17 In life/ triathlon

my top 16 of 2016.

Here we are: the last day of 2016. It’s been quite a year – one that flew by in a blink – punctuated by ups, downs and everything in between. Recapping my top 16 today as we ring in 2017… with a little inspiration from fellow bloggers and friends, Caitlin, Christine, Elizabeth, Hailey, JenLaurel and Lizzie

1 – the Birkie

One of our favorite winter weekends is the Birkie ski race in Hayward, Wisconsin. Nick’s raced it the past five years, and each time is always an adventure. It’s also the one race where I get to sherpa for him – though my photos are never as good… yet (2017 goal: learn to use our dSRL camera!). He had a PR race, and I had a blast tracking him on the 50k course and cheering at the finish line downtown Hayward. 

2 – my healthy body

Aside from a stress reaction that sidelined my running for a month, I was healthy this year. I’m incredibly grateful for this body – one that feels younger now at 37 than it did at 27 – that allows me to do all the things I love, to move and bend, and swim bike and run. 

3 – stretching

My 2016 intention was to stretch in all aspects of my life. There was some success getting out of my comfort zone – testing both my mental + physical limits, some tough conversations – but there were also plenty of fails. And, in some ways, I stretched myself a bit too thin, giving energy and time to things I probably shouldn’t have. Good lessons learned and more practice this coming year. 

4 – a new tri bike

I’ve had my Argon 18 E-119 TRI+ for six months, and I still can’t believe it’s mine. There have been hundreds of happy miles on it in some pretty amazing places – from the IMWI bike course to Kona’s Queen K. The biggest mahalo to those who made it happen: Coeur Sports, Argon 18 and, of course, my legs! 

5 – local 70.3s + a new PR

The summer was punctuated by three local 70.3s – Liberty, Toughman and Superior Man – and a shiny new PR (4:51!). Each race had its own quirks, from using new gear on race day (my bike) to a wrong turn on the bike (that cost me the podium) to not drinking enough water (again). Lessons learned at each, too:

  • Always have high expectations of yourself, but when things don’t go your way, learn from it and propel yourself forward
  • Your headspace is just as important as your physical shape 
  • You’re capable of more than you think, always 

Excited to be running at Superior Man in Duluth.

6 – Seattle

In June, we soaked up the Pacific Northwest air during a sunshiny weekend in Seattle. I’m still trying to talk Nick into moving… west coast is the best coast, right?! Trip highlights included at Kelsey + Joe’s fantastic wedding at Flying Horseshoe Ranch, catching up with friends and family, good coffee and lots of outdoor exploring.

7 – family + friends 

How did I get so lucky to have such amazing people in my life? I crammed in as much time as possible (with the goal of even more in 2017) with my sassy pants niece, Finley (she’s so smart and hilarious!), my sister, parents and all of my lovely gal pals. Thank you for all the happiness you bring – I’m so grateful for all of you ♥

The pizza floatie with Finley.

Home-home at Thanksgiving with my sis + Lucy.

Dear friends Suraya and Sarah cheered me on at Kona.

My incredible support crew at Kona. Highlight of the day was seeing them all over the course.

8 – Madison 

If I can’t race IRONMAN Wisconsin, you can bet I’ll be in Madison anyway to train and volunteer + cheer at the race. I joined Julie and Ashley (fake friends no more!) in early August for a training weekend. Despite only knowing each other through social media, it felt like we’d known each other forever. Lots of miles and lots of laughs. 

Nick and I also volunteered and cheered for friends at the race in September – which I swear is harder than actually racing. My legs were shot by the end of the day! 

9 – Kona!

I’m still pinching myself that I raced Kona…! Because it still kinda feels like a dream. Race week and race day didn’t disappoint. They were seriously some of the most fun I’ve ever had (even puking on the Queen K at mile 23), and running down + crossing the finish line on Ali’i… magical. 

10 – Kauai

The best way to cure post-race blues? Spend a week on Kauai. Nick and I explored all sides of the island – from Polihale State Park to Tunnels Beach to the Kalalau Trail – and had the most amazing time. But, perhaps the most important part of that week was the takeaway: to channel more of that aloha spirit, the simple slow-it-down lifestyle, in my real life at home in Minnesnota.

11 – IRONMAN Arizona

Oh, this race… definitely not one I’ll do again. It stretched me far outside my comfort zone and made me dig deep – not easy just six short weeks after Kona. Nevertheless, another 140.6 in the bank along with lots of lessons learned, a PR and some a lot of fuel for the 2017 fire. 

