I’m writing this on Christmas Eve, sitting on the couch at Tom’s parent’s house re-watching Season 1 of Downton Abbey. I’ve had bacon for breakfast for five days straight, and I just ate a huge meal with ham, potatoes and broccoli casserole, finished off with a big piece of ice cream cake.
As a complete New Years Resolution cliche, I’d like to take this time to pontificate about how my year of running in 2012 and get motivated for running in 2013.
I started running this year with this goal: I want to stay consistent with running, run the Monument Ave. 10K and MAYBE the Richmond Half-Marathon in the fall. I haven’t gotten this running with a baby thing totally figured out, so it’s a plan rather than a goal. If it doesn’t happen, that’s ok.
Looking back and considering where I was last year, I feel good about my progression. Plus, I did run my two goal races. David was just four months old when I made that goal, and I was having a hard time sorting out sleep deprivation and nursing and a baby’s schedule with running. Things are much easier now, which makes me want to shout to new moms who are up all night, covered in spit-up, and still trying to live life like a normal human being: IT GETS BETTER! Really, truly. Better and easier and more.
- Best race experience? Definitely the half-marathon. I didn’t race a ton this year, but this race was one of my favorite races ever. The training and the race went well, and I love how my friend Meredith (who also just ran her first half-marathon after having a baby) said that racing well proved to her that she could still run as a mom, which is maybe better than a PR. Maybe.
- Worst race experience? Eh, I felt so thankful to be running, so I didn’t really have any bad races, especially since I changed my goals to reflect my current life stage. I’m forced to say the Krieger Klassic 5k, but only because it was windy. Otherwise, it was fun and awesome.
- Best run? Maybe my 12-mile hilly run. That was one I really felt like I earned. Or maybe every Thursday when Sharon and I would get together and run a hard four miles. I dreaded those runs, but always felt so strong when we’d check our splits.
- Best new piece of gear? This isn’t really new, but I’ve started wearing a hat on most of my runs. I love it for sun protection, but it’s also the only thing that keeps my post-partum fly aways out of my face.
- If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? One day at a time. It’s been hard to settle into a routine now that my schedule isn’t my own. It seemed like whenever I got into a good routine, I’d get sick or David would. But instead of being derailed, I tried to take things one day at a time.
- Running ups: Feeling like myself after the long journey of pregnancy and childbirth. At some point I stopped thinking of myself as “trying to get back in a running routine” to just running. That was awesome.
- Running downs: Coming back after baby was a long road, and it was easy to get discouraged. I remember running the Jingle Bell 5k slowly and thinking, will I ever get faster? Will this ever get easier? It does.
- Surprise of the year: Maybe that I stuck to a training plan, including strength training, speed work and eating smarter. High-five, for that one, Amanda.