What 2013 Has Taught Me

Completing the Goofy Challenge: one of my prouder moments
Completing the Goofy Challenge: one of my prouder moments

The last 12 months have been strange and wonderful, at times frustrating and challenging, but ultimately filled with so many amazing experiences and adventures.

The year began on such a huge high. It seems like an eternity ago, but in reality not even a full 365 days have passed since Mark and I ran the Goofy Challenge: a half marathon followed by a full marathon through the parks of Disneyland in Florida. To say that this was one of my prouder moments would be an understatement.

I also ran several half marathons this year, and was on track to run my first 50 kilometre ultra-marathon when an ankle injury sidelined me for the rest of the year. Since then I’ve been trying to do my best to recover so that I can tackle 2014 with the same gusto that started this year.

Obviously the ankle injury had a huge impact on my running activity. Many goals that I had set were not reached. As a result I’ve felt lazy and fat and lethargic; and this despite trying to maintain some level of physical activity. To say that I’ve been super frustrated would be an understatement.

Shiny bling from the Good Life half marathon
Shiny bling from the GoodLife half marathon

Anyway I sat down this eve to actually review my RunKeeper data. Truth be told, I started reviewing the data with the intention of determining just how badly I did (because in my mind it seemed really bad). To my surprise, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as I had originally thought. Did I make all of my goals? Hells no. But I actually made more than I had expected. When I consider this alongside other accomplishments this year, I have absolutely no justification for holding the pity party that I was expecting to hold.

So what did I manage to do this year?

  • Did I run 1000km in 1 year? Not quite. But I did run 801.4km between July 2012 and June 2013. Not too shabby. If not for the injury I know that I would have crushed this goal.
  • Did I complete 12 official races in 1 year? Nope. I managed 10 (between March 2012 and February 2013). So freaking close! I should have paid more attention because I’m sure I could have found two other short races to complete. Zounds!
  • Did I run 18 half-marathons in a year? Yes. Yes I did. Between February 2012 and January 2013 I ran exactly 18 of them. W00t!
  • Did I run at least 12 half marathons (or greater) in 2013? Nope. Try 5, but if not for that silly ankle this would have been an easy goal to crush.
  • Did I run 2 marathons outside of Ontario? Nope. I ran 1. Close but no donut.
  • Did my treadmill hit 2000 miles? No. No it did not. This has everything to do with the ankle injury, but also to do with the fact that my treadmill needs to be repaired. I guess all of the miles that I’ve put in have finally had their toll.
Post half marathon recovery. It's what the cool kids do.
Post half marathon recovery. It’s what the cool kids do.

So while 2013 wasn’t my best year for running by a long shot, it was still a pretty good year.

Reflecting on the goals that I made and those that I missed has reminded of a few things.

First, I really do need to spend more time reflecting on what I’ve accomplished. Instead of having a pity party, I’m realizing that I should be celebrating my successes and thanking everyone who has helped me get to where I am.

Second, It’s amazing how easily negative thinking can affect my view of the world. When I drafted this blog post I was very much focused on what I hadn’t accomplished; I was focused on my failures. I ignored all of the awesome things I was able to do, as if the good things were somehow outweighed by the failures of my ankle injury.

Finally, I need to remember to be flexible. My list of goals is just that – a list. It’s not law. It’s not written in stone. It’s a list that I use to help guide me from one adventure to the next. It’s supposed to be a device to keep driving me forward, leading me to new experiences, and pushing me beyond the pre-conceived limits of what I think I can do. The minute it becomes law, it has lost its usefulness to me.

So there you have it – 2013 has offered me this: reflect, stay positive, stay flexible.

Lesson learned 2013. Lesson learned.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sounds like you got a good perspective.

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