Peace lies in knowing you’ve done your best

Peace: quiet and tranquility

We are on the brink of 2017, and it is time to make peace with 2016. No doubt you are still rushing around madly into the last of 2016, but soon New Year’s will be over, the last party will be done, and it’s time to hunker down and wait out whatever winter is throwing at us.

When we’re not running through it, of course.

For me, 2016 was definitely the best of times and the worst of times.

This particular Wednesday Word post is more my year in review (this week’s TOTR topic) than a true exploration of the word peace. Peace was very hard to come by for me this year — and yet I still managed some awesome travels (when I wasn’t traveling back & forth to my parents).

Chester you are always in my heart; miss ya, buddy

Not much peace on the homefront in 2016
The year began badly: the day after New Year’s, we said our final goodbye to Chester (read his story here). We knew, of course, that he didn’t have much time left. In fact, for months we’d been dreading that day, but you’re never really prepared.

But he’s sooo cute . . .

The next few months were relatively peaceful, but filled with tears and pain, but as I was beginning to get back to normal, enjoying being a single dog owner again, it happened: Bandit, that is. I haven’t written his story yet, although if you follow the blog, I really have (I post Bandit updates most Thursdays).

Let’s just say Bandit turned our world upside down, and not in a good way for many months. I found myself sleepless in NY most weeks — again.

And then my elderly mother had surgery. The surgery was a success, but the recovery was rocky, and required that I spend a lot of time with her (it’s 90 minutes away from where we live).

Then we convinced my parents to move into an apartment in a senior living community — and while all three siblings know it’s the right decision, it hasn’t made anyone happy and has again required a great deal of my time.

You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, get more sleep, and rest when you know that it was a one hundred percent effort that you gave — win or lose.
–Gordie Howe

Running start in 2016 — not so peaceful
It was a warm winter — by upstate New York’s standards, anyway — and I started to explore new places to run. Throughout much of Chester’s illness I had to stay close to home, and I was tired of running in our neighborhood.

In February, as I began to pick up my training for my spring half marathon, my ankle started to hurt. At first a lot, but it quickly died down to a dull ache. But it was there. And the weirdest part of it is that I’d never had problems with my ankle before, I definitely wasn’t overtraining, and I hadn’t hurt it in any way. One day it just hurt.

I went to the chiropractor, I went to a physical therapist, I did all my exercises — but it just never completely went away. Still, I ran my spring half without any real problems — not from my ankle, at least.

A pretty, but pretty disappointing race
Shipyard Maine was the flattest half marathon I’d ever run in the northeast. I really felt it should be a PR — that is until the weather was unseasonably hot (which they didn’t forecast) and they ran out of cups at one aid stop. It was a very pretty race, but a very disappointing one on so many levels. I may have “drowned” my sorrows in a few lobster rolls.

Although I’d signed up for USAFit again, about halfway through the training I wasn’t able to join them — first due to Bandit, then due to my travels back and forth to my parents. I had to run alone a lot. The summer was unseasonably hot, too. My next half was in October, but in Phoenix — heat was just following me around this year.

A few good trips
I hadn’t traveled anywhere in quite some time because of Chester; towards the end, we couldn’t get pet sitting for him.We kicked off the spring with a lovely day trip to Bennington, VT, with Lola. Next up was Maine — we always love going to Maine — again with Lola (the ticks were horrendous!).

First blogger met in 2016! Let’s hope we get to do it again some day!
A quick trip to WA to see the MIL & SIL plus I got to meet Paula @ Neveradullbling.

We got to meet Karen — twice!
In June Darlene & I did a running tour in Central Park and got to meet Karen @ Frenchinspirationblog too!

A long weekend on Cape Cod (with Lola, again — she gets around!) where I discovered the shining sea bikeway and had the best 10 mile run on it!

I worked hard for the bling in this race!
Our tip to Sedona more than lived up to my expectations, and I ran a hard fought race on a very hilly course in Phoenix that came awfully close to my half marathon PR time — a big surprise (read about it here).

A quickie trip to NYC to run the Dash to the Finish Line 5k — lots of fun, although very crowded and very poor runner etiquette — and we met up with Karen again.

Celebrating Racing with friends
And I ended the  year with another quick trip to FL, to run a half with 7 other bloggers. Thank you, Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssippipiddlin for a #holotta fun (read that recap here)!

