I’m already in love with 2012 and it’s just begun. I love the idea of a fresh start. A year in running can bring so much perspective and this is the perfect time of year with no races to come up with a game plan of how to approach the upcoming year.
First a look back at 2011 and the things I loved and things I’ve learned.
Learn) My digestion issues are not to be ignored or taken lightly.
During races I was getting waves of pain that send me running to the bathroom. Gluten has not been my friend. The Chicago Spring Marathon was my ultimate breaking point that showed me I had to take a look at my nutrition. I’ve not been officially diagnosed with celiac disease, but have noticed that omitting gluten has helped my stomach troubles. Now when I even slide on a meal and eat something with gluten I notice within hours, without even having to run a race to find out.
Love) I’m forever changed by the Boston Marathon.
There really is nothing like the Boston Marathon and racing it my first time was an amazing memory that I will cherish forever. I cannot wait to go back in 2012 and experience it again now knowing what to expect. I love the time with Rob in Boston running, going to a Red Sox game, and checking out the historic restaurants and sites. In 2012 we plan to run the 5K the day prior to the race. At 2011 Boston I enjoyed getting to have lunch with Alaina and spend some time seeing the town with her. I was also lucky to have met Natalie while we waited for the bus to Hopkington. Natalie made the wait in athletes village an enjoyable experience and felt like I was hanging out with someone I had known forever.
Learn/Love) Cheering a Marathon is hard on my heart.
Don’t get me wrong, I love cheering on other runners, especially Rob and Drew. At the Illinois Marathon I shouted so loud at Rob and announced to everyone on the street that my husband was coming that everyone else cheered for him too. 🙂 I had just done Boston two weeks prior and since I’m not used to the hills it really worked my legs. Still it was hard to watch everyone in the marathon doing something I wanted to be doing as well. Even if I had the slowest race ever, I could have been out there being a part of the event. 2012 my plan is to race it even after Boston, even if my legs are toast, my heart needs it.
Learn) Numbers are tools and do not define me.
In 2011 I put too much pressure on myself regarding numbers, past PRs, training goal pace, weight, etc. None of the emphasis I put on those numbers helped me, if anything it hurt me. Between my stomach and my piriformis recovery I never gave myself a mental break for not being where I expected to be numbers-wise. I need to use numbers as tools to building my training, but not to beat myself up for not breaking a course time or PR for myself. I won’t be able to control the injuries or adversities I may face in training. Instead I will use the numbers for training and keep my worries on the things I can control and that is consistent training, nutrition, flexibility, strength, and recovery.
I will still share my stats, but knowing it’s one piece of a bigger picture.
For instance December my mileage is coming back to a training level with 210.2 Miles making my end of year running miles total 2,389.1 Miles. More than last year, but only by 100 miles. I lost 8 weeks of training from my injury recovery. I do love seeing that I ran 335 hours in 2011, almost averaging an hour a day in running alone. That just makes me smile because being active is just such an essential part of being healthy and preventing disease. I’m proud and happy to be moving.
Love) I love the wolfpack of course!
Love) I love sharing the love of running.
I love how running is infectious and so many people at our work and in our community have taken up the sport. It’s so accessible and there is always new ways to learn and grow. I love hearing about others accomplishments and it keeps me inspired to keep going. I’ve got to have some fun runs with my friends, finish a half marathon hand in hand with Rob, go to yoga class with Rob and our friends, go shopping and meet up with friends at major race events and post celebrations.
Plus I love getting to meet people that I’ve chatted with through running blogs. And it’s been really fun to run into people at expos at the race event with “Are you FlyRunner?”. It’s the best feeling to have someone introduce themselves and get to thank them in person for reading my posts and keeping in touch. I love hearing about other people’s races. I get just as excited meeting a fellow blog reader or poster like I’m meeting a professional athlete like Kara Goucher, so be prepared for me to a bit nerdy if we meet in person. The running community is full of some of the coolest people and getting to meet people because of blogging is such a bonus!
So for 2012 I wish all of us loads of healthy exercise hours, opportunities to be challenged and push to another level (in ways that may not be measured by a number), to have lots of smiles and to make others smile too.
♥ Happy New Year! ♥