Monday, March 20, 2023



Well, so I did it!  I won’t rehash all my previous oversharing about hip and not even knowing how to not RACE in a race, but to simply go and be in it and attend it.  I completely showed up at this race hoping I could actually get THROUGH IT- somehow, which I realized may involve walking, to the finish line.  And I did!

Overall, it was better than I expected.  I was so lucky and happy to know someone else at this race and be able to see them at the start line as they prepared for their BIG EVENT- the marathon with big goals. So, it honestly HELPED ME to not be in my own head.  I was mostly in my head at this point about worrying if I would need to go to the bathroom during the run.

I had jogged a mile as a warm up to get to the start line and I was SUPER nervous because THIS DID NOT FEEL GOOD.  I was having my big unfortunate SHIN / ANKLE cramping issue on that jog, I Have ZERO idea why.  But I thought, well, maybe now after walking it out and standing around for a bit, it won’t happen again.  AND IT DIDN’T! I am so thankful because I seem to have no control over when it comes or not.

Anyway, the race began and I started and stuck to my job of jogging easy and steady.  I started breathing a little, but not at all that first mile typical of a race, and my legs were just literally jogging and I was checking in thinking, anything with shin?  And NOTHING, so it was great!  I had planned that maybe this mile could be a 9 min mile pace, but honestly, I’ve gone out recently for runs and the first mile can be anywhere up to 11:30 even because my legs sometimes just do not function.  I knew on flat, it would be easier, but still didn’t want to overdo since I’m not fit enough to push right now, and I thought 9 may be a good guess.  I was at 8:45.  But I was ok with it being slightly under 9 because my effort was literally just totally fine.  I didn’t want to get excited, and I told myself to just keep it as it was and see how the first 4 miles felt.  I kept the effort, but each mile kept sneaking up a little faster.  I didn’t want to do the wrong thing, but I just kept checking in with my effort and I knew I was just easy and steady and fine.

We were at maybe 3.5-6, heading out of this residential street and up a hill and I was still in a large crowd of people and I Hear behind me, like maybe a tenth of a mile behind me (so not like directly behind me) a guy continuously YELLING something.  Like he was having a conversation ina YELLING voice.  Like he wanted everyone to hear?!  I was like wtf is this guy doing.  Until I realized, OK, I think he is a pacer and he kept yelling out when he could see port a pots coming up on the right, or water stations, reminding people nuun in blue, water in white cups, etc.  He was telling stories though as well and all in this SHOUTING VOICE, which I was honestly like I Have GOT to get away from this guy.  The noise was breaking up my head space and I was kind of like, first: how is a guy YELLING HIS WORDS CONTINUOUSLY, like he has literally not shut up yet.  And also- does he think we really all want to hear his conversations and stories.  They were all fine and random, but I found it odd.  Anyway, I finally disconnected from his noise and let it be less annoying.

Once we entered fort story, I Realized the port o pots weren’t happening anymore and… of course I start to think, uh oh, I might need one.  But it wasn’t a disaster, so I just kept steady and was fine.  I took a stinger for some calories at mile 4 and I wonder if that was what started me thinking I needed to use a bathroom, and then knowing I couldn’t?  Anyway, it wasn’t until afdter the 8 mile mark that there was a bathroom, so I headed into that and luckily was fine for the rest of the race!  I started to also at that point really start to feel LEGS.  Like my running/ breathing/ cardio was FINE… I was not working hard at all.  But my legs were beginning to get fatigued, and I realized I don’t have enough training under me to really know how this is going to go.  I’m still just holding steady effort, although I had descended and had a few miles under the 8 min mile pace at like 7:57, 7:53, 7:53 and I was like NO FASTER SHARON.  But then again, it was flat and I don’t’ even know what that is like since running in reston is so naturally hilly EVERYWHERE.  After I got out of the bathroom, we exited fort Story soon and there we were back in the neighborhood roads, people on the side streets cheering us on.  With my legs getting tired and the worry in my head that maybe my legs wouldn’t be able to keep going, I just committed to getting to the next mile and not doing any pushing.