Yes, it was an amazing year of travel. So much fun so many times. And I needed the peace of getting away with all the stress going on in my life — we had deliberately planned most of our trips for the fall, never knowing how desperately I would need the peace I would find in getting away from home.

Ending the year with a bang
I tend to race a lot in November — often I am done with my goal races (not the case this year), but I also just enjoy racing in the cooler weather. And I set PR after PR — mostly without trying to — culminating in a big PR in my last half marathon of the year, which was a total shock to me. I’m still digesting that one!

Going out like a lamb
2016 didn’t start well. It was a hard year in many ways. So many have it so much harder than I do, but despite almost complete chaos in my personal life for much of the year, we also had a lot of good vacations. Running was good — very good, in fact. I could definitely have done without that ankle pain, but in the end I surprised myself on what seems like minimal training much of the time.

I did what I could when I could. I didn’t fall prey to AON Syndrome — I remained flexible, moved runs around, didn’t worry too much that I never got my weekly mileage up where I’d like it to be, split runs up when I had to, ran on the treadmill when I had to, took time off when I was sick.

Life is settling down. I will have to make more trips down to my parents in 2017 (weather depending). Their house needs to be sorted out and put on the market, which is a big task. Bandit is still a work in progress but he has made tremendous progress.

I don’t know what 2017 has in store for me — but I know that somehow, whatever is thrown at m, I will get through it. I definitely hope that I run through it. And always make peace with doing the best that I can.


Deb Runs

Tell me in the comments:

Have you made peace with 2016?

Have you set goals for 2017 — I really haven’t yet!?

20 thoughts on “Peace lies in knowing you’ve done your best

  1. It seems like 2016 tested a lot of us. I, too, think I have come to peace with all that happened. I had so many disappointing finish times…but I am ever-so-thankful that I have the endurance to FINISH, regardless of what the time clock says. I think my plan for 2017 is to boycott the watch (you know…BTW) LOL (ooh…blog post idea right there!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You had a tough year with Chester’s passing, then Bandit’s early behavioral issues, and then dealing with your parents’ health and move. Other than my melanoma surgery last week and gum grafting surgery yesterday, my year was pretty consistently good and peaceful (I certainly know how to pile it all on at once). Other than having another gum graft done on the other side of my mouth early next year, I’m hoping 2017 will be uneventful, too.

    Thanks, as always, for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally get not being able to travel. As often because of aging pets. That was us in 2015 with our older dog and since his passing we thought we would now be free to travel together as a couple. But now Baylee has health issues and neither one of us want to leave it up to someone else to give her her pills since it’s such an ordeal.

    I think every year has its ups and downs but sounds like you were able to keep balance with yours. I hope you have a fabulous 2017 Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chester was great that until the end, he would literally eat his meds out of my hand. Easiest dog in the world to medicate (until the last couple of months).

      Heave help me if I ever have to medicate Bandit!

      It’s not the first time we’ve had to take shorter vacations or cancel altogether because of the furkids. And now we have an 8 yr old dog, an 11 yr old dog, and an almost 16 yr old cat.

      Which is why I always look for halfs that can be deferred if possible . . .

      Big hugs, Meranda! I’ve been where you are — it’s not easy. 😦


  4. It was great meeting you too. Not sure when I will be in NYC again, but when I come I will let you know.

    You did have a rough start to the year, but I think it ended on a much more positive note. You helped and supported your parents when they needed it. You opened your home to a new dog. Those are pretty big accomplishments, things we do not necessarily plan on at the beginning of the year. Learning to go with the flow is part of life and I think you do it just fine !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. congrats on a great running year. I am glad to be part of the high points. Hopefully 2017 is even better.

    My goal is to focus on the positive – both in running and in life.


  6. Sounds like a hectic year! I hope 2017 brings you more peace and health to your parents and anyone else near you ♥ Sounds so exciting to meet bloggers at races! I really love the Gordie Howe quote! Something I want to do in 2017 is put 100% of my effort in the daily actions I need to do to be where I want to be! I haven’t sat down and written and thought out my goals just yet! I need to! I’m hoping to make a vision board as well!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks you too! Maybe not 100% perfect but at least max effort 😊 or at least aim for that because we’ll get closer and closer to our goals for trying that way then just sporadically attempting.

        Liked by 1 person

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