Believe it or not, I hand-wrote the beginning part of this blog post in early February. Then, in early March, I finally got around to typing it. Now, it’s late April and so much has changed. The following entry will be a pieced-together version of what I wrote at the very beginning of the new year and now.
I really wanted to write more in 2019. I had several blog post ideas, even a few partially drafted, including writing about my trail running experience in the Ragnar Trail Relay in Michigan. That was really something! I carried noisemakers when I ran in the dark at 3am! Since it is [now months] past the new year, it is much too late for me write about my “2019 year in review.” Honestly, I do not want to analyze the numbers and compare myself to others.
But, I will tell you the highlights. I picked up another hobby: hiking. Tell me all your favorite trails! I discovered local trails, mini-day trips to new areas, and made a point to go on a popular trail across the state on my annual “sister trip.” Instead of running all the time, I added more strength workouts. While I hardly made time for hot yoga at the studio, I did not run any half-marathon races either. I’m not even sure what my longest run of the year was! Doesn’t matter!
With encouragement, or nagging, depending on how you look at it, some of my friends laced up their shoes and ran 4k, 5k, and 10k race distances for the first time or the first time in a long-while.
I also spectated at a VIP’s race.
I was inspired by running friends who dedicate their runs to others.
These are the things that matter to me more than the number of miles I ran over the course of 365 days.
What about this year?
A very brief backstory: In 2018 and 2019 I used Lauren Fleshman’s and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas’s running journal. At one point near the end of last year, I asked around what was everybody’s recommended running journal. (Which, I don’t believe I received any suggestions). Even though I liked the large spaces to write workout details on and the bottom corner to record cumulative miles, I only read about six pages of the-what-60-pages of extra content (after each month there were several pages of advice or digging-deep within – I’m actually not 100% sure because I didn’t read it). There are spaces to record monthly reflections and re-evaluate their goals. Even weekly tips or inspirational quotes for each week? Nope, didn’t touch it.
Between not having solid race goals (or following through with them) in 2019 and all the opportunities for additional journaling, I couldn’t keep up with it. On top of that, it bothered me that I wasn’t using pages that I paid for (the journal wasn’t that cheap as far as notebooks go). It felt like a chore. I still utilized it for runs and detailing workouts, hikes, strength-workouts, and days that my Achille’s acted up.
This year? I’m not using a journal. At all. (Besides a super simple notebook that I record the date and distance, race and time.) No purchased logbooks.
The result? Less stress! I’ve done the strength workouts, yoga sessions [at home, too, because quarantine], went hiking in the snow… and I do not feel the need to record all the activities. It’s quite liberating.
For the record, I do encourage journals to new runners and everyone starting to make exercise a habit. I see the value in doing so; there will always be opportunities to build confidence and achieve goals aided by keeping detailed journals. But I’m not doing that in 2020.
When, and if, I decide on a goal race, I will likely make a table to log specific workouts and intervals. It has always helped my confidence going into races. I signed up for my first race of 2020 scheduled for the end of April. No time goal in mind, just to keep me moving this winter/spring and go from there.
…Hold up! Now, it’s Saturday, April 25th. Today would have been my race! But it got moved to a later month because of the pandemic.
Truth: I have not ran in weeks. And that is OKAY with me! If the race were to go on, I’m sure I would finish fine and without injury, just would have been slightly torturous. Once the pandemic hit, work schedules changed, I’m certainly more tired, and I knew the race would be either canceled or moved – I was in the clear to get away with running less.
To everyone with races that they trained so hard for, mentally and physically: I feel for you. It would certainly be crushing to have the race canceled/moved (besides for the greater good and health of society). I am empathetic towards you. This next part, I mean in the most non-selfish way possible, know I do not take delight that your races are canceled…. But in a way, since I am not in peak shape at the moment, by not seeing everyone’s race posts, it prevents me from comparing myself to someone else! I do not feel like I am missing out on something. Make sense? I know either yourself or someone you know might feel the same way and benefit mentally from the freeing social media race posts. Even when we try our hardest not to be bothered by it.
And that’s where I am now. Hang in there!