To put it bluntly, if I could have a least favorite year of events, 2013 would be it. There were a lot of lows. I started my second day of the year in court for my assault. Two weeks later, an injury to my hip that took a few minutes to figure out. Dreams of a BHAG marathon were out the window. Follow this by huge heartbreak in my love life and in running. I lost both in March in April. I spent most of my Spring and Summer rehabbing from surgery (and partying a bit, too).
I can look back and tell you that April and May were some of the darkest months of my life. I am so thankful for those friends and family (you know who you are) that dug me out and talked me through some tough shit.
I can sit here and whine and tell you how bad the year was, but really, what you read above is it. Why? Because I LEARNED so much this year about myself and life and running and friendship and honestly, the year is ending on such a high. Here’s what I am taking away from the year o’ shit:
1. I’M WAY STRONGER THAN I EVER THOUGHT: Again, read above. As dark and low as I felt, I somehow could talk myself out of it and would do my best to have faith and trust that it all happens for a reason. I really think having a positive mental attitude helped. I didn’t let the negative get the best of me and focused on the fact that the lack of running and rehab would make me stronger in the end. And it has, I have come back faster and stronger than I could’ve ever imagined. I never would’ve dreamed that my first half marathon post surgery would go so well. I also never thought that my love life would’ve ended up the way it has…and I’m okay with it. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been now, and glad it all happened the way it did.
2. BE YOURSELF: You know what happens when you’re injured and have a running blog? You spend a lot more time reading running blogs than you do writing your own. When I first started the blog, I had NO IDEA that people gave you products for reviews, you could be an ambassador, etc. (this blog started as a place to log my running goals). I definitely got excited as my blog got bigger and companies contacted me. I think I lost a little perspective. This is by no means a dig at any particular blogger, but to our “world” if you will… be an ambassador or write reviews on products you TRULY believe in and use. It is physically impossible to love Nike, Saucony, Brooks, Adidas, Hokas, Newtons, etc. You can’t love every clothing brand, every gel, everything you get free. And on that note, stop taking so much free crap or being an ambassador for every thing you can represent because you think it makes you a better blogger. People want to know YOU. So BE YOU. BE HONEST. I am proud to say that what you see on here is what you get (and in real life, too). Reading more and analyzing my beliefs this past year really helped me realize this.
3. RUN FOR FUN: Before the injury, I was very caught up in getting faster, BQing, and just killing every race. Taking time off and learning to appreciate the miles has been far more therapeutic than I thought. I needed to be taken out of the sport for a while to really remember why I LOVE running. And why it’s FUN. When was the last time you just ran a race for the experience or the trip or as a training run? NOT to PR? I will be spending a lot of my 2014 doing just this (but don’t get me wrong, I love to compete…there is just a time for it and it doesn’t have to be every race you run). But if you are feeling burnt out or tired, take a step back, take the garmin off and just RUN.
4. TAKE YOUR TIME AND PUT IN THE WORK: I had to learn to take it nice and slow in rehab and in running again. I have to build a base again (which will be goals of 2014). You can’t get faster, stronger, etc. without doing the work. Don’t expect a lot if you don’t do speed work, have a strong core, lift weights, etc. This goes for my job as well….I can finally say, that I truly LOVE my job. It’s taken 10 years to find something like this and it has been worth the wait. But the same goes for a career as it does in running. I can proudly say I exceeding my annual quota this year and it was from busting my A. You won’t be successful if you don’t put the work in it. That’s in anything you try to accomplish in life. Nothing comes for free.
5. BE IN THE MOMENT: I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself at the beginning of the year. I was so worried about missing out on races, events, a social life, etc. In the scheme of things, it was such a small amount of time. I am such a planner, such a do-er and go-getter that my agenda was/is always packed. I had anxiety for sitting still and doing nothing and now, anxiety for over extending myself. I’ve learned to just BE. Take everything one day at a time. There will always be another race, another girls night out, another day. Stop worrying about what did or didn’t happen and live it with no regrets.
6. RUNNING IS ABOUT WAY MORE THAN THE MILES AND RACES: I’ve said it over and over again about what this blog has given me in the running community that I NEVER expected. When I first started running I just didn’t know that a sport you do alone (unless it’s a relay) is really a big team. A family. The experiences this year reminded me how lucky I really am. I received an outpouring of love going through the surgery and comeback. I spent time with some girlfriends this year that I met on the internet. Fabulous ladies I now talk to IRL and have become some of my dearest friends. All from running (and blogging). I don’t know how I could be so lucky to have met such amazing women from across the country, but I love yall. Thank you for being you and for your friendship (you know who you are).
I’m not even going to give you a “real” running recap this year because there isn’t much in that department, no need for an extra post. But all those six things I learned above came from some great experiences.
I have no idea how many miles I ran this year. Under 500, I’m sure. I spent a lot of time at flywheel and pilates and loved having a great cross training option and a core strengthener.
I didn’t meet a lot of the goals I set at the beginning of the year and I’m okay with that. Life happens and gets in the way of plans.
So this is my year in review and what I learned. I hope you did, too.
Here’s to a kickass 2014. Happy New Year, yall. xoxo