Yes, I went to Michigan for Christmas and sort of forgot about blogging. Oops.
But seeing as it is the end of 2012, um, today, I would be remiss if I didn’t spend some time reflecting on the past year. It’s been one of my toughest years, but also one of my best, and I think that warrants some recognition. After sitting down and really thinking about it, I realize there’s a lot here. Let’s break it down, shall we?
Frustrating and disappointing. That’s how I’d describe this year in running. I remember signing up for not one, but two marathons last year on January 1, confident I’d train seriously and kick the marathon in the butt. Not so much. While I did run 2 half marathons this year, the full just wasn’t in the cards. After a painful hip and back injury during my first go at training, I hesitantly began training for NYC in the summer. It wasn’t nearly as manageable as I’d thought. I was exhausted all the time and didn’t enjoy running the way I had in the past. I was frustrated with myself–and disappointed that I wasn’t better at the whole marathon training thing. After all, I’m a runner–we runners seem to think we can do anything. And many of my friends in the running world had successfully trained for and become marathoners. It was just really hard on my body in a way I hadn’t expected. Couple that with the fact that my evil injury returned, and I was doubly frustrated. But by the time NYC rolled around, all the frustration was gone. I’d had a great final 20 mile training run a few weeks earlier, and I felt ready.
And then it was cancelled. I know it was a freak thing with the devastation of the hurricane, but it was really tough to have all that training thwarted by Mother Nature. I attempted Richmond the following week, but my knees weren’t up for it. Essentially an entire year of training wasted. I ran a half the following weekend and haven’t run since.
I’d love to say I’m ready to get back to running again in 2013, but I’m not. I have zero desire to strap on my Garmin and pound out some miles. It’s not that I’m bitter; a marathon wasn’t for me, and I’m ok with that. I just think I got seriously burned out. Hopefully my love for running will return at some point, but for now, I’m ok with taking a break. We’ll see what the next year holds.
I know I’ve mentioned some health issues over the last several months in an obtuse way, and I’m not going to discuss them here, but I do think I’ve overcome them–at least I hope so! Between the stuff that was going on with my health and my running injuries, it’s somewhat strange for me to look back and realize that I wasn’t in great health this year. But I’m feeling great now and excited to keep myself healthy!
Here’s what that’ll look like:
- Drinking 3 liters of water a day (I used to always do this, but I’ve fallen off the wagon, so to speak)
- Continuing to eat a mostly vegan diet
- Incorporating strength, cardio, and stretching (yoga) into my regular workout routine
- Getting lots of sleep–8 hours a night would be amazing. We’ll see. 😉
I had no idea how much becoming a puppy mother would change my life. Having Roo is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. She’s my companion, my friend, sometimes my antagonist, but always one of my greatest sources of happiness.
I wrote a guest post on how she taught me to be resilient, and its success surprised me! Feel free to check it out over on Pick the Brain. 🙂
Happiness has been something I’ve chased for a very long time. I couldn’t understand why other people were happy and I just–wasn’t. It was always something I had to work at–something I had to convince myself of. But I realized that it’s a practice, just like anything else. Some people show a natural affinity for a lot of things. They’re good at sports or singing or, I don’t know, Quiz Bowl . . . but the rest of us have to practice. I finally understood why I wasn’t happy; I wasn’t practicing. Instead, I was practicing being unhappy. Feeling sorry for myself. Sprouting negativity. Always seeing what could go wrong instead of what could go right. You know something? It was exhausting. I didn’t even realize how exhausting until I stopped doing it. As many things in life as there are to be down about, there are twice as many to be happy about. We live in an awful world and a wonderful one, but if you keep dwelling on the bad, the wrongs, the betrayals, that becomes your reality. You have to choose–and it is a choice. As I say to Roo all the time, you have to choose your choice.
This year I have met some of my best friends. I couldn’t exist without my daily email exchanges with Paula or my weekly Skype dates with Corey. It’s weird to think that a year ago, I didn’t know these girls very well, and we’d never met in person. Now, Paula’s been to D.C. to visit me, and I’m spending my birthday in Trinidad with Corey. If you think blog friends aren’t real friends, it’s just not true. They are there for me in a way that most of my “real life” friends never have been. I am so fortunate to have such amazing people in my life.
That’s not to say that I don’t have other fantastic friends that I haven’t met through blogging. But all of my best friends are in Ann Arbor or Richmond or New York or Seattle or Orlando or Port of Spain, which makes my existence here in D.C. a little lonely. It’s tough because I realize that I don’t really have any friends in here. No best friends anyway. Tonight, I’ll ring in the New Year with my puppy and a bottle of champagne and probably be asleep before midnight. I’m ok with that, but isn’t life meant to be shared? It would be so nice not to be alone, but I’ve got Roo, and for now, that’s enough.
Yes, this is representative of my work life: wine and Wheel while catching up on email in the evening. 🙂
Last but not least: work. Lots of changes this year. I moved to a new city for a new job and continued to work my old job at the same time for 5 months. Not recommended. And one more change: as of last week, I left the job I moved here for. I got a call back in November to interview for a job I had applied for back when I began my initial search. It was my dream job, and (I figured) a long shot at that, but interviewing couldn’t hurt, so I went. The interview couldn’t have gone better. The women I interviewed with were amazing–so talented and smart. But the thing that struck me the most was that I could tell they felt excited about me. I know that might sound odd, but to feel like my skills were valuable was something I hadn’t felt in a while. And it was a good feeling. When they extended the offer, I knew I had to accept. It just feels right, and I can’t wait to get started.