Well, it’s 2013. So that’s nice. 2012 was full of ups and definitely full of downs. Most of the downs were related to a certain back injury that had me sidelined for about half of 2012. I’m not even going to take a look at my stated goals for 2012 because most of them were running related, and the fact is that I didn’t even get into honest training for a marathon. Oops.
However, plenty of fun things did happen as a result of not being able to run. While I certainly cried many times (having a doctor say, “So how would you feel if you couldn’t run again?” doesn’t exactly make you want to smile), but it was a little fun to experience a life that wasn’t fully worried about when I was going to run every day…although that being said I’d take it all back in a second if I could have run. But it does make me appreciate how much I love to run and realized that take spin classes or swimming could never replace running for me.
It was also because of the back injury that I threw my hands up in the air and said, “That’s it, I’m going to Africa.” And I did. Literally. I spent three weeks in Africa, and I didn’t even bother packing any running gear. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason…sometimes bad things happen, and I don’t think it’s really for any particular reason. Instead, something bad (or even good!) happens, and that leads to other adjustments. For me, realizing that I had no hope to train for a fall marathon without risking injuring myself in the process made me decide to travel to Africa.
Don’t get me wrong, I love running. Love it. Although I’m sure I’ll always look back on 2012 as the year of the back injury, I know I’ll never, ever forget the trip to Africa and it will always mean more to me than any fall marathon would have. So I have my back injury to thank for that.
All that being said, you can still make plans for the coming year. I don’t believe in resolutions because I don’t think anything major changes from December 31 to January 1 (other than labeling my IV bags with a new year…it was fun to write the start date as 12/31/12 and the expiration date of 1/1/13…nursing fun), but that’s a personal opinion. You just have to realize that the plans may be altered and that that’s okay.
So, after plenty of babble, here are my plans for 2013:
Running was almost taken away from me, and I’m lucky to have it back in 2013. My main plan (forever and ever) is to be injury free. I work in an ICU and therefore I know that I’m lucky that this injury was actually quite small, but your back is so important and not to be messed with. I know to stop and any sign of pain (hopefully none…) and to take care of my body to keep it injury free in other ways. I guess that means I should probably stretch, foam roll, and strength train appropriately…I’ve never been good at any of those, so even doing anything will help. If you hear someone screaming on the UES, it’s probably me foam rolling my IT bands.
Um…what? Well, here’s the fact: One of the things I like best about running is that not a ton of thought is involved in it. Put on your shoes and go. This is mainly what I do, and for most runs (especially lately), I don’t pay attention to pace other than simply to note what it is. My general pace these days is 7:30-8 minute miles. It feels great when I’m running, but later my legs feel tired. Considering that my marathon PR pace is 7:35…SLOW DOWN. I watch my times carefully on any sort of mile repeats or tempo run workout, so the key is to think that some days, a slow pace is the workout. And my body will thank me for it.
I’ve been chasing (sub) 3:10 for awhile and 2012 was hopefully going to be my big year. I’m feeling good about my comeback, but I don’t know if I’ll be in PR shape for Boston, let alone to go after 3:10. We’ll see how it goes, but I am definitely definitely chasing that 3:10.
stop the glorification of busy
I always cringe when someone asks me, “What do you do with all your free time??” when they hear that I have four days off per week. First of all, I work about the same amount as the rest of you, it’s just put together in a different way. Secondly, people seem to think that I should be picking up more hours at work, taking a second job, reading every book possible, or visiting every single museum every single week.
You know what I like to do in my free time? Drink coffee on my couch. Maybe go find a fun coffee shop. Go on long walks. In the summer, sit in the park.with a book and some music. Run whenever I feel ready to. It’s really, really nice. If you ask some people to describe themselves, people will say they’re “always busy.” While that may be true, it generally has a negative connotation because you’re always trying to fit everything in. I like that I’m not always busy, that I do what I like to do and not want I don’t want to do to try to appear busy. I don’t want to fall into the trap of being busy.
Drink that coffee on the couch.
don’t get wrapped up in being on a “normal” schedule
I work night shift. On my nights off, I try really, really hard to get back on a normal schedule. This causes me a lot of stress because it’s not easy to do…so the plan is to not try so hard. Don’t make myself get up at noon after I’ve worked all night. Don’t get angry if I sleep during the day and end up staying up until 4am. In other news, if anyone ever has insomnia, you know who to call.
get on that grad school thing
No really, Susan, figure that out.
I feel like I had a good blogging groove…then injury hit. It’s hard to have a running blog when you’re not running. I kind of lost my way and I think my posting reflected that…I always think that quality is better than quantity, but it’s not like I was posting often anyway. I have plenty of ideas about what to write about (my opinion on women’s races, anyone?), but I’ve mainly stuck to recapping runs and such. Let’s branch out a bit.
write more about nursing
I wrote posts for Nurse’s Week last year, and I think people liked to read them. I know some readers are nurses/nursing students/want to be nurses, and I’m not totally sure why you read since I don’t write much about nursing (but thank you for reading…you might be runners too, which makes sense). The general public doesn’t really understand what happens behind those hospital doors, so I have things I want to share. You don’t have to read if you don’t want to, but hopefully it’ll at least be interesting.
Gatsby in Ethiopia
I like to travel. One of the songs that always pops into my head when traveling is Dave Matthews’ “Lie in Our Graves,” with the lyrics, “Would you not like to be, sitting on top of the world with, Your legs hanging free.” I always picture someone sitting on the wings of an airplane while it’s flying. I love to travel, it gave me great experiences in 2012, and I’m excited to start planning for 2013.
The current travel list includes Germany in September (more on that later!), Bolivia/Ecuador/Peru over the summer with Betsy (so excited), and maybe India or Nepal with Jocelyn. I think that will take up most of my vacation time, but since I’m also hoping to go to Poland and maybe Spain for a Costa Brava running tour. I certainly can go on my own, but I always like travel buddies.
Annnnd that’s a wrap
Do you have any plans for 2013? Want to travel with me? Any blog topics you would like to read in 2013?