Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Obligatory End of the Year Post {2014}

I recently posted about my running goals and how 2014 did not shape up to be my year in running.

Despite all of that, though, 2014 was a pretty great year for me. It started off rough, with a breakup that I didn't want to happen, but went up from there. That breakup definitely spurred the purchase of my trip to Europe at the end of January, but I'm thankful for that relationship. We went on a couple dates when he got back from deployment, but that was two weeks before I moved to the Bahamas. It's clear there's still a connection, but timing was never our thing. Everything happens for a reason!

In February, I ran two half marathons and PR'd in both of them!

I got hurt shortly thereafter, but I passed my Oral Comps exam for grad school in April! 

In May, I graduated and left for Europe! I spent a month abroad, sometimes with friends, but mostly on my own, and had the best experience ever! 

I came back for a month, then left for Costa Rica! I was there for two weeks and then came home for two weeks...when I then moved to the Bahamas!!

It's hard to believe that I've been in the Bahamas for 4 months already and that I'm returning in a few days for six more months. 2014 has been a great year, but I'm excited to see what 2015 has in store for me! 

Happy New Year and Be Safe Everyone! 

What are some of your highlights from this year?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Turtle Tuesday #9

There hasn't been much going on lately in the turtle part of my job since my last Turtle Tuesday post. I went out last week with a visiting school group and we caught one turtle, but that was it! Most of my work has been office work, wrapping up the end of the year and doing lots of data analysis.

Because we were killing it

However, last week, I had the chance to go out with the sustainable fisheries team and do lionfish and rugosity (height/amplitude) surveys of the patch reefs off our campus. Lionfish are an invasive species; they are native to the Indo-Pacific and have no natural predators. Because they have no natural predators, they reproduce very quickly, out compete other reef species for food, and eat lots of tiny reef fish, upsetting the health and balance of the reef ecosystems. You can find more information about our sustainable fisheries program here.

It had been a few years since I had been diving, but we did 5 dives on Monday and 2 dives on Thursday (the team did 16 dives total over 4 days, but I only went out two days). I cut my hand on a coral during our first dive, and I was a bit nervous I would attract some sharks (I didn't, just some angry stingrays!) It was cold by Bahamian standards (24C/75F), with a water temperature of 21C/70F, but I was really glad for the opportunity.

I lost two hair ties during Monday's dives, so I essentially looked like a sea monster/mermaid. My hair was basically dreaded when I got out of the water and I had to brush it in the shower in order to get some of the knots out! I couldn't even get the salt out of it until Thursday.

I saw some really cool things - loads of lionfish, small reef fish, a barracuda, a couple yellow stingrays - and I got to be a mermaid again. It was lovely! The lionfish surveys were conducted on both removal (all lionfish are speared or removed from the reef) or non-removal sites (lionfish are only counted). These sites are visted quarterly and the data collected is used to see how quickly lionfish numbers increase on removal vs. non-removal sites. Pretty interesting!!

A baby yellow ray (not in the wild, born in our lab!)

Today, I'm probably going diving one last time before I head back to the states for the holidays, this time at our coral nursery! Wish me luck :D

Share some fun facts with me - about anything! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Running in 2014

This year has been a year full of ups and downs in terms of running. I started off the year fairly strongly - setting a goal to run 500 miles by the end of the year.

I stuck to that goal, training for the Princess Half Marathon and running another half marathon in the beginning of February - PRing in both those races.

I ran a sub-60 10k in training, showing some serious progress for myself and I was proud of where I was going in my training.

Then, I got hurt. I was out for nearly 8 weeks and I've just never really gotten back into the groove of things.

Although, I spent a lot of time at the gym

I went to Europe and didn't run as much as I had planned. Then, I moved to the Bahamas and still didn't run as much as I wanted to or as much as I used to. I've virtually lost the motivation I had for running before my injury. I desperately want it back, but I'm having trouble forcing myself back into the habit.
So I can drink more of these

As of the writing of this post, I've only run 358 miles. There's no way that I'm going to make the 500 miles that I've set this year. I'm telling myself that that's okay. I can start fresh in the new year. I'll keep running over these next few weeks and see where I'm going to get to at the end of the year, but I will fall short.

I have big goals set for next year (in my head at least). It'll be all about translating that and putting it into fruition. I'm planning on running outside again this winter. I'm planning on getting back my motivation. My love for running is still there, I feel it every time I go for a run, so it's all about getting that motivation back!

How did your running go in 2014? What are your tips for getting your motivation back?