Welp, it’s that time of year when runners look back at all the miles the logged in 2013, the PR’s they got, the hurdles they’ve overcome. And tomorrow begins a new year with new goals.
Last year or even the last training season may have come with some challenges. Those challenges are what will make you better going forward. Use them as lessons to build upon to make you a stronger runner. We all have lessons we can take from the past and apply that to running (and to life) going forward. But, it’s also important to not waste energy and emotion on what has already happened. Look ahead.
Regardless of what your goals are for next year and where you are headed; remember what you went through last year or last training season will only make you stronger this time around. Take the old, and learn from it.
As with every training season, I got injured again this time. It was 4 weeks prior to marathon day and man, I was on it. I was hitting 7:45 pace for my 22 mile runs. I was peaking; at the top of my game. I was looking at another BQ for 2015 and a PR in the marathon. Then I fell and hurt my ribs. This is the type of injury you can’t just bounce back from. You can’t put ice on it and hope for the best. It took me fully out of commission for awhile. And I hated it. As each day went by, I realized that the likelihood of me seeing the starting line on 10/27 was not good. It took me a bit before I finally gave in and cancelled my hotel room. I’ll admit, I help out hope that I would wake up one day and feel 100% and be able to go out and do one last long run. But that day didn’t come. I felt as if I let everyone down, but most of all myself. The next few days I had to come to grips with not being able to compete this fall. My friends heard about it and they are saints to put up with me.
As marathon day came and went, I found myself reflecting on the past few weeks and how I wish I would’ve handled things differently. Here’s what I learned from this experience:
1. There will always be another race. It may not be the race you envisioned or the one all of your friends are doing; but there will be others, I promise.
2. Your life will not end because you can’t race. Get some fro-yo and slap on a smile.
3. Look at the down time as a time to refocus and pick up a new hobby; perhaps coin collecting (only a few injuries a year from that hobby).
4. Focus on making others a priority instead of running. I focused on others racing and how I can help them. I focused on making my friendships stronger, being a better girlfriend, sister, and daughter.
I feel for all runners who are on the injured list. I know what it’s like; it’s not pretty. It’s gonna be hard but you’re strong and you’ll get through this.
Runners definitely share some odd traits and I felt the need to start listing them out! I’d love to hear from you all so please share yours below….
1. You frequently have a Garmin watch tan line on your wrist from February to December. Hotness.
2. You have multiple Excel spreadsheets of your training plans.
3. You once hated other people wearing compression socks; but now find yourself owning them in multiple colors. Same could be said for fuel belts.
4. Your kitchen pantry is filled with an abundance of either: GU gels, shot blocks, gatorade, or power bars.
5. You hold on to your old pair of sneakers for no real reason.
6. You have holes in your sneakers from your big toe.
7. You’ve lost a toenail or two.
8. You secretly stalk active.com for new races; as if they’ll just post one today for tomorrow.
9. You spend a Friday or Saturday night prepping for your long run by shoveling enormous amounts of carbs in your mouth and going to bed at 9:30 like an old lady.
10. You plan your workouts a week in advance and when you cross off a workout you feel like you just cured cancer.
11. You think its cute when people ask about your “jogging”.
12. You keep snacks in your car or gym bag…you never know when you’ll need to fuel for an impromptu run.
13. You stalk the weather to plan out your weekly runs.
14. You’re always hungry (rungry).