Thursday, December 27, 2012

How to Top 2012

I have had one of the most outstanding years this year and I'm not sure it is possible to have a year that is even better.  The little things are what I will remember... For instance this year included zip lining, vacationing in DC, kayaking, fishing, karaoke, trips to Chicago, meeting new amazing friends, building relationships with old friends and lots of love!

Sure I was plagued with injury and now I'm spending this final week of 2012 sick but these are not the things I will remember. I should also acknowledge that 2012 has brought loss, tears, mistakes, frustration... but you have to put life into perspective. What is really important? I think the experiences I listed above are what matter.

Of course this blog is about my quest to becoming an athlete and here is what I have to say about that; Athletically not much has happened this year. I did my first Olympic distance triathlon, and had some of the best spectators a person could ask for. I also ran a half marathon and a few other small races but because of a stress fracture and PF that knocked me off my feet (literally) I did not accomplish anything all that grand.

So, you may ask, how am I going to top all the amazing things that have happened to me in 2012? My answer is simply this... I don't know and quite honestly my main goal is to continue living the way I have been living and I'm sure everything else will fall into place.

This wouldn't be a year end post if I didn't at least acknowledge my goals from last year and what I have accomplished.

2012 Revisited

Run Faster: I was accomplishing this until the stress fracture. Now I'm back to my 13 min/miles and loving running again. So, failed but with good results.

Run Chicago Marathon: Had to pull out of training due to very serious PF. I'm back to running now and will attempt Chicago in 2013 (if I remain uninjured).

Olympic Distance Triathlon: Wow, I did accomplish this and 30 minutes faster than anticipated! Never felt more accomplished!!!

Run a mile a day: Well this was just stupid to begin with... 72 days and over 250 miles in I found myself stress fractured. Will never attempt this again!!!

I had a mileage goal but I can't find it. I do know that I did not accomplish it. Need I mention the injury again? Probably not, but here is what I did this year: 698 mile ran, 30 miles walked during my recovery period, Over 1,000 mile biked, over 60 mile swam, Over 20 miles on the elliptical (again recovery workouts). That is over 1,800 miles logged. Not too shabby!

Blog 1 time a week:  I came close to this goal, but I'm going to be more realistic next year.

2013 Plans

Run uninjured and will shoot for 1,000 miles in 2013
Olympic Distance Triathlon
Chicago Marathon
Cap City Half Marathon
Blog twice a month

Sure I have athletic goals and let me be clear, my athleticism is only part of who I am as a person. I will still focus on developing myself as an athlete but more importantly will focus on my relationships, on my growth as a person, on the people I care about and hopefully that will lead to another 2012!

I sincerely thank all of the amazing people who are in my life and have entered my life this past year. It is because of all of you that I can boast about the great experiences this year!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It IS Worth It!

As many of you know I have struggled with injury after injury this year. I'm not going to ramble about it much  tonight because you can read about it here and here and here and here and here and here... I think you get the point. I have been whiny about my injuries this year, and that is only a sample of the posts about being injured: sadly there are more.

I was tracking facebook today and saw one of my friends post a quote about how running is hard on your body. My immediate internal response was, uh huh and you needed someone else to tell you that? But my public comment was much more forgiving. Bottom line, running is hard on your body but darn it, it is worth it.

Stress is also hard on the body. It doesn't just impact your mind... I was having a particularly perplexing day today and I really needed an outlet, a friend. I posted something on facebook about needing either a workout or a friend. I was lucky enough to get both. One of my friends read between the lines of the post and offered me exactly what I needed, some good conversation AND a workout. At 9:30, my friend Amy and I, met up at the trail for a quick 3 mile run. As we ran I remembered and experienced two very important things

1) Late night running is the best!
2) Running eases both the mind and the body.

You see, my friend Amy is a listener and I am a talker. Don't get me wrong, I am a great listener when my friends need me but I can talk with the best of them. Amy met me on the trail and I had a lot to say. I had many moments today that included me feeling scared, frustrated, happy, sad, anxious, etc. and then I felt abandoned when all I was looking for was a friend. Running allowed me to process all of these feelings in a healthy way and on top of it I had another great friend there to listen to me (By the way, I did let her talk too if you were wondering).

Basically, even though I was feeling slightly stressed and my body was tense, going for that run relaxed both my mind and my body.

So the moral of this story is this: If anyone ever tells you running is hard on your body, you better believe them; if they tell you it isn't worth it, run away!!! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joy

Awesomely fashionable!
I have come to realize a number of things this past year that I have probably blogged about before, but a reminder is always nice. The most important thing? Don't take life too seriously...

I go in waves with technology. My use of social media ebbs and flows based on my mood and I have gotten to the point that running without my Garmin is totally worthless, or is it?

It is the Christmas season and quite frankly, I am not much of a Christmas person. The shopping is overwhelming, and people always seem to be cranky. Why?

I went to work today with all the wrong clothes for a very cold run. While analyzing the clothes a few minutes before the run, I realized I simply wanted to have fun...

Over the last few weeks I have found myself accidentally garminless. In some cases it was because I forgot to charge the darn thing, in others it was because I left my garmin at a restaurant and didn't have the energy to go and pick it up at my friend's house. While running those miles without the garmin I remembered what running was like when it was simply done for the sake of running and not because I needed to log a certain number of miles at a certain pace. I ran because I wanted to, that is all.

Some people come into your life to remind you of things. I have this optimism that does not waver. Sure I have my moments in the doldrums but I have this zest for life that was brought into my life with my athleticism and for that I am thankful! Talking with one of my friends recently I remembered that I make the choice to get out of bed on the right side. Think about that for a minute...

So today as I was singing "All I want for Christmas is You" (yes I was actually singing Christmas music at work today) I realized the Christmas season is what you make of it. Christmas is up in my house. The tree is up, the wreath is hung, Santa is sitting in front of my fire place, and darn it I like it! I decided Christmas is going to be fun whether other people decide to join my bandwagon or not.

As I was preparing for my run today (in other words getting dressed) I carefully pulled on my calf sleeves, shorts (did I mention it was snowing when we went out?) shirt and shoes (notice I didn't say socks) I made the choice that this run was going to be fun (regardless of how my body was reacting to my awesome overly fun Sunday night)!!! I told Jen I forgot socks and she came to the rescue with cotton tube socks she had in her drawer, I was realizing that I had a perfectly good turtle neck sweater that hadn't lived up to the sweat part of its name. I threw caution to the wind and decided that I would run in the tube socks and sweater. I also decided that I was not going to fuss with my garmin but instead enjoy the snowflakes, one of my closest friend's company and my big warm comfy sweater! Today I remembered the Joy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hugs are Underrated

My regular readers know what can happen when I am at a loss for words on my blog... I decide I am a poet; the quality of my poetry is arguable... Here's one for you that I am calling Hugs are Underrated.

Here I sit with little to say
Utterly surprising to many but hey
Great times have been had over the last two weeks
So summing it up means I'd have to pick peeks

A trip to Chicago to eat turkey and treats
Real friend and family time, nothing beats, and
Even some time spent with athletes

Utter chaos at the casino celebrating with friends
Never a dull moment for all who attends
Depending the moment over the last 15 days
Everyone had a role in my life that they play
Runners included, who gave me some hugs
Remembering that our friendships don't end with shrugs
Amazingly for me, I ran many miles
Today I sit back and enjoy with smiles
Everyone who hugged me decreased my need for yawning; so I'll continue
Dance like no one is watching