My miles did start to back into the low 8’s for pace here.  I kept thinking about Rachel ahead of me who was on her big marathon day, and how honestly I was SO THANKFUL to not be doing the marathon!  (although I was realizing, dUH, I wouldn’t have as tired of legs if I had because I would have done some more TRAINING!)  I was happy to hit 10 miles because in my mind I had thought, geez, you may have to walk the last few miles back, and I knew at 10 that I could at least run another mile.  And same thing at 11, I was like I can do a mile , I’m still fine, now I’m working and my legs are progressively getting more fatigued but I’m okay and HIP is not doing anything funky with giving out at all!  At 12, I definitely knew I could finish, and maybe tried to just KEEP effort here, although that was now resulting in slowing down.

We turned to go onto the boardwalk and it was CRAZY CHURNING of the ocean, the wind was so strong by the ocean.  I absolutely hate running on the cement boardwalk, even though I love being right up next to the ocean, the cement surface I can FEEL IMMEDIATELY in my feet and legs and back.  But I knew it was just the last bit up to the finish line.  I did get a little extra oomph in last ¼ mile as I saw the finish and again, this was just a feeling of PURE enjoyment of participating and being pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t nearly as slow as I thought I might be.  I literally thought that I might be like 20-30 minutes slower, depending on how things were “functioning”, so I was so grateful to be running in decent form and while not near my regular half marathon times, I was acutely aware that I could have been way back taking a long walk in.  This was such a motivating marathon to me- do be able to participate, and within that participation, realizing that maybe this might be the new normal- not needing to try to go fast, just going with what I have on that day- and it was still REWARDING!!!! 

*It certainly didn’t hurt that we were at the OCEAN and that I got to stay in a room that was OCEAN FREAKING FRONT. Like the entire night before the race, I could hear waves.  It was AMAZING.  I was so thankful in so many ways.

Below are my splits for my review if I ever do this race again.  Thanks for reading😊

Mile 1 8:45

2              8:26

3              8:19

4              8:02

5              7:57

6              7:53

7              7:53

8              8:02

9              8:44 (bathroom break)

10           8:09

11           8:12

12           8:20

13           8:14

Finish    1:38

Total: 1:48:39

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Change in Perspective


                          A New Perspective.

I am supposed to do a ½ marathon this weekend.

(That is ABSURD).

So, some of you know, I haven’t really been able to run much since October.  I have gotten some weeks of running in, some long runs that I have muddled through of 12-14 miles, where I think, ok, I can maybe get through this???

I had a cortisone injection into my hip joint 2 weeks ago, then the 4 days off while letting it “absorb”?  or heal… hopefully?! 

 Literally, I am terrified.  HOW DO I DO THIS?  How do I do a “race” that I am not “ready” for, trained for completely prepped!  As all good Type “A”er personality types, I previously have made DARN WELL SURE to be prepped for any race that I’ve entered (why enter, unless it has been a meaningful and intentional goal to prepare well for).

So, I Need to mentally prepare, because, this is going to be different.  I literally may take over 30 minutes longer than I’ve ever taken to do a half marathon.  I don’t even mentally know how to do that.

Some thoughts:

First:  Where do I even GO at the start line if I’m not trying to go FAST!!!?  Ha!  I won’t really write the answer here because I do not know.  I will try to be smart and put myself in a place that is consistent with being calm and beginning the race in a way that is “sensible.” Which honestly just makes me laugh.  SENSIBLE.  Like sensible shoes?  When I do races, I do not want to be in the category of sensible!  I toe the freaking LINE and will darn well find out if I can hang on!  (maybe this is why I have no hamstring tendons intact?!)  But for this race, I will sit back and pretend I am appropriately calm and collected to enjoy the experience.  I’m going to practice acting like I am fine with arriving as I am, nothing more, nothing less.  (yes, a bit of yoga talk here. I love those words).  I will be near the sounds of the ocean and I will smile in gratitude that I am literally even ARRIVING!  I will rise to simply what IS.