12 – Austin 

We spent Christmas with Nick’s family in Austin, a far cry from snowy northern Minnesota. The highlights: Christmas brisket, drinking coffee outside in shorts on Christmas morning, and spending time with sweet and happy nephews, Mason and Colton.

13 – a new job

Work sucked and sucked a lot out of me this year, so I was thrilled to accept a copywriter position while in Kauai. Not only is it 10 minutes from home(!), it’s working with some strong + empowering women. I finally feel like I’m working somewhere and with colleagues who who believe in and value me. And, that’s pretty amazing.  

14 – all the swim, bike and run

There’s really no other way I’d rather spend my time. Swim, bike and run are when I feel most alive and the most me. And, there was no shortage of it this year (7,155 combined miles). Lots more to come in 2017! #chasethelight 

15 – Luma

Meet our sweet vizsla, Luma! We picked her up earlier this week and are in love ♥ She’s a bundle of energy and already has such a personality! Her name is short for Lumahai, which is one of our favorite beaches on Kauai :) 

16 – adventures with Nick

There’s no one else I’d rather adventure through life with. He continually pushes me to be a better person, challenges me to think in new ways and is always up for trying new things. I can’t wait to see what 2017 brings ♥

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    16 in 2016 | The Hippie Triathlete
    12/31/2016 at 6:48 pm

    […] (see what I did there?) some triathlon blogger friends to join me. (Visit Hailey, Christine, Liz, Erin, Caitlin, Laurel, and Elizabeth for their renditions, soon to come.) Here’s to looking back […]

  • Reply
    Kecia
    12/31/2016 at 7:05 pm

    You had an AWESOME 2016! Cheers to an even better 2017!

  • Reply
    SimplyAmyLynn
    01/01/2017 at 8:21 am

    What an incredible year! All the best in 2017!!

  • Reply
    Runner Leana
    01/01/2017 at 9:47 am

    Congratulations on your new job and on the new addition to the family! She’s adorable! All the best for 2017 Erin.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    01/01/2017 at 10:00 am

    So happy to see a photo of the new addition to your family!! I know your deep love for weimers and vizlas – and Luma is just beautiful! Happy new year Erin! 🍾

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    01/01/2017 at 11:02 am

    Congratulations on an awesome 2016 AND on a new job! Here’s hoping the change in career will help you embrace some of the Kona attitude in your everyday life.

    And also can I say that it’s been so great to get to know you through the interwebs this past year? You’re such a fun, positive, caring person, and I hope we get to meet in person some day!

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    01/01/2017 at 11:50 am

    Luma!!! What a cutie pie! Sounds like you had a wonderful year full of growth and adventure. Cheers to 2017!

  • Reply
    Page
    01/01/2017 at 1:49 pm

    Happy New Year, Erin! You’re such an inspiration and I can’t wait to see what adventures 2017 brings you!

  • Reply
    Lee
    01/01/2017 at 2:49 pm

    You had such an amazing year! I love watching all your races on social media…SO INSPIRING. Now I have an even bigger reason to stalk you — PUPPY!!!!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Ward
    01/01/2017 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for joining! I hope to see you on the race circuit soon. :)

  • Reply
    Becky Spurbeck
    01/01/2017 at 9:36 pm

    Love this list. And I’m so so so happy to be working with you. Strong women empower women.

  • Reply
    alohamamarunner
    01/02/2017 at 2:45 am

    What an amazing year!!!!!
    You are such an inspiration and I know I’ve said this before on your blog but you really inspire me. Thanks for all the motivation to keep on going even when your mind isn’t 100% there.
    I wish you another year full of laughter and love!
    Sending tons of aloha from Oahu!

  • Reply
    Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
    01/02/2017 at 5:31 pm

    Happy New Year Erin!!! What a year!! Excited to see what you have in store for 2017!!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    01/03/2017 at 9:10 am

    Love the recap of your year. Congrats on Luma! She’s beautiful!

  • Reply
    Kristina
    01/03/2017 at 10:00 pm

    What a great year – starting strong and ending on such an up note, especially with the addition to your family – what a sweetie! Happy 2017!

  • Reply
    Canuck Jesse
    01/05/2017 at 10:21 am

    Sounds like it was a great year for you! Hope 2017 is even better.

  • Reply
    Candice Guertin
    01/10/2017 at 11:01 am

    Awesome year! I want to see your puppy :)

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