Dec 18

The Failures Meant The Most in 2015 – Year In Review (VIDEO)

I hate to fail.

I basically view most of my life as a competition. From the moment I wake-up I’m on my game, getting work done, cleaning, making breakfast, getting the boys out the door, getting my workout in and on and on and on.

I have one gear – fast.

happy new year!

I do not recommend living like this.

I don’t really do it on purpose, it’s just part of who I am, and it comes in handy in competitive areas where I like to hang out. What I thought was a problem in 2015 is that I failed. A lot.

We may define failure differently, but I’m going to break it down so you can see what I mean, and hopefully you too can bring meaning to failure and even be glad for it. I am.


I was so excited for the year to begin. I had two huge race goals – qualifying for triathlon nationals and setting a PR at the NYC Marathon. I had not run a marathon in almost eight years and, in 2015, I was going to run two!

I trained hard. Maybe too hard, because I ended up having surgery on my bladder.

Before the procedure my aunt took this picture as proof I was "ok." I mean, I'm probably tweeting something at this moment...

Luckily, I was absolutely fine.

I also turned 40 on March 21. Coincidence? I think not.

I learned the importance of hydration and rest through this surgery fail!


After that little hiccup, it was time to run my first marathon on 2015 – The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. Little did I know, the 3:28:22 finish time there would become my marathon PR.

New Jersey Marathon: 3:28:22 (PR) – 1st in age group 40-44, 2nd in Masters Division

At the expo full of hope and excitement!

At the expo full of hope and excitement!

I learned to celebrate all races and PRs because it may be your last!


These months were spent recovering from the marathon and training for one of two triathlons in which I hoped to qualify for nationals. I truly thought I would be able to qualify the first time around. I trained hard, I felt good and the timing was right. Except it wasn’t.


Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon: 1:16:16 (swim 17:35/bike 34:38/run 21:35) 12th woman overall

I lined up for the Pat Griskus triathlon filled with confidence. I raced as hard as I could. It was a staggered start so I had no idea where I really placed until they started handing out the awards. I made my friend stand around for hours waiting, since I was sure I placed in my age group. I did not.

My actual time was 1:16:32 remember that staggered start - I was "off" the clock by 3 minutes.

Smiling through the finish…crying on the car ride home.

I came in 12th overall and 5th in my age group which is not good enough to qualify for nationals. I wrote about how, when I finished the race, I felt amazing! I was happy and I finished strong. Then, when I found out the results, I cried most of the way home, feeling like a complete failure.

I learned so much from that race. Most importably, I leaned that it’s how you feel about yourself and not where you place that matters most. I also learned just how badly I wanted to qualify for nationals. Really, really badly.


Women’s Sprint Triathlon: 1:19:37 – 1st in age group, 7th overall and nationals qualifier

August was amazing. I spent most of it on gorgeous Lake Winnipeasaukee with my family. I swam miles in the lake, ran hill after hill in the gorgeousness that is New Hampshire, encountered way too many wild animals and cycled until I couldn’t breath. It was amazing.

On August 30 I was home for my last chance at qualifying for triathlon nationals – the Winding Trails All Women’s Triathlon. I was so ready.

I had an almost perfect day, came in 7th overall and won my age group. Oh and, qualified for nationals in August 2016!


Can my smile be any bigger? Can you tell I forced them to take this picture with me?


These months were insane and probably the best two months of the year. < – – and they had nothing to do with my “goal” races. Interesting.

I ran six races, placed in my age group in every single one, had the opportunity to be paced by elite runner Tina Muir while at a retreat with so many other awesome women THEN, I went to Runner’s World for the weekend and you know, met all my heroes and hung out with more awesome women.

Holy crap. Best two months ever.

September 7, 2015: New Haven Road Race 20K: 1:32:23 – 3rd in age group

October 4, 2015: Maine Marathon 1:32:24 – 1st in age group 40-44 and 3rd in Masters

October 16, 2015: Runner’s World Trail Race/3.8 miles: 33:30 – 3rd woman

October 17, 2015: Runner’s World: 20:12 – 1st in age group and 1st in masters division

October 17, 2015: Runner’s World: 46:50 – 1st in division 40-44, 1st in masters division

October 18, 2015: Runner’s World Half 1:39:00 – 6th in age group/2nd in “grand slam” of 4 races in 3 days

That's me, Tina (Fuel Your Future with Tina), Sarah (Run Far Girl), Jesica (rUnLadylike), Jen (Running with the Girls) and Sandra (Organic Runner Mom) way off in the distance!

That’s me, Tina (Fuel Your Future with Tina), Sarah (Run Far Girl), Jesica (rUnLadylike), Jen (Running with the Girls) and Sandra (Organic Runner Mom) running on Wells Beach during the Rise.Run.Retreat


November 1, 2015: New York City Marathon: 3:31:00

And then it all came crashing down in the form of the NYC Marathon. This race was supposed to be my cherry on top, my grand finish to an amazing year, my crowning glory where I achieve a ridiculously speedy PR of 3:15.