The first 3 miles I will just begin and again, remain calm and check in with awareness of my body.  (are my legs working?) (I am not kidding, these are the questions I will have to ask).  I’m going to not mentally backtrack to last year where I rain so strong in the marathon and qualified for Boston.  I will remain true to what is right today.  Not 2-5-8 years ago. 

Next 5 miles- l’ll focus on keep up this patient work and maybe getting into a groove and running a bit smoother and stronger, mostly more efficient as the time goes on, without causing damage.  Maybe this race is “damage mitigation blended in with being in the joy of race environment”?  Never have I done a race in this state, so the goal really is to FINISH without causing harm, and through these miles it is going to be imperative to be very humble and lose any ego.  I’ve done some runs lately that honestly by 8 miles I’m toasted.  My energy levels are troubling; I’m taking B12 now in addition to Vit D.  I just don’t know if there is an energy problem? Dehydration?  Or am I just simply unfit still from not running for so long?  Either way, These miles I need to go so easy because I’m at a place that I’m not even sure if I can FINISH this run, so I need to change perspective and LEARN FROM THIS SITUATION I find myself in- how to be conservative (in a run sense!).

Mile 8-10.  Since I’m definitely not my fittest, I am going to be asking myself to just still stay as strong and in the game as I am able, taking it with awareness.  If I do not run with intentionality and awareness, I am dooming myself to form that is not conducive to being gentle on the hips.  There can just simply never be a moment of ego arriving during this race.  I am not defined by this day.  Keep moving forward.  This is a great opportunity for growth- we are only growing when challenged, and I know I’m going to be challenged both emotionally and physically in this race.  I want to own the experience, not wallow in frustration that I cannot run as I typically would, but own the experience of doing a race in a condition that is really not optimal.

Mile 10-13.  Check in and if there is anything left, and since this event is all about trying to make some sort of way to the finish line, I am sure that I will be needing to channel my ability to be comfortable while being quite uncomfortable.  Just trying to finish is such a different way of racing for me (or not racing). But here I am, and I cannot overthink it and get lost in my head.  Instead, open to the outside and ENJOY the air, the atmosphere, the community and connection around you.  See what it is like to be in a different group of people in the race than I typically would.  These final miles are going to come down to finding an ability to be full of JOY for something that I love.  And, if I am struggling to finish, maybe all the better- since that is one of the big things that I miss about being in better fitness.  I’m simply LUCKY to be able to be out on the roads, on my feet, in my body, and trying my best.  I’ll take it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

HIPS and BACK, oh my.... 2023


WOW. The body keeps the score.

So, I had my MRI followup today with the orthopedic dr. that specializes in hips. Fun times.  I actually couldn’t wait to go in.  First- I couldn’t wait for last weeks “nap” in the MRI tube.  Then today, I couldn’t wait to kind of hear my future.

After my MRI, I received the report online and saw that it wasn’t great.  Gosh- there were tears in all hamstring tendons, labral tears, bone marrow edema, the structure of my actual bones in hip is not within the degrees it’s supposed to be sitting in, blah blah blah.  I was a little shocked, but also not shocked at all- there was a reason I had gone in- there was bad stuff going on- hip giving out and MASSIVE PAIN when it goes out.  On top of this, although I can “run” sometimes, my entire leg like doesn’t FIRE right- all the way through my calf/shin/ankle/foot.  It is just not firing cohesively and it feels like my calf/shin/ankle are going to explode with pressure.  It’s just strange.  I knew the MRI wasn’t good, but I got to this odd place of almost kind of like laughing it off like “geez, everything is torn, whoa”… knowing I had to wait until today to get more details anyway, so why get too much in my own head about it.

Well, today happened.  When I arrived, I kind of made up a story to myself that maybe I was reading the MRI wrong- that maybe the ortho wouldn’t really think these tears were too bad.. or all the other things too troubling!  And… off I could go, back to the open roads…  Obviously, that was a story.

