My, how time flies! Today is my blog’s second birthday, or blirthday, as I like to call it. I’m here in Dublin, Ireland, to celebrate by running the Dublin Marathon tomorrow! There’s possibly a hurricane hitting (they keep calling it a Super Storm) and I’m going to be running a marathon by myself for the first time in over a year. Kind of scary, but I’m excited nonetheless! Get pumped for some epic blog posts with tons of pictures coming soon.
For now, I’d like to take the opportunity to recap some of my favorite moments from this amazing year. My blog has grown in ways I never could have imagined, and my life has changed with it. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as I have, and I’m so glad you’ve stuck with me along the way!
1. I ran a mascot race and my head fell off.
When I heard that the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had a “Mascot Dash” the day before the marathon, I knew I had to enter. Next order of business was finding a costume, but no worries! My friend Abbi, seamstress extraordinaire, made me an entire T-Rex suit, complete with a papier mache head. It was everything I hoped it could be…until I ran the race. Watch below and see for yourself, or read about it here.
2. That picture went viral.
Many of you found my blog when my picture of Thomas (see below) went viral. That picture spread everywhere and was even featured in Runner’s World online and a whole bunch of other sites, so I decided to track Thomas down.
As it turns out, Thomas and I still keep in touch. I’m hoping to meet him in person at the Flying Pig Marathon (where that photo was taken) for my 50th marathon! I sent him a Team T-Rex shirt and he sent me this picture of him and his daughter from a half marathon he ran recently.
3. I started my “Life with Ed” series.
By far the most important thing I’ve done this year (and maybe in my life…not sure what that says about me) was starting my “Life with Ed” series about my 11-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia. When I wrote that first post, I had no idea how much it would mean to you all. I had even less of an idea how much it would mean to me. This year has been such an amazing one for me in terms of my recovery, and I am so proud of how far I have come. I truly believe that those posts and the connections I’ve made with so many of you as a result are the reason for that. I’m so looking forward to updating you all in February, where I hope to report that I am one year purge-free. Keep your fingers crossed!
4. I got stomach surgery that changed my life forever.
I suffered from chronic acid reflux that made life and marathons miserable for a very long time. For the first 30 marathons that I ran, throwing up multiple times was the norm, not the exception. Medication wouldn’t cure it and I got no relief from changing my diet, so I finally decided to make the leap and get a Nissen Fundoplication procedure that basically restructured my stomach and esophagus so that acid and food can’t come back up my throat. It seems extreme, but I haven’t had reflux since February 19. Best decision I’ve ever made!
5. I stepped outside my comfort zone.
In running and in life, it is so easy to get comfortable and complacent. We run at the pace where we feel the most comfortable, we stay in the job that is steady and secure but maybe unfulfilling, we foster relationships that are ultimately less than what we deserve because the thought of starting over is too daunting. I’ve been in all of those situations, as I’m sure you all have. This year, I decided to step up my running and push myself. I started training with my coach, Justin Gillette, and I PRed in the 10k, half marathon, and marathon. I’m still working on getting faster, and I’m hoping to run under 4 hours for the marathon by the end of this year. I don’t know if it will happen, but I know I’m going to try my hardest!
6. I nearly died climbing a mountain.
Ok, maybe “nearly died” is a bit of an exaggeration, but it certainly felt like it at the time. My friend Amanda and I climbed Mount Marathon in Seward, Alaska, because for some reason it sounded like a really good idea. We should have taken EVERYONE IN ALASKA seriously when they told us that it definitely was not. Hey, it’s a story I’ll be able to tell for a lifetime.
7. I decided to make every day an adventure.
This sounds like one of those hokey things that people type over pictures of silhouettes running against the sunset, but I’m actually serious. I don’t know when it happened, but sometime in the past year or so, I started to feel very mortal. That is, I became acutely aware of the fact that I’m not going to live forever and that time is flying by much faster than I’d like. So, simply put, I decided to start really living my life. You might think “Well, you were already running marathons in all those states, what else do you need?” I decided I wanted to travel the world, so AJ and I came to Ireland. We’re going to Japan for the Tokyo Marathon in February and hopefully to Germany for Oktoberfest and the Berlin Marathon next fall. I decided I wanted a career that was truly fulfilling, so I quit my job and started a company with my business partner (and not coincidentally, started praying a lot more). I started communicating my wants and needs more and taking “no” for an answer less. And you know what? As scary as that can be sometimes, it feels pretty damn good. It took me 27 years to realize it, but I’m the only one responsible for my own happiness and my own destiny. Might as well start living like it.
LEAVE A COMMENT: What are some of your favorite moments from the past year? What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?