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.

Monday, December 12, 2022



I ran Amelia Island ½ in October, and somehow during? After?  I got injured?

My good hamstring and hip became UNUSABLE.  I could not fire the leg, something on the nerve? The hamstring was just totally stuck and the line down the leg was unusable, I literally couldn’t run- pain, but also because it was like “funny running” like Phoebe on friends running.  I couldn’t get my body to go.

It has been 6 weeks.  I’m frustrated (but at the point I can see a glimmer of hope I think?)

But, I always think there are lessons learned.

I go back to try to discern WTF happened? I was really super fit a month before the race – aiming for my goal of qualifying for NYC marathon with a fast ½ time.  Then, 3 weeks before race, I got sick and my taper turned into….. basically sickness.  I wondered, “well maybe we can see what a really LAZY taper will do?” like maybe it would be ok?  I had a week before the race where I tried to do some runs/intervals to kind of get back up on my feet and pretend that maybe this experiment would work?

I arrived at the race and really thought I may be ok?  I started strong and legs died.  I thought I would be sore and recover.  Instead, my sore calves turned into injured hamstrings and hips?  FOR 6 weeks?  MY GOSH. Seriously. I can understand like 2 weeks, but then let’s get back. But NO: I would go out and “try” to run and literally within 60 seconds my run gait was a NO GO- things were not FIRING on the left side of my body- my hamstring was just JACKED and my calf on that side was feeling like it was going to BLOW UP and my foot felt like it didn’t know oddly how to even land.  I knew I was only doing more damage.  I was completely halted; there was NO DOUBT I could not run.

I hated this.  I wanted to have a season of easy, joyful running with just nothing but ease and gratitude and kind of a lazy mindset!  Instead, I had to get back on my trainer a bunch and get in some biking hours, walking (although I even felt it walking), ugh. Just didn’t feel good.

I spent a lot of time trying to do the maintenance, TOO LATE.

So, I learned… AGAIN… my lesson of not just trying to get fast and fit.  But taking CARE of the HEALTH OF THE MUSCLE TISSUE.  Like you cannot be 100% at peak performance without being HEALTHY.  Without doing the basic maintenance of rolling, maybe getting deep into problematic areas, using trigger point balls, maybe getting massages regularly which I haven’t prioritized.  I had noticed a huge right/left difference between hip flexors this past fall and…. You know what?  I noticed it, but didn’t really INVEST IN IT.  I admit.  I noticed it so much- when I would be training people I would ALWAYS show/demo things on my other side and realized how much I was favoring that side.  I got GREEDY.  I was greedy going for speed without doing the basic accounting of my body.

My physical therapist 4 years ago when I had to stop for a bit because of my opposite hip, told me that I had to “race at the level I was at”… which was so humbling and true.  Because I KNEW… oops!!!  I literally remember being on a race course saying to myself, I will win this thing even if it is above my level and I will just MAKE IT HAPPEN by WILL.  Ugh. Dumb.  And I paid the price.  GREEDY.

So, my mantra after that has been, “don’t get greedy for speed.” Just do what is truly yours.

I also had 2 races this past year where afterwards (I even wrote about it in 2 previous blogs)--- the thing that was getting me was this LEFT hip which is my GOOD hip????  Hmmmm.. and so it finally stopped giving me HINTS and gave me a big SHOUT OUT! 

OK, so let’s just get this wrapped up.  I am back to “jogging” (good grief running is FREAKING HARD when you haven’t been doing it- I used to go out for 15 mile run and just love it and n ow- 5 miles?  WHOAAAAA… feeling it, mentally and physically).  I may be back to jogging, but it will come back unless I do some BIG WORK AND COMMITMENTS.

What will I do going forward.

*DAILY CORE :  I need to make sure I keep some tough workouts going daily.  My core class is hard and challenging and I participate (plus do it all in advance to plan) BUT… I need to do more ON MY OWN ABS that are at the level of me so I am paying attention to MY BODY, not to the class.

*Daily yoga with focus on:  TWISTS (I am like a rigid board in my back- always have been.)  I need to not push it, but daily do long easy twists once I’ve warmed.  Also: hip mobility, pigeon, some of my deeper favorites of low chair twist/ pigeon twist/ malasana with thoracic rotation.  And my NON FAVORITES:  such as eagle, (lunge twists), all the twists, reclining yin poses to RELEASE THINGS.

*ROLLING.  I need to roll hips/calves/quads and if I ever have the TV on, I better not have my ass planted on the couch.  I better have my muscles on the roller rolling.

*OUT LOUD:  hydration.  I truly believe this is part of it also.  It is my unhealthiest thing in THE WORLD.  I’m literally embarrassed.  I don’t drink water, I dislike it.  I try.  Every sip of water I take, it is intentional because I do NOT LIKE.  But I think this has negatively affected the health of my muscle tissue.  I’m learning.

I want to be back.

I want to be focused, in training, living my days as they give me HUGE JOY IN going after a GOAL!

I want to commit to the things I don’t love in order to DO THE THINGS I LOVE !!!