He walked in and just kind of looked at me, like whhhhhheeeew, and said, well, “there’s a lot going on in your hip and back, isn’t there.”  And so with that, I knew my fake story was not going to hold.

So, we reviewed the tears, both hips now, (one hip full thickness tear of the tendon), a bunch of other fun things, grade 3 arthritis (over 50% cartilage gone), but he said my back is almost as troublesome as my hips (not surprising to me, my back is my real fear in life because when that goes out, I’ve never experienced greater pain). I have herniations L3 and below down to S1 with the bottom one pressing on a nerve root (which I FEEL daily, so again not a surprise to me, almost a nice confirmation). No surgery now because we are going to prioritize problem solving and finding out what is causing maybe the most pain.  I’ll have an injection in the hamstring tendon first.  Then a few weeks later, maybe one in the hip joint to see if that dissipates symptoms.  Maybe one in back.  It’s ok, we don’t need to solve it today.  He said what needed to be said- that this isn’t surprising for someone as active as I am, but I am now at a place that I need to make some decisions because I will not be able to continue doing what I’m doing and he realizes it is also my profession/passion, and I need to come to some thoughts on where I may be headed.  (well, isn’t that an understatement, ahem).

Anyway, so I got a little dizzy and numb and spaced out (and maybe some tears trying to contain in my eyes) and maybe for the first time realized where I am in my life.  I’m not a spring chicken, even though I love to play one by day.  My time is limited, my body only has so much that it can hold up for, I am not superhuman.  And this is obviously a big deal to my heart.  My life since I can remember it has been in sports and active.  I knew from when I was so darn small that moving, pushing myself, playing physically, spoke to my soul.  I somehow get a RUSH from being physical.  Even now, when I hang on my pullup bar to get some traction on my back, if it feels better, I start swinging, and SWINGING reminds me of being a gymnast and somehow the joy of playful moving just lights up my heart.  I’ll be the first to admit, most nights, either as I’m falling asleep or in the middle of night if I’m trying to fall back asleep, I am visualizing myself doing bar or beam routines (of course never vault!!).  I picture myself doing routines and movements I’ve never even done- way above my level, but it is still just this weird OBSESSION.  I often think there is something majorly wrong with me that I am this old, still doing routines in my head, but other times just am having fun with my fake routines in my head that I don’t mind!  It is what I’ve always loved, who I am.

This past December, after I went surfing in Hawaii, I couldn’t believe that for about 2 weeks after, my night time “visualization” routine went to SURFING- was so odd- I just kept repeating this EXHILARATION feeling that I got a few times when the speed of the wave caught me at just the right time and there was this HUGE FORCE just pulling me on the board.  It was this perfect mix of a bit scary and just pure DELIGHT.  This just reinforced to me what I already know- MOVEMENT just speaks to me.

For whatever reason, the exhilaration of pushing, the frustration of the struggles, the exhaustion of the grind, the perseverance in the goal are in the fibers of my being, my true essence.  I love racing, but it is the daily/weekly/monthly training that gives me pure joy in the journey.  I’ve literally never known life without this daily chasing of a goal, and so there it is- I definitely feel this gut punch.  This reality of needing to set some shift in priorities and long term thoughts, this recognition that my time is limited to achieve some of my running and triathlon goals is not what I wanted.  But it is what it is, I’ve done literally every single thing I could to stay healthy and strong, and this is where the cards fell with my body.

Do I have a pang of pissed off ness?  Yes.  I have a little pity party for myself thinking that my body has ALWAYS felt against me, specifically of course when it mattered most when I was a young gymnast.  Now, I feel like I’m just in an alternate fight against my insides which feel red, raw and occasionally now give out on me.  Frustrating.

