Monday, January 4, 2016

Looking back and forward... and up

I haven't been blogging much. I also haven't been running all that much. I took a nice long break after the last half-marathon. I continued to run, but felt no guilt at skipping runs to meet a friend for a hot beverage or to do my Christmas shopping or to simply avoid the cold. As such my stats fell WAY down (this is the first year I didn't go up in my yearly stats too).

2015 Running stats

But I can't say I regret it. I feel balanced and in control. I'm not running to lose weight or to make it to the Olympics. I'm running to feel better and to be happier. So if I skip a run here or there and spend that time doing something else that makes me happy? No guilt.

That's not to say that I'm done running or that I don't have future goals or dreams. But I was beginning to feel bogged down by them and I'm glad I took a step back and remembered why I am doing this in the first place.

I'm going to try to stay on a nice routine this winter for as long as I can. At the end of the month I'll be having a little surgery that will put me on the bench for a short time. I'll have to start slow and short and build back up from that.

At the beginning of 2015, I wrote:

I'm keeping my goals for 2015 simple:
1. Run 3 times a week2. Bike 2 times a week3. Cross train (strength, core, etc.) whenever I can4. Run with friends whenever I get the opportunity! 5. Be the best runner I can be
I'm not giving myself any time goals. I would like to PR at both the 5K and half marathon this year. I'll work damn hard to do it. But I'm not going to define myself by that. I'm not going to judge my success on numbers. I'm not an elite, not a pro, I'm just another Strong Running Mama trying to stay sane and be a good example to my kids. If I do the majority of my runs with a smile on my face (or at least in my heart) and run with friends and laugh, I'm doing pretty good. I am a million light years ahead of where I was 5, 10, 15 years ago. 
For most of the year I did run 3 times a week. I fell off the biking over the summer. It's hard to use an indoor stationary bike when your kids are outside playing. Someday I'll be able to add outside biking to the mix, but not quite yet. I did cross train whenever I could. And I ran with friends whenever I could too. 5:15 am runs are just not for me. I need sleep and if I don't have to get up that early to run (because I can run after preschool drop off), well, I'm not going to. But I have tried to run with Jen on the weekends as often as I can.

Running and biking combined. 

I did PR at both the 5K (and broke that a few months after) and the half marathon this year. I actually had a really good racing year and I think keeping everything in perspective helped.

Back in July (after that big birthday of mine) I bought myself a Garmin Vivofit 2. It's an activity/sleep tracker that works well with the Garmin running watch I have. Someday I'll write up a proper review but today is not that day. From July-December I racked up 2,452,591 steps. That's over 2 million steps in 6 months. Since I wear it 24/7 that number naturally includes all my running miles as well. But an awful lot of those steps are just me getting chores done in the house. I shoot for 10,000 steps a day and most days I do more. All the running in the world doesn't mean anything if you go back home and sit on the couch for the next 8 hours. I am a lot more conscious of any inactivity thanks to the Vivofit (it has a red line that gets longer and longer if you don't get up and walk. Long car rides kill me). This is actually one of the reasons I don't blog as much anymore. I hate to sit for extended periods of time now.

In light of the unknowns about the upcoming surgery (it's possible it will take me longer to bounce back) I am hesitant to have concrete measurable goals. It would be great if I could get my mileage back up but if I wind up needing more than a month off, it may not happen. I'm not signing up for any long-distance races (Ragnar not included). So this year, 2016, I'm going to challenge myself in different ways. I'm going to go outside my comfort zone. I'm going to run toward what I always run away from. This year, I'm going to embrace the hill. I'm not concerning myself with speed (yes, I know hills are speedwork in disguise) or overall distance or anything truly measurable. I am simply going to tackle the hill (really, all hills) and go forward and overcome it. By the end of the year I hope to conquer it and be able to say "yeah, I can run anywhere, any race" without stressing over elevation maps.


Darlene said...

You had a great year! Congrats on the PRs. Good luck with your surgery. I hope it's for nothing serious. See

Jedimama said...

Thanks Darlene! Just a little hernia. *Should* be nice and easy.