So in the past I have been very big on the end-of-year "wrap up" post & the New Year's "goals" post. It wasn't something I did because it seemed obligatory or because everyone else did, and it never felt cliché or like a chore; I really did enjoy & feel like I benefited from looking back over my year, good, bad, or otherwise, and from outlining things I want to work on or accomplish in the coming year.
This year, I was not much feeling the wrap-up post, which is not surprising given that my year (with the exception of two surprise if slow 10K A/G wins, one surprisingly fast half, and a rather bittersweet 11-minute marathon PR) was pretty crappy as far as running goes. And just as things were starting to look up, disaster struck again in late December, and then I REALLY wasn't in the mood to gaze back over the year in soft focus.
No, 2013 in Running, I am not sorry to see the back of you.
I had a lot of plans and ambitions & goals for 2014, but now that I'm going on two weeks & still unable to even walk normally on my left leg, getting into all of that right now seems pointless. I am seeing my doctor about it & hopefully getting some x-rays & an MRI in the next few days; at that point, at least I'll know what I'm dealing with. But there just doesn't seem to be much reason to get too up or down about any running/racing plans until I know something concrete.
That said, there are still some habits & projects I know I want to continue into this year from last year, & some new things I want to work on, so here's a brief overview of what I have in mind:
1) Continue improving nutrition. I am not too modest to say that I actually made some real progress with this in 2013. I got into a healthy breakfast & lunch routine. I started a green smoothie habit that's going on a solid five months now. I started educating myself more (via actual books & science as opposed to the internet) about sports/endurance nutrition. Regardless of what happens with running in the next few weeks or months, that is definitely something I want to keep working on & improving at.
2) Keep reading (Audio books totally count!) Like I mentioned in my last post, reading more was a goal I had for 2013. Jumping from reading 12 books in 2012 to 59 in 2013? I call that success. (Even without audiobooks, I nearly doubled the number of physical paper books I read. Though that is easier to do when you can't run at all or almost at all for months at a time.) There are still so many books I am excited about and I get more recommendations all the time. More specifically, I like Morgan's idea of being sure to read one classic per month, so I might also attempt that.
3) Stay consistent about strength work. I really, really have. It helps when you're in physical therapy & they *make* you do certain stuff, but I have also been trying to learn more about what specifically I should be doing as a runner (and why) both by reading and working with experts in different settings. It's absolutely a case of having more questions than I did when I started, but I've learned TONS, and the questions I have now are more specific & sophisticated (as opposed to the beginning, when my question was basically, "How do I strength work?").
4) Consistent TARGETED stretching. This is not a matter of "do more yoga" (though I hope I am able to do more yoga in 2014; it's just dependent on my work schedule in a way I can't control). It's also not a matter of STRETCH ALL TEH THINGS. It's more about being sure to stretch the muscles where I know that *I personally* am prone to injury because of tightness, mainly quads, hip flexors, & adductors. As my PT put it, stretching everything all the time is like trying to align a bicycle wheel by loosening the spokes on both sides. You have to be targeted to do much good. I'ave learned a lot this year about what my needs are, but being consistent is tough.
So. That's all for now. We'll see what the doc says about my leg on Friday.