But I also realize, I’ve sure had a really good run at all this that I’ve loved.  I’ve put on these old bones thousands of miles.  I’ve run through desserts, along oceans, through mountains.  I’ve connected with cities and towns that I’ve traveled to for races by being literally IN THEM- in the streets.  In grinding out the last 10K of marathon, I always feel like you get “connected” to the earth you are in the midst of.  I’ve seen sunrises, run in the dark, my first marathon and Ironman were in the pouring rain. What a FULL RIDE it has been.  I’ve ran in Oregon, California, Arizona, Vermont, Alabama, Wisconsin, and all over the east coast.  I’ve run in closed off streets in DC (swam in the filthy Potomac River), but just am thrilled to have had the capacity to do all that I have done.  It has been an honor to get as far as I did:  remember, I was the girl who got mocked by her high school gym coach when I couldn’t finish the mile without walking and she screamed across the track, “Sharon Anderson, the GYMNAST- cannot run a mile”. (horrifying… but as always, don’t ever doubt me).  I began doing these races because I wasn’t sure I could.  I was running FROM stuff, and ended up running into the dream of a lifetime. 

I’m not done completely.  I am thinking, strategizing, prioritizing.  I’ll have to be choosey with my training and my goals.  I’ve done Big Sur marathon, which was a huge bucket list item.  But I do have  more, and now I have to see how I can manage to do what I can with whatever my cartilage/bones/tendons have left.  And who knows, I’ve committed to myself that I WILL live in Hawaii someday, so maybe daily surfing is in my future…. I mean…. Less stress on the joints, right?!

So there it is.  Thanks to so many of my friends for caring and knowing this is something I’m really working to process and put together right now.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

PRUNING.... making the way for health.



Yesterday, Mother Earth gave us a respite and the afternoon temperatures reached the 60’s and the SUN was out, so I went out to do 20 min of clearing out the winter gardens, which is always good for my soul.  When the hydrangeas are in their winter stage, it is easy to see what needs to be cleared and pruned out, but I haven’t honestly been as good over the years at this as I’ve needed to, because I hate being out in the cold weather, as many of you know.  So, this is a task that gets forgotten and overlooked historically over the years.  When I do it, it isn’t usually done completely or well.

As I was getting into some of my beloved hydrangeas, I was noticing so many dead shoots.  They were actually overwhelming; it almost seemed the whole bush might be looking dead. I had to keep getting rid of so much dead that I didn’t even know had died.  I realized that all of this overgrowth- of not getting rid of the dead stuff over the years (or at least not completely) ended up killing off other branches because of overcrowding.  There was no room for healthy growth because the dead wood was essentially suffocating out any potential for the whole hydrangea to be healthy.

It struck me so harsh and apparent…. How timely…. To realize that not doing the maintenance needed limits full potential of growth.  Limits full flourishing.  Continuing to do things that aren’t productive and healthy and positive smother the space for joy.  Our lives have only a certain amount of space in each day, and if we are choosing, even if that choosing is in a passive way of choosing to not act, we are choosing to smother ourselves.  We are choosing to not live fully.

Sometimes it is brave to prune.  It’s like acknowledging the death of a dream, the need to clear away, the acknowledging the end.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

January Wrap up 2023



How freaking fast did THAT go??!!

Seriously. (or actually was it LONG, haha!) I love January- the new-ness- new goals and intentions, and I also DETEST January- the grey and cold.  It’s been a month. 

So, I’m asking myself to kind of come back here, to myself, to my honest place- this little space of writing which is really just enjoyment and accountability to myself.  I’m coming back here to ask myself- “DID YOU RISE?”

RISE is my “intention of the year/word of the year”. And so I should ask myself this once in awhile and readjust when necessary, be honest enough with myself to hold myself accountable.  I mean, if it matters to me, I should be able to be honest with myself.

Was it my best month?  NO.  I was down and frustrated.  My hip gave me trouble basically after the first week into January seemed to get worse.  My mood went right along with that and the weather and rain and cold and dreary air that looked like sad air to me.

Here is what I did.

