Category Archives: Tess

2019 In Review

2019 was an amazing year and not just for running!  This past year brought many changes to our lives, many of which were answers to a specific prayer we’d been praying for over a year.  That one specific prayer was answered in a whirlwind of, “Here you go!” this past July.

I’d like to take just a quick peek at each of the months in 2019 and see just how exciting of a year it has been.

January kicked off in Florida at Bear Bait Ultras.  I was blessed to see many running friends there, race during/through a tornado warning and *hopefully* for the last time, lost my vision on the trails.  Bear Bait is a blast to run and it was fun to meet some Twitter running friends for the first time IRL along with many Mississippi running friends!

After a disappointing day on the trails, I was able to grab a few very chilly and breezy miles on the Gulf Coast before heading back home.

Right after Bear Bait was the Mississippi Blues Marathon.  January was a busy month!  Instead of running the Blues, I volunteered.  Actually, this was my 2nd year in a row volunteering at the Blues!

As soon as my volunteering duties were over, a Mississippi friend and I had made arrangements to meet so I could meet sweet Miss Charlotte.  I’d been wanting to meet both Stephen and Charlotte for a very long time so I was excited!  I came with a gift of two apples.  One red apple and one yellow apple.  I wasn’t sure what kind of apples Charlotte liked best?  Turns out she likes them both.

She’s an absolute sweetheart and I loved all her pig snuggles and kisses and giving lots of pig tummy rubs.  What a fun day!!!

No races in February but a big change in my running!  I had hired a new coach and we were busy getting me 100k ready in 4 weeks.  It was an exciting and very intense month of training.  MFH was kind of a sad panda because I had a large training run on Valentine’s Day and knew I would be too tired to go out for dinner.  He did the very best thing and brought me a heart shaped donut as a surprise during my run.  It had lots of frosting and was wonderful!

March arrived and so did Pistol 100!  I had originally registered for the 100M but life was life so instead, I was super excited to race my first 100k.  My new coach, having only a month to get me ready, did an amazing job! We decided we didn’t care how long it took to finish, the goal was to finish and we did! YAY!!!  I guess that Valentine’s Day donut paid off.

April was a huge surprise!  WJTV in Jackson, Mississippi had been doing a segment on fitness and asked me and a few of the #MScoffeerunners to come down to their TV studio for a live, on air segment.  We had a blast!!!  It was quick but fun!  Shout out to the #MScoffeerunners being willing and able to take the time and head over to the studio at very early o’clock!

May is ALWAYS about the Coke 10k!  I very dearly love this race and have run it every year since 2012….except for the year #1 Son graduated from college the same day as race day.  I wouldn’t miss seeing him graduate from college for anything!!! We had a terrific turnout of #MScoffeerunners travel up to Corinth, Mississippi to run this race.  This is one of the page’s destination/group races.  It’s fun to travel to different parts of the state, meet other runners from the state you wouldn’t normally bump into and just have a terrific time.  IMO, the Coke 10k is the best 10k in the entire state of Mississippi.

I just love this mural in Corinth and am *that* dork who takes this pic every year.

June was super special!  I had registered to run the Rez Loop Challenge.  This was a timed ultra and you ran as many 10-ish mile loops as you could in the allotted time.  The thing that makes this race unique is the alligators and other fun wildlife along the course.  I’m a sucker for stuff like that!  Close to race day, #1 Son asked if he could run with me a loop or two to learn how to pace himself for his upcoming 50k.  This was new territory for him (BTW, he smashed that 50k!!!  He’s a very strong and good ultra runner!) After checking to make sure it was okay with the people in charge, #1 Son tagged along with me…which was a good thing because I got lost on the first loop.  I’m gifted that way I guess.

July was….interesting.  MFH had been interviewing for a new job the majority of 2019 but nothing had panned out.  This was the specific prayer request I’d mentioned earlier?  When he drove up to Dubuque, Iowa, for his interview I’m afraid we’d both didn’t expect anything to pan out?  Boy, were we in for a surprise!

MFH (My Favorite Husband) interviewed then started the drive home (about 13 hours drive) when he got the call offering him the job!  We were soooo excited!!!  They wanted him to start in 3 weeks.  Yikes!!!

July consisted of the interview, driving to Dubuque that same weekend and buying a house that same weekend, driving back to Mississippi, packing the house and moving into the house exactly 3 weeks to the day that he interviewed.  It was a crazy time!!!

Our sweet, sweet puppy, Tess, also showed signs of being ill during the move and a week after the move we had to put her down.  I was heartbroken!

I’m so thankful that during all this time there were training miles to be run.  Those miles helped me deal with the stress of the move and the sorrow of losing Tess.

Training miles were ramping up.  Soon I would have a marathon and a 50M to run.  No time to fiddle!  I had been introduced to a Rails to Trails here in Dubuque called Heritage Trail.  The trailhead was just a few miles from my house and ended in the town where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed!  Being the nerd I am, I was intrigued and started doing the majority of my long training runs on the Heritage Trail (HT.)

August I decided to begin my long run by running the bases at the ball diamond from the movie and then complete my run on HT.  What a blast!!!

I’m tickled to be able to report that by the end of 2019 I had managed to run every mile of HT.  I’ve repeated many segments of this trail but YAY for running the entire thing!

September we officially welcomed Chester to our little family.  He’d lived here a few weeks before we admitted he was exactly what we needed.  Castro, our kitty, may still not agree but Chester is a hoot and we love having him around.  We adopted him from the pound.  He chose us and he was right!  We are his persons.

October was super special.  It was time for that marathon I mentioned.  This race was in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press Marathon.  It begins in Detroit, passes into Ontario for a while and then you cross back into the states.  Terrific race!  What made this race so special was A:  it was my last long training run for my 50M that was 20 days away but most importantly, B:  I would get to see Aiden and give him his marathon finishers medal AT the finish line!  I mean, how awesome is that!?!

Aiden’s dad and Aiden registered for the 5k the day before the marathon so the 3 of us ran the 5k together.  It was too awesome!!!  Then the next day I ran the full with Aiden’s uncle.

It was hard to say goodbye to these wonderful people!!!  What a terrific and very special weekend!

Finally the day I’d been training toward all year was here.  Tunnel Hill 50M.  My secret goal of 2019 was to earn a PR (Personal Record) at this race.  My old 50M PR was from 2016 and it was time to break that record!  Y’all, I’m still over the moon excited about this race!  Not sure my feet will ever hit the ground again!!!  I crossed the finish at Tunnel Hill 7 minutes faster than I’d ever run the 50M distance!  YAY!!!

What made this even sweeter was being able to mail the shiny buckle off to Aiden.  This was the first buckle I’d been able to earn for him!

Well, the dust was starting to settle on 2019 when I got talked into running a winter trail series in Dixon, Illinois.  December was the first race in this series so I wrapped up December on the trails in Illinois.  It’d been ages since I’d raced~raced a 5k.  I’m still terrible at them so that part hasn’t changed but wowzers, that was a fun time!!!  I loved every step AND I’m learning to run in snow!

We wrapped up 2019 in Colorado celebrating Christmas with family and grabbing some trail miles in the mountains.

With the moving, losing Tess, gaining Chester and making new friends….2019 has been a wonderful year!  I’m excited for the challenges of 2020.  Let’s go crush some goals!!!