Here’s to another year in the books and hopefully, a better one moving forward.
Let’s dub 2013 as the Year of the Injuries. The year is ending on a pretty down note for me and I’m trying to remain positive heading into 2014, but I don’t want to forget how awesome 2013 really was.
I had to restart running back in January because I took mots of November and December of 2012 off due to work.
In February, I decided to start taking my runs out to Chestnut Ridge, which is all hills. I began a steady regimen of cross training at BikeOrBar. That kept me sane when the first moment of injury appeared at the end of the month (yep, so I’ve been battling some kind of injury since February.)
March came and my foot was still bothering me, but I managed to set my current 8k personal record at 38:13 in the Shamrock Run, despite my foot being an angry little jerk. I went to the doctor about my pain and was asked “How do you feel about not running?” and decided I need a new doctor (which I still haven’t found). I bought my first pair of Newton’s and with that, the foot pain went away.
In April, I traveled to Rochester for my first ever 15k and surpassed the time I was aiming for by 5 minutes. I ran my first double digit run on a weeknight after work, which was a tempo run (and that’s a huge distance tempo run for me). I started adding track work into my training for the first time since high school and I set a new 5k PR, but still was about 8 seconds away from my fastest high school 5k. That same race was J’s first on the morning before his 30th birthday!
In May, I had the best month of training and set my half marathon PR. I started to get burnt out right before my taper, which I think means I did this training cycle pretty spot on for me at the time.
When June came around, I was gearing up for a summer of 5k PRs — I had never sunk below 22:05 in high school and going after that sub 22 has been my goal since I was 14 and I know it’s so close. I got a job teaching fitness classes at a local gym because student loans are expensive, but it’s a win-win for my bank and my fitness. I battled the hip/groin pain for the beginning of June, set my current 5k PR (22:03) in the most humid, sunny evening race and decided at the finish I should consult a sports medicine specialist.
I started my physical therapy in July. I added a few DNS’s to my list and felt pretty terrible about myself.
In August, I started running slowly again with the Color Run and officially learned proper run form. I ran a 10k and the Color Run, all trying to maintain that proper run form. It hurt, I felt slow, but I was happy to be running again.
September came around and I couldn’t sign up for the Fleet Feet 15k because I couldn’t run that distance still. I took on three nights of classes at the gym as my own and concentrated on strength training. I started to pick my running back up gearing for a the Dirt Cheap Stage Race but my right ankle began to hurt.
The month of October felt like a pretty big set back. I started a new training schedule to prepare me for the DCSR, but my ankle really wasn’t feeling too hot. I got my first pair of sneakers for wear testing from Brooks, which was probably the most exciting thing to happen all fall. I took some more time off due to tendonitis in my ankle, but in all we weren’t sure if it was a stress fracture or not.
All the time off didn’t help my ankle in November and Chris sent me for an MRI. I didn’t have a stress fracture and I was cleared to run, even the Turkey Trot. I ran decently for the shape I was in, but discovered I overcorrected my form and my calves were on fire… but my ankle did not hurt.
In December, I started running again to get base mileage to get ready for marathon training next year and even the Lake Effect Half Marathon, but my left ankle began to bother me. I spent a lot of it not running, I learned my gym was being bought out by LA Fitness and everything was up in the air. Now my physical therapist is concerned that I’m not where I want to be and I’m finishing the year feeling a little defeated.
It’s so off from where I wanted to be. I only ran 716 miles this year. It should be double that. The summer I was going to maintain my half marathon weekly mileage and build on it — I wanted 25 miles to be normal at the beginning and by the end of summer, 35-40 to be the typical week. Clearly, that didn’t happen.
2014 is a new year, however. I’m stronger than I was at this point last year so once I can get back onto my feet, the injuries should subside. And once the injuries subside, I can up my mileage, take better care of myself, and continue the strength training regularly… and I’ll be going under 22 in my 5k, under 1:40 in my half marathon, and finishing my first marathon. It’ll happen.