For my hip:  I did not give up.  I kept going for chiro/went to my PT/ made an appointment now with ortho and I am sure after that I will get an MRI.  So the plan is in action for me to dive deeper and see where things are really standing with my hip.  I listened to it and did my best. I did all I could do.  I literally am unable to power through when my hip is not letting my leg work (often when I cannot run, I know it is TRIGGERED by what is going on in the hip, but the pain that makes me stop/ that I cannot push through has been in my calf/shin/ankle with some sort of pressure that flares and literally I think my leg will explode.  I cannot run through it).  2 weeks ago, my hip started giving out/ I couldn’t stand on it for a few days.  Then I couldn’t go UP the stairs.  Funny enough I could jog a little but just not go upstairs. And I would gasp doing little small steps randomly.  That week hurt so bad, and had my nervous system just ON FIRE with pain, so ….. there were tears.  I really hate being in nerve pain.  Luckily that seems to have dissipated to a great degree and probably as I write this it is about 5x/day maybe where my hip seems to “go out” and I catch myself with my other leg (yes, as I gasp… which I Really hate, but the searing pain just takes my breath away, does anyone else have this?)  That being said, I’ve now had a few days where I can run again?  I have no idea when I head out if I will be gone for 90 seconds or an hour.  So, I have mentally gotten myself to this place where I am just trying to roll with it and if I have to come back after 5 minutes, then I have to just get on my bike, do other stuff- drills, strength, movement that I CAN do.  This is not my favorite option, but it is reality.  So I’m just trying to both accept it, but not grow stagnant and let myself waddle into pitiful shape. I have been successful at daily doing the things I’ve asked myself to commit to that I know helps my hips:  rolling, trigger point, daily yoga and mobility.  I am doing all that I can.

Now, turning to my lack of love for this season:  I have an actual spreadsheet, guys.  And on my spreadsheet are my “tools” that I Use to keep me healthy and happy.  I’ve of course added drinking water to this because I just cannot do it without giving myself the pleasure of checking off a box at the end of the day… but- I have about 8 other tools that I have identified and I commit to as many of those things each day as I can to serve my mental health, joy, and prioritize staying on track.  I do these things knowing that they are little moments that I can claim for ME- that I am taking care of myself with being intentional. The day will GO BY without them, so I OWN that they are part of “my work”!  And yes, I call this RISING to take care of myself fully. 

A trick that I have used for years that I continue to use daily is the “Today, I GET TO” question.  Every morning, I ask myself 1-2-3 things that “I GET TO” do.  So often, I realize- the things that were weighing me down on my shoulders as things that I “have to” do….. are actually GET TO do things- I find that I really can see them as a privilege to do, a joy, an opportunity.  For me personally, this little reframing each morning can be the difference between a gloomy mindset and the start of a great day.

I am here at the end of January…. Not where I want to be yet, but on my way daily😊


Sunday, January 1, 2023




Well, I cannot believe I’ve never used this as my “word” for the year previously since I love it so much…. So much that I used it long ago as part of my business name.

2023- year of RISE.

First though, why do I even choose a word?  Well, I believe strongly that our life tells a story and we get to really narrate that story, choose the direction, as well as live intentionally within and through that story.

I am going to use the word RISE to remind me to daily, even moment to moment, RISE to be who it is that I want to be.  *By saying this, I’m no way saying that “I’m not enough” etc …. But I believe if we are given this precious opportunity in life, it is on our shoulders and heart to be IN THE ARENA, IN THE WORK, of being aware and intentional in the pursuit of fulfilling our potential.

I want to RISE to the goals that I have already chosen for this year, as well as RISE above the challenges and roadblocks that I find in the way.  Nothing will happen without RISING TO IT.

I want to RISE to do the things that are HARD for me (even if this includes drinking water), but other things I’m working on that I have to remind myself to do: take time to walk the dogs, even when my body is tired, take time to roll/trigger point for my joints/muscles, to rise to do the SMALL things that support the bigger things.  I believe that our proudest moments in life happen from things that maybe kicked us in the rear, spat in our face, knocked us off a cliff…… and then we RISE AGAIN.  (Let it be said that I really am not asking to be kicked/spat on/thrown off cliff… I actually have had a lot of these experiences already…. Just saying that I am committing to RISE in the face of adversity (not that I’m ASKING for adversity😊!)

