Year In Review: Running
What? The year is almost over? I guess me trying to stay present is working because where in the crap did that come from? It's over?
I haven't been reflective of the year that has gone by, yet. This week I intend to reflect, make some new goals and look forward.
Normally I'd say I'm quite driven. I like to have purpose. I like to progress. I like to see where I was and have a vision of where I want to be. I've lost that, along with some other things this past year. It's time to renew! It's time to recenter myself.
This post is for review, in the realm of running. Next week is for goal setting.
I began this year getting ready for the Boston Marathon. I am proud to have qualified for this race, I'm proud to have gotten in. I'm not proud of my race... buuuut I'm over the pain of it now!
The beginning of 2016 was a little unsteady for me. My best friend, our family, moved. A dear friend of mine died. It was a challenging time for me. Instead of running being healing for me, it felt more like a chore. I had many of those 'Why in the world did I sign up to run this freaking marathon?' moments throughout my training. I didn't feel strong. I felt like I was faking it.
Still we push on! Here are some early posts from the year:
- 5 Things I Appreciate About Treadmill Running
- 19 Miles on the Treadmill
- Not All Runs Are Good Runs
- My Road To Boston
One of my sweet moments from this year was meeting Ashley! I just can't find me any running friends, but thanks to a mutual friend I found her. #Blessed! Not sure I would've made it through all of my winter training without our runs to look forward to.
Do you know that I am just now, today, putting my Boston Marathon on my race page? Here is my post about my race. I intended to do another post about the race itself, which is totally amaze-balls, but surprise, I didn't! :)
This #fail really did a number on me emotionally and mentally.
My next race was the Grand Island half marathon that I've done for the last couple of years. I have done it with my girlfriends, this year I did it alone, more sadness... It was not a strong race for me. I finished just fine, in fact, exactly how I finished it last yer, but my performance was just frustrating! I was inconsistent and totally puttered out at the end. My head was a bit of a mess! I never even wrote about this race! (stats on race page)
One of the positives of this race, though, was that I got to meet Stacy, in person! We met online, she blogs at Blake Hill House. I asked her if she wanted to do the DC Ragnar - Ultra with me, she agreed, and at this race was the first time we actually were meeting each other!
I can't remember exactly when I agreed to do the DC Ragnar - Ultra. After being so frustrated with my running in general, and certainly my racing, I was feeling like maybe I needed a break from training for anything. Maybe I just needed time to not run! But, I had agreed, which means that 5 other people were planning on me. It's hard enough to find a sub for the normal Ragnar, finding a sub for an Ultra would be nearly impossible. I decided to stick with it. I trained through the summer for the September race.
I was so very nervous for this Ultra. I doubted myself and my abilities. I put in some serious training, running 2 and 3 times a day. It was a great way to get back on top of my running without doing long distances. I worked up to two 20 mile days in a row, but my miles were broken up, which was so good for me mentally! I couldn't handle the thought of 'long' runs.
This ended up being not only a wonderful experience, but exactly what I needed to shake off my questionable year. Here I wrote about why I needed this experience. Sometimes things are just off. Hopefully it doesn't last too long. My funk seemed to last forever! I needed the success of overcoming myself and I found that doing this Ultra Ragnar.
This Ragnar ended up being my favorite race experience this year. It was exactly what I needed. I had gotten into a slouchy feeling with my running, there was monotony, comfort/discomfort and little drive. Having to push myself up to a different level was precisely what I needed. See sometimes we need hard things to get us up and out! The climb makes us better!
I don't race often. My running is not about races. BUT, this year, my races seemed to reflect me and what was going on. I just felt like I was in a pit. I lost a bit of my joy. It was feeling dreadful, hard and nagging. After the Ragnar I promised myself I would take a break!
I joined Orange Theory! This was such a great move for me. I wasn't sure I'd love it at first, but was sure that I needed something different. I love it! It is a way to change up my workouts, even though we do still run on the treadmill. I like that it is never the same. Every single day is different. I like that I don't have to think, I just go and someone tells me what to do! I like that I am stronger. I was kidding myself all this year, telling me that I was doing some strength training. I wasn't, not enough. I felt it in my running for sure.
In addition to feeling stronger I have gained some friends, community. We all know I have suffered greatly in this realm!! It is so nice to meet new people and work out side by side with friends.
I have missed swimming this year, although I did get some in this summer at the lake. I also didn't cycle nearly as much as I like to. Matt and I enjoy doing this together, so most of the times I went out with him. I only went a couple of times by myself. I was running all summer getting ready for the Ragnar!
I did take a break. I have taken time to not 'train' for anything, to just run when and if I have time. It has been good. As I have started up again, I've realized that I said I needed a break, (and maybe I have needed a break from the marathon distance, or training) but I really don't need a break from running! I need it. I love it. It is part of who I am. I never really stop doing it! It means too much to me!
Overall, looking back at this year, as far as running goes, it hasn't been my best year. But, taking into account my life and what has been going on, I guess it's to be expected! This whole year hasn't been super stellar!
Either way, the good thing about running is it's always there. There is always an opportunity to engage, there is always opportunity to improve. There is also opportunity to just take it for what it is and enjoy it as it fits into my life.
I feel like I'm in a good place right now. I am excited to move forward. I think 2017 will be good. It's time to make some new goals!