A reflection on 2013 in photos…

2013 was a very special year for me. I ran a lot of miles. I found a new passion for weight lifting. I cooked a lot of food. I spent the spring in my veggie garden. I hit the slopes in the winter. I traveled to some pretty amazing places. I read some awesome books. 

These are some of my top highlights, saving the best for last. 

I started 2013 off running…

Of course, doing my traditional New Years Eve night run and New Years Day morning run – striking a yoga pose in between.

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I am a runner, so of course I spent the rest of the year running…

On my runs, I captured some breath taking views…

January, February, and March is what I call my running off season, because I am not following a disciplined training plan. This time off from training for races gives me the opportunity to focus on other forms of exercise and nutrition. In 2013,  I spent this time getting very serious about weight lifting. I did the Livefit trainer, which I still basically follow. I learned about clean eating, supplements such as BCAAS. I learned about supersets, active rest periods, circuit training, lifting heavy, and HIIT. I also bought a heart rate monitor that took my training to the next level. All of this helped made me a faster stronger runner.

In February, I  hit the slopes.

April was a busy fun month for me.

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10 miler finishing in 1:24:33.

I ran the Parkway Classic 10 miler finishing in 1:24:16.

I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, finishing in 1:57:03.

The weekend of April that I didn’t run a race was the weekend of the Boston Marathon. The tragedy that happened there touched me, the running community, and the world. Boston Strong always and forever.

In 2013, I traveled.

I went to Miami for the first time.

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I went to Vegas for the first time.

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I went to Martha’s Vineyard.

I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful community, which inspired me, everyday. What I love most was all the yoga challenges.

In July, I started training for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was intense, but I loved it.

On October 27th, 2013, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon finishing  at 4:19:26 Рnew PR . This was by far my favorite race of the year!

Although, running my marathon comes in a close second nothing can top what happened on August 29th, in Martha’s Vineyard.

I got engaged. 

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Looking back on 2013 makes me smile. It was a fabulous year in which I challenged myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  However, thinking of all of the amazing things planned for 2014 makes me smile even bigger. I am excited to start this year, the next chapter.

Thank you for all your love and support.

Bring on 2014!

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© 2014 sweatdaily

The Proposal

It is saturday morning, August 24th, 2013, Erik and I are on a flight to our traditional end of the summer beach trip. The pilot jokingly chuckles in a Boston accent, that in 20 minutes we will be approaching our final destination, landing in the “Harba of Martha’s Vineyad.”

This is the first time that Erik and I had the opportunity to fly directly from Washington, DC to Martha’s Vineyard. Unlike our normal 5 hour trek, this was such an easy 90 minute flight.

Erik’s parents are sitting there patiently waiting in the small airport’s quart yard waiting for us to arrive. From Saturday to Tuesday morning we spend our Martha’s Vineyard vacation with them, but then on Tuesday they leave for Florida on business. They will be back Friday afternoon, and we head home Friday night. This is perfect timing, allowing Erik and I to finally experience the Island just the two of us.

We end up being blessed with some amazing beach days. The photos speak better than words.

On Thursday, we wake up to the typical New England overcast sky. The air cool and crisp Рit feels like fall. There is a breeze Рas if a storm was coming, but it never pours. Erik and I decide to go shopping in Edgar Town and walk around the harbor.

Later that day, we decide to head to Menemsha and Gay Head…

Menemsha is a beautiful beach that is known for its spectacular sunsets. Many photographers come to take photos. Others come for the view and a seafood picnic. It is easy to get seafood here because fishing boats park near the harbor, with fresh sea food. They have kitchen shacks where they will steam you a fresh lobster right from their boat. Many times there are pots of clam chowder and lobster bisque simmering.

Because the sky is smothered with gray clouds, seeing a sunset would be impossible, so last minute, Erik change our plan, and we start to head to Gay Head instead.

Gay Head is a beach known for it’s spectacular clay cliffs. There are cute shops on the top of the cliff. ¬†Previous years, I have been in the shops and on the top of the cliff looking down on the beach – but never walked the beach.

So Erik and I decided to head on down…

Of corse I am taking tons of pictures along the way. We follow the trail down to the beach.

The beach is as spectacular as everyone claims it to be. Waves crash wildly along the coast. The cliffs are made from red clay. They stand tall but unstable as heavy rocks fall from them. The sand feels like a clay facial mask for your feet.

In Martha’s Vineyard, it is rare to find your typical sea shell, instead the beaches are covered with sea glass and unique rocks. Many stores sell rocks with inspiring words on them, some with art painted on them. It is not uncommon for islanders to collect these rocks. So as we walk the beach, we are looking closely for unique rocks especially ones with halo rings around them.

Damn then, my phone dies… I guess I was taking too many photos.

I ask to barrow Erik’s phone so I can take one last photo of a wanna-be sand castle made from rocks. (You can see it in the last photo above – I thought it looked cool.)

All of a sudden, I hear Erik calling my name.

“Meggie… come over here.”

He starts crouching down.

I am really clueless of what is going on… maybe he found a cool rock, I thought.

“I have a question to ask you…”

He pulls out a red box that was hidden in his hands.

“Will you marry me?” he asks very quietly, as he opens the box.

Everything happening all at once.

I try to stay focused on him, but my eyes are hypnotized by the beauty, the sparkle of the ring.

“Yes,” I say…

And suddenly, I feel Erik putting the ring on my finger.

“Sorry, it took so long…” he says… “I love you.”¬†

We hike back up to the car and head over to Menemsha, to grab a lobster dinner.

On the car ride over, I stare at the ring, excited, shocked, pinching myself to see if this is actually reality.

The next morning we head to the beach one last time, before we have to pick up Erik’s parents at the airport. It is then that I decide to text a photo of the ring, to some close family.

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I have been getting a lot of questions about the stone. This ring is a rare natural black diamond. There are a lot of interesting facts about black diamonds. But one of them is…

“The Karloff Noir diamond is believed to be the world’s largest cut black diamond at 88 carats, and legend has it that when touched, it endows the person with good luck, fortune and happiness.”

Now I have my very own black diamond which only means one thing… I get to spend a life time with Erik.

Summer is coming to an end.
When something ends, new things begin…
On thursday, August 29th, 2013 on the Island Martha’s Vineyard- I got engaged!

© sweatdaily 2013