I want to RISE above my fears that maybe say I don’t have it in me to achieve some of my BIG GOALS that maybe I’m not even sure if I can do.  This will be the year I rise to work on them.  And yes, I have specific goals that I have maybe given into fear and not fully pursued and kept on the back burner.  I’m coming for you…

RISE above distractions- I’m holding myself accountable to my TIME.  Obviously, we each have limited time.  I won’t be scrolling away my goals and pursuits.  I have decided I’ll stay “on” social media in some ways, but also have set very clear for myself what this will look like in order to not cave into mindless numbing distraction.  I’ll also rise above distractions of what doesn’t serve me- I have honestly limited energy- I GIVE too much energy in all the things I love, it is my life blood.  It also really fatigues me by the end of the day and week.  It is on ME, no one else, to RISE above the distraction of giving into wonder and worrying about cares and ruminating about things that aren’t serving me well.

This word for the year, RISE, also reminds me and challenges me to go FURTHER AND HIGHER, to not limit myself with my thoughts.  I can with confidence rise to who I fully am, who I will fully grow into this year, as I day by day work towards being my best version of myself.

I want to share this beautiful sentiment with you that I read:  Either way, it’s wise to understand how our aims for the future relate to our path in the past. Goals and New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be isolated aspirations, failed and forgotten. Instead, they can contribute to crafting a life theme and an identity that endure.~Kira Newman, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 WRAP UP...




Anything worth doing is worth taking the time to be intentional, so here I sit, wrapping up another year.  I always try to look critically, but also positively at everything that led me to the place I find myself at the end of the year.  It is what it is, so I want to LEARN and move forward better, with a plan coming from both the positives and negatives of this past year.

I started off the yar with my big theme of “ALL IN”.  I wanted to be “all in” for my goals.  If I was going to say something, then I would make it happen with attention, a narrow focus on the small things, as well as a broad focus on the big picture.

My first big goal of going “all in” was in doing Shamrock Marathon in March.  I wanted to do a new to me race- even though this race has gone on for years and I know people who have gone down to do it, for me, I’ve just never considered going to the ocean in the winter😊  But this year, I wanted to commit myself to a new race- walking into something I didn’t know about, and make it happen.  I’m really glad I did that.  I love that I have a bunch of “favorite” races (Eagleman, Annapolis/luray), but it’s good to go somewhere and be a bit scared of the unknown.  My goal was to qualify for Boston in this marathon, and I did. I am overall happy with that- was the race a perfect success?  No, I definitely had to work so hard and had doubts and fears (and mostly feel irritated at my GI system issues in this race) but I had the GRIT, I was ALL IN in not giving up during this race.  I proved to myself that I still had the deep core WILLpower to get through.  To mentally persevere.  As I’ve gotten older, I wasn’t sure if I had lost that, and I honestly love that I found it within myself to channel my no quitting fire.

My next goal was Eagleman 70.3. 

The “why” behind this race was because, even though I’ve done it about 10x, my last was a DNF.  It was a year that I just lost my mental mojo, maybe overtrained?  Or maybe just lost a bit of my spark?  But, I literally walked off the course back to my car during the run course.  I literally just didn’t feel like running that day.  So, I needed to get back and to FINISH Eagleman again.  I did.  The goal was to finish, and I did.  Would I have liked a faster time, yes, but I came to this race, and did what I set out to do. 

That was early June and I had planned to then recover/ I knew I had travel with my daughter for a big vball tournament, and I would take that time to recover.  She ended up getting Covid and getting it BAD, and we ended up in the Emergency room, and it definitely took some wind out of my “life sails” for maybe a month after that.  I Just felt like I daily was just reliving the sight of her passing out/ not being able to stand, and I just lost some interest in pushing to my deepest levels.  It was time for me to take a few weeks and just enjoy breathing.

