Thursday, January 2, 2014

O Hai, 2014.....

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.


  1. I am going to try really, really hard to read 50 books this year. And actually clear out the huge stack of magazines that always seems to pile up next to my bed. More real reading, less internet stalking! (OK, maybe that is a lofty goal ... )

    1. What???? Less internet stalking???? Sacrilege.

  2. #3. I need more #3. Targeted stretching is saving my bones!

    1. Lol, that post had two #3's. Fixed!! Go targeted stretching!!

  3. I am so sorry about the leg - utter shocker! I like the resolutions though...lots of nodding from here!

  4. I am sorry to hear that you're dealing with an injury. I am down for the count, too, and man is it frustrating! I think you've got some very admirable non-running projects ahead. Good luck!