I remember entering 2012 with a definite set of goals, most importantly, running 500 miles over the course the year. Long before Christmas I had decided that I wanted to make running a more regular part of my life and routine and the best way for me to do that was to set a yearlong goal. In mid-May that was all changed when I partially tore a tendon in my ankle (which, for the record, was misdiagnosed by the first 2 doctors). While I could get into all the details of that injury, the most important thing was that it meant that I didn’t spend December of 2012 thinking up new running goals. Instead I spent my time in physical therapy. Something damn near magical happened on January 15th, when my PT told me to go run 2 miles with intervals. I cannot imagine enjoying a run more than I did that day (and don’t worry I have the selfies to prove it).
You are so welcome.
Quickly though, I came back to running. While it may be very cold where I go to school, nothing was stopping me. And then about a week before March break (a month and a half after I was allowed to run for the first time in nine months) I decided I was going to run a half marathon.
Training was met with more physical therapy (and thank god my physical therapist is a marathoner because she understood that not racing was out of the question) and a whole lot of reading about how one actually runs a half marathon.
Praise the running gods for Runner’s World.
And after the race I fell out of running. For 3 months before the race, running had become so regimented and boring to me that I just wasn’t feeling it. Instead of being something I looked forward to it became the 3, 4, 5, 6 miles that I was forced to run each day. And then in August I decided that the best thing I could do for myself was to make myself run. And run a lot (at least what I consider a lot). And it dawned on me that maybe, just maybe I could get back to 500 miles in a year. Even with about 2 and a half months totally trashed because I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, run.
The past 4 months have been pretty intense as far as getting to 500 goes. Knowing that, if I tried, I could make the 500 miles made me get up at 7:00 on Tuesday mornings and run. Of course, having people to run with made things easier. Shout out to everyone who went running with me over the course to the semester and let me lead them through town. While running can be a really solitary sport, and I really love running alone, being able to run with other people and talk to them about whatever was one of the most fantastic ways to start my day each Tuesday.
Getting to 500 miles was a lot easier (and more realistic) once I could run 8, 9, 10 miles as a long run. Working on upping my mileage and distance was a big goal for me. In the beginning of the fall I felt like I had lost all of the stamina I gained while training thanks to my time away from running for most of the summer. Getting back to the point where I can run for 2 hours without freaking out about it makes me incredibly happy and tells me a lot about how training in the future can and should work.
Aside from the 500 mile goal I’ve have a couple other things that I’ve done this year. Throughout this semester I’ve raced more than I did all of my senior year of high school. I’ve raced with 30 people and I’ve been among a crowd of 2,600 on a path two-people wide. this included my race weekend, running a 10k and a 5k in two days. While my expectations for the times were low, I ended up with times that were the fastest I’ve gotten since coming back to running after my injury. I’ll take it.
Inspired by SarahOual I decided to teach myself how to do a handstand. I’m still working on it, but I’m getting very, very close to being able to do them without anything to lean on.
The thing I’m most proud of though? The half marathon. Once I started training for it, I realized that this was probably a mistake. I remember reading something in the hours of research I had been doing about fueling and hydration that you should be running at least 15 miles a week for the past 9 months before starting training. I was starting fresh, with practically no running in the previous 9 months instead. And you know, I was fine. I’m not exactly proud of my time. The circumstances just weren’t in my (or anyone’s) favor that day. I am proud that I did it. The 3 months leading up to the race were filled with early mornings, gels, sweat, and a whole lot of determination. But more than anything I’m excited to do it again and get a better time and be able to enjoy it in a way that just wasn’t possible under the conditions I raced under in June.
Photocred to my brother who woke up and stood out in the heat for me with the rest of my family. Seriously the best.
I cannot imagine this year without running. It’s even harder to think about what 2014 would be without running. If I have done one thing this year that isn’t measurable by miles, splits, finishing times, laps, or bibs, I have created a running monster that refuses to stop. And I’m more than ok with that.