I got back into my efforts to get ready for end of season races:  Luray Triathlon- one of my favorites.  I came to this race to race with everything that I had, and I did.  It was a disaster the night before the race with pre-race anxiety like I’ve never had ever, and it showed me that I definitely have had some years off and have some mental skills to work at, but this was GOOD.  (The fact of showing up was even good after that night!)  I ended up 3rd overall woman, and obviously was really happy with that.  Not only that, but I just felt STRONG, FIT and doing the thing I Love to do.  Nothing better. 

One week later, I was at another fave:  Annapolis 10 Miler.  I’ll be honest- looking at this race- I didn’t have as much of a strong “why”---- it’s just because it’s what I do the last weekend in August!  I do enjoy it, but I realize now, I might not have had a solid enough why, as well as well defined GOALS.  I did well in the race, am happy overall with how I did, but it was a DARN HOT HUMID morning and whoa, it was one of the hardest A10’s I’ve ever completed.  There were times I was like how am I going to get to the finish of this thing.  So, again, I’m glad I gritted it out, proved to myself that I still have some fire in me, some grit and finishing power.  I look back and wish I had maybe been more “numbers oriented” with this race- trying to actual HIT a certain time, rather than just go and “run strong and solid.”  I feel like maybe that was a bit of a cop out that I didn’t even know I was doing?  I feel like this maybe wasn’t “all in” during the prep.

With that race finished, I had one more race on my schedule:  Amelia Island ½ Marathon in October- again – an effort to do something NEW (as well as get myself to the OCEAN!! HAHA!)  My original idea was go and have fun- then hop in the ocean after!  However, once I started really feeling like I was holding some good paces, PLUS this race would be relatively flat, I started realizing, I am close to the qualifying time for NYC marathon (and I keep not getting in off of the lottery)…. So I decided to go for it!  I had some really awesome and strong training, and was frankly LOVING IT.  Then about 3 weeks before race, I got sick.  I had 2 weeks of not feeling well, missed training both of those weeks. (allergies, got 2 infections). I thought that maybe it would just be an interesting taper, tried to get some intense shorter workouts the week before the race in an effort to still pull together my goal, but it didn’t happen.  I still loved this new race, I feel like I definitely learned from it (yes one thing being that a 2 week sickness prior to a half marathon (clearly this was not an actual taper) does not work well for my body!! I did not qualify for NYC marathon, (but I WILL.).

Somehow, this race kicked me in the ass- my calves were super sore and I knew that even DURING the race.  The weird thing was that when I traveled home, it wasn’t my calves, but my hamstrings and hip that were KILLING me, and… long story short:  I did’t run for 2 months.  I tried.  I came home literally in tears.  My leg did not WORK.  It wasn’t just sore.  I couldn’t move it.  I couldn’t run.  I would get to the next driveway and be all funky and couldn’t even figure out how to land on my foot- the whole nerve down to my foot was just pissed off and not working. 

This taught me a bit.

I hadn’t been hydrating well.  I hadn’t been taking care of my muscles in a way that an athlete would.  If I am going to go for big goals, I need to hydrate, roll, take care of things in a deeper way that addresses the fact that I’ve got some underlying body “issues.”

And I WILL.  I already have a bit of a new daily plan and am working to keep at it and hydrate, and continue an anti-inflammatory diet, and do all the “non trainining- training things”!  does that make sense?  It’s like I can do the workouts, the physical training, the strength, but if my tissues, body, muscles aren’t overall healthy, it won’t result in success.

So, this is kind of my year in review of RACING.  Of course, that is not my whole me.

I am also doing this separately for work, family, life, and various categories of goals and intentions that I have for myself.  I am thankful that I feel I am in a place of balance with going only in hard in some categories as what allows me to maintain goals and expectations of myself in other “categories”.  Life is always pulling, and I want to make sure I live in alignment with my values.