Well, none of that happened.

What did happen was that I crashed and burned, due in part to lack of electrolytes, and dragged my sorry ass to the finish in 3:31 which was a whopping 16 minutes off my goal time, and even three minutes slower then my spring marathon. Whomp whomp.

But, once again, I learned so much more from this race then my successful ones. Firstly, I will never not take in electrolytes prior to a race. Ever. I also learned that I just don’t care that much about the marathon. After my first triathlon I wanted to get back out there so badly and prove something. After NYC? Meh.

The most important lesson I learned was to not rob myself of the joy of running just because of a missed goal.

Mission accomplsihed.

Mission accomplsihed.


So far, this has been an amazing month of reflection, refocusing and happy workouts. I’m so excited to see what I can do at the age of 41 (gasp!) in 2016. But first, a video montage of the greatness of 2015.


Thank you for making it such a great year! I hope you get as much from reading my blog as I do from your comments, tweets and emails. Thank you for reading and training for life with me!

I’ll be back on Monday with the final rundown of the year. Get ready!

What is a failure you learned from?

What are some highlights from your year?




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  1. SO I wasn’t going to watch your video because I’ve got to get ready for work. ALLIE!!! This is the second time this week you made me cry! LOVED the video and the song is perfect. You did do it all this year. Way to just keep living!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…High Five FridayMy Profile

    1. I really have to stop doing that!! Sorry Angela 🙂 You raise me up!!
      I hope you got to work on time. I got a little carried away with the video.
      Thank you!

  2. So many amazing moments in that video Allie and I’m pretty sure I remember most of them! It has been a truly incredible 2015 for you and I know I say this all the time but I am so proud to call you my friend!! You will kick so much tail in 2016 and I will be right here cheering you on!! Have a fantastic Christmas and hug the boys for me. xo

    1. Right back at you Nellie!! I’m so grateful for our friendship and I hope to see a lot more of you in 2016! xoxo

  3. Love that we posted our Year in Reviews on the same day! And I also love that you realized that you don’t care that much about the marathon. Not because I don’t care much about it (obviously not the case), but I just think it’s so important to figure out the races and events that make you happy and do those. You’ve done marathons, they’re not your favorite thing, and that’s cool – it is great that you are moving back to triathlon and not forcing yourself to do an event you don’t enjoy! Also, I can definitely see why YOU called it a year of fails, but it doesn’t seem that way to us – you had an awesome year! Can’t wait to see you rock Nationals next year!
    Danielle @ T-Rex Runner recently posted…2015 Running Year in ReviewMy Profile

    1. I thought the same exact thing when I saw my feed this morning!! And yes, it was so important to me to figure out what worked and what didn’t. Thank you for saying that about the “fails,” and I’m extremely proud of all I accomplished and those setbacks made the wins even sweeter.
      I’m hoping our paths will cross at half-marathon one of these days. Maybe you can convince WR to send us both someplace sunny next year 🙂 Thanks Danielle!

    • Tiffany Raymond on December 18, 2015 at 9:11 AM
    • Reply

    You DID it all, Allie!! Such a great recap of you in 2015! Amazing. I wouldn’t say you had any failures rather than exciting moments and superb accomplishments!! Thank YOU for keeping me ispired through your blogs. I’m always excited to see what your up to and to learn by you so many great tips. Thank you for doing it all! ❤️ Cheers to 2016!

    1. Thank you so much for all your support Tiffany!! Have a fantastic holiday!

  4. What an incredible year you had! I feel like titling your year, “A Beast-ette In Motion” 🙂 You are seriously a super hero in so many ways, I love reading your thoughts and journey. Even though I’m not racing, I still like the motivation I get from your inspiring posts. Your energy never fails to make me want to hit the track, or punch a bag, or climb a hill.. but lately I just take the dogs for extended walks. LOL. I learned that all my failed attempts at running this year was my body’s way of telling me, “hey you dumbass, you’re pregnant!!!” so once I learned the joyous news, as well as other medical complications, I realized that running/racing can wait till after our healthy little gummy bear is born. So all my failures were worth it, so far gummy bear is healthy. I realized the more I fight my body, the harder my body fights me back. I think I’m learning when my body is telling me something I need to pay attention. I’m hoping to be a good role model for self care one day 🙂

    1. I remember getting that same message loud and clear about seven years ago! And, just wait until you pop that gummy out – post-pregnant runners are a force to be reckoned with!
      Thanks so much for all your supportive comments Danielle. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say!

  5. That picture of your muscular arm coming out of the lake is still my favorite pic I think. I love the “you better work bitch” song on the video….I need to download that to my playlist. Just got my enduropacks electrolyte spray in the mail a couple days ago….trying it out tomorrow on my 20 miles… can’t wait to see what you do in 2016 #inspiringbitch recently posted…ToddlerMy Profile

    1. LOVE that hashtag! Good luck on your run – I hope it’s as enjoyable as your 18 last week. Definitely let me know how much you love your new spray!! Thanks Paria.

