My 2017 race calendar is filling up fast. In fact, 2017 is less than a day old and I’ve already chalked up my first race result: DNS (Did Not Start). While Jen powered through the Resolution Run this morning, I sat home on our couch with the flu.

Completing the Resolution Run in a healthier, flu-free New Year.

I completed a fair bit of running in 2016. In January, I finished my first ultramarathon, the Avalon 50. I won my first race this year; it was a local 10K. I followed that with a third place age-group finish (“third among the olds”) at the Orca Half Marathon.

Photo stop on Catalina Island along the Avalon 50 miler.

I also witnessed some amazing running in 2016. When Amy Cragg, Des Davila and Shalane Flanagan dueled it out on the streets of L.A. at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, I observed from Figueroa Street. A few months later, I indulged in two full weeks’ worth of spectating at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan setting the pace at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trial in Los Angeles.

My mom is an OJ – Original Jogger. As a kid, I would spectate and cheer when she ran the New Haven Road Race. Sometimes I would tag along during her training runs, but I rarely made it around the block.

Newspaper clipping of my Mom running the Lenders Bagels race.

I tried cross country running in high school, but I routinely finished last in competitions. I gave up running entirely when I reached college. By my mid-twenties, I literally refused to run. Then I got fat. So, I fell back on running.

I trained for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler in Washington, D.C. and – surprise! – I did not finish last. And so, for the ensuing 20+ years, running has been part of my life. Some years it’s a big part and some years it’s a small part. But it’s always there.

It was there in a big way during 2016. From January through April, my runs were meandering and nostalgic. I soaked up many beach runs, in expectation of my #1WaytoSEA move from Santa Monica to Seattle. From May through July, I dialed down the running and dialed up the biking, to prep for an epic transcontinental bike ride with my brother.

Sunset run route along Santa Monica beach.

In August, I got serious about running again. I enlisted my first running coach, via a startup app called Ekiden. My goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I chose the Seattle Marathon to achieve my 3:25 qualifying time. This was probably not the wisest choice, since the Seattle course is notoriously tough with a succession of nasty hills starting around mile 20.

In late November, I finished the Seattle Marathon in 3:29:06. I missed my goal by just over four minutes. But I shaved more than five minutes off of my previous Seattle Marathon time – from 12 years ago! Not a bad run.

I can honestly say there were no bad runs in 2016. A hamstring injury made for a few painful runs and caused me to cut a few runs shorts. But they were better than not running.

In 2017, I’m continuing to chase my goal of qualifying for Boston. I’m also eyeing another 50 miler. Separately, after a hiatus, my Dad and I will return to the New Mexico desert to participate in the deeply meaningful Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon.

I’m ready to be done with this flu. It’s a bummer to start the New Year with a DNS. But there’s lots more running to look forward to in 2017.