“ Dear past, thanks for all the lessons. Dear future, I am ready”
It is January 1st, 2018. I could sit here and list off everything from my 2017 that didn’t live up to expectations set, but who really wants to read all of that, right? You can be honest it is ok…I also won’t sit here and list off all my resolutions because, well, who has time for that? I also like to believe that everyday is a new day to go after what your heart truly desires, even if that means your heart truly desires some ice cream or wine.
I will take a moment to (quickly) reflect on my past year. Things are good, truly they are. I have a job I love and I work with people who make it easy to love said job. I have a great home in a great location in the city that I love. So what was my big takeaway from 2017?
When I finished my last race in the fall of 2016, I took a week off to recover and then went right back into training hard for my 2017 races, I feared taking too much time off and losing all my fitness. This has been a fear for the last few years, which led me to fall into the same pattern of train, train, train….race hard from March – October, take a week off and get right back in the routine. My 2017 races felt different than any other year though. I had even more pressure on myself to place as I had been doing the last few years, I felt tired at every race and I felt like my heart wasn’t in it as much as I was forcing it to be. I soldiered on anyway and I kept pushing myself more and more thinking that at some point something would just click. It had to, right? At some point I would shake off whatever funk I was in and get back on track, right?
“Even a bad run is better than no run”
As you can probably guess the funk never went away and no matter how many times I tried to tell myself that the next race would “the one”, I felt put out having to go and get my race kit and get ready to race. Let me take a moment to acknowledge that I am aware that my “bad” race times for the 2017 season are what a lot of people work hard to achieve and here I was pulling off so-so times without trying. Seriously I didn’t do all my run training like I should have. Sometimes I would wake up and decide I was just too tired but I would tell myself that I was “listening to my body” and giving it the rest it so clearly needed, but then I would feel guilty and get out running anyway but I wouldn’t do what I was supposed to do, with the thought process of at least I am doing something!
Scotiabank Waterfront half marathon. It was another gross humid, hot day. Right from the start of the race I felt like I was being majorly inconvenienced. I knew that given the conditions that there was no way I was going to PB. So from the moment I started I opted for a “treat this as a training run, race”. I reminded myself that I should be thankful that I can do this, not finishing is never an option, especially knowing my son was going to be at the finish line waiting to cheer me in. I finished in what is probably one of my slowest half marathon times ever…again I recognize that a sub 1:45 is what a lot of people strive for. I finished and normally I would be crushed! I wasn’t. I shrugged it off to go home to sleep.
“You get what you work for NOT what you wish for”.
Sometime in mid- late November, there I was right back in to training and pushing hard and not stopping. Then it happened….I got sick, real sick….Like had to be put on antibiotics sick, and I got injured. Like my ankle rolled over and pain shot up leg injured, with an ankle sprain. I will admit I kept working out and training and my ankle would look like a tennis ball by the end. I was finally forced to stop.
“Let your mind and heart rest for a while. You will catch up, the world will not stop spinning for you, but you will catch up. Take a rest”.
It took being forced to stop and rest to realize how badly my body needed rest. All 2017 race season my body was trying to tell me at each and every race I was at and I ignored it, every, single, time. I pushed aside my concerns and kept going for faster and stronger. Something that my body couldn’t physically do because it was tapped out.
“If you get tired learn to rest, not quit”…..This is exactly what I have been doing the last month and a bit. While my social media feed continues to be flooded by runners posting their training and how fast they ran, and what they ran and what their 2018 goals are, I rested and rested some more. I went to physio for my ankle, I ate more avocados, fish and carrots (to name a few). Every now and then, as I got the go ahead from physio I would go for a workout and feel amazing afterwards!
“My goal is not to be better than anyone else but better than I used to be”.
So here we are. Monday, January 1st, I am one day into being 42 years old and I am feeling ready to take on 2018. It means for me choosing races wiser, maybe even racing fewer races! What a concept 😉 Stick to my training program including have one full, entire day for rest. Something I have never had! I have always had a “rest” day, but would be teaching and not actually resting…Strength and run training to get me back on track. I won’t list what I am running, I am not even 100% sure what races I will be lacing up for anyway…..I will be back and I will be stronger, that I can be sure of.
Here’s hoping I will be have my own “f@$k yeah!” moment in 2018 🙂
“Just a girl who decided to go for it”.