Goals for 2015:
Do a chin-up
Do a pistol squat
Run a 50 miler
Actual Occurrences in 2015:
Lost most of my progress in weight lifting
Gained 10 pounds
Did not start 3 races I was registered for (including 50 miler)
Oh sure this looks awful. Miserable. I think it’s really obvious that my 39th year did not go as planned. I had planned to waltz into 40 with a couple more ultras under my belt and arms that show you EXACTLY where the gun show is. What do they say about the best laid plans?
I spent a lot of time this year crying because my body was failing me, crying because my body failing me was turning my run of the mill clinical depression into AN OCEAN OF DEPRESSION LIKE I’VE NEVER SEEN, crying because that awful doctor kept saying there was nothing wrong with me when I KNEW there was, crying because I have been able to push-ups for years and then one day I walked into my gym and I just couldn’t, and crying because of ridiculous things like laundry needing to be folded. For months I felt like I wasn’t me and I couldn’t even find who me was anymore. And try explaining that to someone. It made no sense to me, so there was no way I could make it make sense to someone else.
Eventually I found a doctor that listened to me and believed me. He gave me rules that I hated, but listened to like rules about not running, how much to run when I start again, no weightlifting (for a while), dietary restrictions. But I listened. I mean, I moaned and groaned, but I listened because I wanted to get better.
And some really good stuff has come out of it!
- I started saying no.
My doc and I think that a lot of these problems started because of my poor stress management. Like awful. It’s not that my life is terribly stressful; it’s that what stress I have, I’m terrible at managing. Add into that the stresses of a 7 day a week exerciser (which can help stress management, I know that, but sometimes it can work against you/me), my body revolted. I found that when people ask me to be in charge of things, I get super stressed. In fact, just saying no stresses me out, but I realized that I have to set better boundaries about what I can give. I had some very dear friends remind me over and over again that what I give is enough. And I’m getting better at believing it.
- I started meditating.
Meditating always seemed like one of those things that “would be good for me” but I was scared of and assumed I would be terrible at. The inside of my brain is often in spastic teenager mode and it seemed impossible to change that. BUT, I’ve read a few books, tried a few apps, and I’m getting to a point where ten minutes every day seems doable and helpful. It’s no cure all, but it seems to be helping to settle the teenage spaz a bit.
- I am trying to become and ACTUAL body listener.
How many times as a runner have I said:
Oh sure the training has been tough, but I’m really listening to my body.
I’ve said it more times than I can count. And it turns out I was a dirty dirty dirty liar. It’s tricky because part of distance running is pushing yourself. You wake up tired but you run anyway because you’re supposed to (the training schedule says so!)and because that way you know you can do it on race day. That’s legit! Pushing myself is why I LOVE distance running! But my medical problems this year have shown me that maybe my macho pushing myself has gone a bit too far. And maybe I need to listen a little closer. I’m working on it.
- Not running a race you want to run sucks, but there’s a lot of races AND THEY HAVE THEM EVERY YEAR!
I have no issues with wearing race shirts of races I didn’t run (I know some people do, and will find this appalling). This year’s collection can be seen here:
To say it was a disappointing racing year is an understatement, it was heartbreaking. But I had an AMAZING year volunteering which made a huge difference. My recovering snail pace doesn’t lend itself to much group running (and my sensitive psyche couldn’t handle the ol go to a group run to get dropped by everyone and then get done only to find they are all gone) but volunteering gave me back a piece of the action! I got to help people and get misty eyed with them and celebrate with them. And I made tons of friends and had great experiences! This was a good call on my part because the volunteering kept my fire burning even though my body was trying to put it out.
So what’s next?
A new age bracket and hopefully a smarter, less stressed, healthier, body listenier, happier me. A meeting with my doc about a potential game plan for the coming year and hopefully lots of other good stuffs!
Sometimes things suck. Thankfully, I am surrounded by amazing people that have stuck with me while I’m a recovering hot mess. Here’s to another year.