I wrote that annotation with fingers crossed; my stubborn optimism in putting it out to the universe was intentional. I really felt if I kept that title in my sights, then surely 2018 wouldn't fail me as 2017 had.
It seems to have worked.
|As of December 24, I've run 358 miles in 2018; in 2017, I ran 186.
I took inspiration and motivation from my online running groups again, which I had shut out a little into 2017 because it hurt to see so much running success when I was injured. The Sub 30 Club, my fellow bloggers, and especially the Skirt Sports sisterhood have given me more than they can know.
To look at miles-run or paces-met would be silly. This year can't be quantified by data so easily. This was a year of feeling. Of getting back in tune with my body and mind. Of indulging in what felt good instead of what a plan or schedule dictated. It was a year of getting back to basics.
I tested my limits. I took risks and faced fears. I surprised myself.
How does one write a year in review for a year such as this?
Well, this one doesn't. But there are a few things I want to revisit/highlight for myself. Here are some of my milestones of 2018:
January: I started the year with a mindset to hit restart. I considered the end of 2017 to be the end of a Part I of my running "career"; 2018 began Part II.
My first run back after my second surgery, I was scared to run alone but neither did I want to run with someone. I remember how nervous I was, because I felt at the edge of a precipice. There was nothing else standing in my way at this point; I'd had both surgeries and was done with PT. I had nowhere to go but up, but I was terrified I'd fail.
|Velociraptor'ing with joy!
February: February was a huge month for me. I felt very much how I did as a brand new runner, scared to run alone and unsure of how much my body could handle. I was finding my legs and my confidence again.
But this was the month I ran 3 miles for the first time since my surgeries, and of course my first race back. My goal was for A1A to be my comeback 5k, and I meeting that goal was surreal. It marked a strong start to the new year.
|In December 2017 I told my PT my goal was to run/walk a 5k in February 2018. And I did.
getting my second tattoo, and embracing growing stronger from setbacks and defeats.
April: I faced my fear and ran the bridge for the first time since I began noticing symptoms of compartment syndrome. I am so glad I had Elizabeth there to encourage me and push me out of my comfort zone.
I ran the Halifax 5k, which meant conquering another giant bridge, and placed 2nd in my age group. I still reread this post with a sense of disbelief. The rate of my recovery and bounce-back was unfathomable. After a full year of injury, I could hardly believe I was not only running, but running well.
poem. This year was truly about regeneration and transformation.
June: My highlight for June is a little different. I introduced Pudge and Elizabeth and I began running as a trio!
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
I came to the realization that my body was truly recovered and I was ready to start adding distance and training for a longer race if I chose, but wasn't ready to pull the trigger. And, on the tail end of that realization, I did my first monthly review in a year and was shocked to see I'd steadily been building mileage.
October: I got the best news ever and suddenly was no longer conflicted about starting a training plan! I signed up for my favorite race, my dream comeback half marathon, the A1A half!
November: In November, I officially started training for said race! It had been so long and training felt so good. I got to create my plan and bask in the motivation that comes with the early stages of a training cycle. And best of all, I got to run my first long runs in ages!
December: The last month of the year was a month of coming up against some setbacks and overcoming them gracefully and with determination. I didn't let an extended cold and its interruption of my training throw me off. Likewise for a very busy volleyball season.
I had a few runs that truly felt magical. I realized that my mindset now is unlike any I've ever had when it comes to running.
When I started running, most of my accomplishments were externally motivated. Even when running alone, I always knew there would be someone to tell me good job and offer praise. I even started this blog hoping a public forum like this would keep me moving. I needed the races and the medals to stay on track. I really think a year of injury broke that habit, and this year of recovery has changed me.
The symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for compartment syndrome in 2017 brought me face-to-face with how much this sport had changed me and become part of my identity (sometimes to a worrisome degree); 2018 has given me a chance to start over with a healthier mindset, more confidence, and a stronger body that I know can do hard things.
Running is all shiny and new again, and I am too.