems like a smart idea.

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I’m not that wild to run alone in the rain when there are wolves, moose and bears around.

img_6423Even though it was rainy, the views weren’t too hard on the eyes either. I loved everything about my 8 day vacation to Seattle/Vancouver and Banff National Park and wasn’t about to have it end abruptly at the paws of a big ole grizzly. I want to go back to this lake now!96-louise4

7. The 10th running of my hometown half

The Staten Island half marathon was my very first half back in 2007 and I have run it every year since.si-half2007-2015This year it felt more like running a Tough Mudder because of the rain, wind and mud! I couldn’t feel my fingers I really enjoyed the day. It was my slowest half of the year. I was happy to spend a few quick minutes in the corrals with Lisa, Mike and JD, some of my running buddies.

Lisa was the only one brave enough to get her phone wet for a pre-race selfie in the corral

Lisa was the only one brave enough to get her phone wet for a pre-race selfie in the corral

A decent (and FREE) race photo!

A decent (and FREE) race photo!

8. The race I ran just to see Jane and eat at the Firkin Pub

I guess I like to repeat races because I ran the Trenton Half for the 3rd time this year.

halfway done and entering back into New Jersey

halfway done and entering back into New Jersey

I hadn’t seen Jane in about 5 months so when she texted me just a few days before the race to see if I was running I decided I better register :) She reminded me that they were going to be refueling at the Firkin Pub again like we did in previous years and that really was the deciding factor for me. Plus I got to see Amy who I hadn’t seen since the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in the spring. #winning

Me Jane and Amy

Me Jane and Amy

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9. When I discovered the real meaning of Conversational Pace

I ran the Fall Flat, a local (and so scenic) 5k on Staten Island last month.

Fall Flat 5k

Fall Flat 5k

Got to catch up with my friend Gina who I hadn’t seen in a while and I gabbed the entire race wishing it were a 10k or half marathon just to keep the conversation going.fall-flat5k-finish-1016x1024

10. And a special holiday 5k to give to those less fortunate.

Mr. SOTSS and I ran the Big Chill 5k just a few weeks ago.

Big Chill 5k

Big Chill 5k

I love this race because instead of paying a registration fee, they ask you to purchase an unwrapped toy for a child (value of $15 or more). The impact of seeing all the toys that are ready to go to kids this holiday who might not have received a gift due to economical reasons really warmed my heart.

That's a lot of toys against the wall!

That’s a lot of toys against the wall!

And after running a 9:39 pace during the Big Chill, I decided one of my goals for 2017 will be to get down to a 9 minute pace so I can run a 5k with Mr. SOTSS (9 minutes is probably the slowest he’d run lol).

I ran somewhere between 650 and 700 miles this year which is about what I ran in 2014 and 2015. Still can’t wrap my head around the 1,000+ miles I ran in 2013.

Do you have any favorite runs/races of 2016?

Have you met your goals this year? 

2 Comments

  1. My goal was to run 3 or more miles daily starting October 1, 2015 – October 1, 2016. I am proud to say I am still running daily! My favorite race is the Pocatello Marathon. I ran the half for the first time in 2010 and have either run the half or full marathon every year since. My son (who is 9 years old) has run the half with me the last two years now.

    • WOW! That’s all so very impressive! Keep up the great work. I can’t believe your son has run 13.1 at 9! He must be a natural.

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