  6. I can definitely relate to this as I am a born competitor/perfectionist so anything that feels like a failure is terrible! The ability to see beyond this is a skill and to take the failure and to grow from it is amazing. Your year despite its setbacks has been incredible and you will get those big goals in the New Year! I am so happy that we are now friends so we can celebrate the wins and PR’s together and also share in the tough parts too. Here’s to an incredible 2016!!
    Sandra Laflamme recently posted…Winter Activities for staying active. Friday 5.My Profile

    1. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have met you this year! I know you can relate to how I feel when it comes to competition and, as long as we keep moving forward and learning, it will continue to be joyful and FUN!
      I seriously hope we can do another race together in 2016!!

  7. Wow I love looking back and reading all of this. It’s been so interesting and fun to follow your blog throughout this year. You are such an incredible athlete!
    Hollie recently posted…Working Out During the HolidaysMy Profile

    1. Right back at you Hollie! So glad we were able to meet at RW this year and hope to do it again next year!!

  8. I love the fact that I already knew all of this stuff, but I was happy to read it again! I would not have imagined that one of my favorite bloggers would be a serious runner, but here we are. So glad to know you, my friend, and to share in your triumphs and failures.
    Dana recently posted…Tell your storyMy Profile

    1. I think you secretly are a runner at heart Dana!!…and I also love that we are friends. Thank you for all your witty comments and support this year. Keep them coming! 🙂

  9. I love love love what you said “I learned was not to rob myself of the joy of running just because of a missed goal.” That is my 2015 running in summary as well – I didn’t achieve my BIG “A” goals, but I fell even more in love with the pure joy of running. Your year has been nothing short of incredible and inspiring, and I am so excited to follow you in 2016, especially with Nationals!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Whole Wheat Banana Nut Gingerbread LoafMy Profile

    1. YES!! Thank you so much Laura!

  10. Heck ya you did it all! I loved your video. So many great moments and so many lessons for you this year. You had an amazing year. Cannot wait to see what 2016 has in store for you!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Friday Round-Up: Home StretchMy Profile

    1. I hope it involves a meet up and race with YOU!
      Thanks Christine!

    • Jane on December 18, 2015 at 2:52 PM
    • Reply

    Love you and loved your video…you are one amazing person! May you 2016 be a year full of rewards and happiness for you and your family.
    Sending hugs and love,

    1. Love you too Janie!!! Thank you. Sending all our love and big hugs!

  11. What a great year you had, even after having surgery! Wow! I’m so glad to have found you and your blog–you are so inspiring to me! Never ever quit!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Runfessions for DecemberMy Profile

    1. I feel the exact same way about YOU! Thanks Wendy! Looking forward to following all your races and workouts in 2016 🙂

  12. You are such a rockstar Allie!! I loved watching your video!! So many awesome moments for you in 2015!! These are memories that will last a lifetime!! I am SO glad I got to meet you and hope we can meet up again in 2016!!
    Cheers to many amazing moments and races for you in the new year!!!!
    PS: Huge congrats on all your published articles – woohoo!!!!
    Natalie recently posted…Santa To The Sea Race Recap!My Profile

    1. Thanks so much Nat! It was such a treat getting to meet (and hug!) this year and I will NEVER forget seeing you and your husband cheering for me at the end of the NYC marathon. Never.
      I really hope we meet up again in 2016 and I’m so excited to see what you can do in Boston this April!!

  13. You are a total bad ass! I love that last pic of you. Here’s to a joyful 2016!
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Slow Cooker Beer Pulled Pork [Recipe]My Profile

    1. Right back at you Laura! Thanks so much!

  14. OMG, loved the montage! I don’t know why but I cry every freaking time I watch a montage! Gah! And funny thing is that Britney song was like my theme song for the year. I listened to it at every race on repeat!! You had a pretty amazing year despite your disappointments!! Congrats lady!! Cheers to 2016!
    Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted…Treadmill meets Strength Training {Guest Post}My Profile

    1. There’s just something about putting pictures to music that gets us! And, that Brittany song is absolutely my theme song. I never get tired of hearing it and so glad you can relate!!
      Cheers to 2016 for sure!!!

  15. Isn’t it funny how our own skewed perspective can change our outlook on positive things sometimes? I guess that is why so many of us type A runners feel such a connection … because we do awesome things and still want to do better, be better … and are never satisfied with good. We always want “great,” “exceptional.” You, my friend have had an exceptional year. Maybe there were some races that weren’t as “fast” as expected but to many of us out there you are faster than we will ever be. I loved the lessons you learned in your moments of disappointment and where you found yourself today. I have a feeling that 2016 is going to be pretty special for you. I hope it also includes another meet-up so I can see you again. Heart you and sending you a huge hug to kick off 2016. xoxo
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted…10 Ways I’ll Run Happy in 2016My Profile

    1. Thank you so much Jesica and I REALLY hope we get together again this year. You are absolutely right about having a skewed perspective but, it IS something that makes us keep pushing forward and setting bigger and bigger goals. Woot woot!!

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