My Year of Running 2017

Running saved me this year.

My year of running for 2017 didn’t start out with a bang. At the beginning of the year, I had lost my mojo. Running took a back seat in my life. I was still getting to the gym most days, and out for a run outdoors 2 or 3 times a week, but the joy wasn’t often there. There were no PR goals I was working toward – there wasn’t even the desire to think about PR’s, or training, or anything other than forcing myself to head out the door and get to a trail – or more often to Lake Champlain – to at least be doing something.

I was in a funk.

My Year of Running 2017 - running saved me this year. Here's how.

By the time I started packing up my life to move to Woodstock, VT, I wasn’t able to force myself out the door anymore. Turns out packing up an apartment with 2 boys to take care of and keep entertained takes up kind of all of your time…who knew? 😉

I signed up for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon which takes place in June, my favorite race (and my first half marathon back in 2008!) but I wasn’t really sure if logistically I would be able to make it work. Once I moved, though, I woke up one day that first week in the new place, and thought, “I need to go running.” The mojo was back. The pull of running was back. I did a little googling, found the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park, and hit the trails. And I fell in love with trail running, fell back in love with running, and decided that even if I didn’t pull off actually getting to the half marathon, I was at least going to get the training done, and enjoy every damn moment.

By some kind of fortuitous, universe-helping-me-out miracle, my wonderful sister-in-law Danni surprised me by flying out from Australia to come and stay for 2 weeks, as I adjusted to going back to work. She babysat a lot, she cooked, she took me out for dinner and drinks, and her visit coincided with the weekend of the race, so I was able to go run while she stayed at home with the boys. I ran by feel, I had no idea what my pace would be, I had no time in mind, and it was a lackluster result. But I adored every mile, every step, every moment. I felt grateful to be racing again. I felt peaceful.

My Year of Running 2017 - running saved me this year. Here's how.

While I didn’t race again this year, I did a lot more running. Every other week I don’t have the boys, and I tried to get outside and soak up the trails as often as I could in those weeks without them. There were days I would teach a group fitness class, do some strength training, and still go home and get to the park, because I was itching to drink in the outdoors, and tackle the mountain, or get lulled by the pretty loop around the Pogue. I led a trail running class once a week at my work in the summer and early fall, so even sometimes when I was working, I was still running.

Running made me happy this year. Running brought me calmness and peace and a better grasp of living in the moment.

My Year of Running 2017 - running saved me this year. Here's how.

Running trails, in particular, definitely made me stronger this year. Strength training more specifically to complement my running helped as well. I’m signed up in 2018 for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon, and I’ve also signed up for the 6.1 mile trail race, Road to the Pogue, in May. As I ramp up my training for those, I’m going to start thinking about setting concrete time goals to work toward this coming year. I feel the urge once more to find out what I can do.

My Year of Running 2017 - running saved me this year. Here's how.

2018 is the year I’m going to turn 40, and I thought I’d welcome it with open arms, especially after seeing so many amazing female friends I love and admire turn 40 and kick even more ass and be even more fabulous over the past few years. But with just a couple of months left of 39, I’m suddenly dreading that birthday, thinking about that number, and what it means, and what I’ve accomplished so far in life; where I’ve excelled, where I’ve failed. It’s throwing me for a loop. Even though I feel that way, I’m also determined to prove to myself that it is just a number, and I want my 2018 to be a year of running that I look back on and think, “YES. I nailed that year.”

So that was my 2017 year of running. A slow burn that turned into a reconnection to what running and the outdoors does for my mental state, my heart, and my spirit. And watch out 2018, because this soon to be 40-year-old runner is coming for you.

Comments

  1. Trust me life just begins at 40… trail running is the one thing I rarely get to do because I’d have to drive to one, but I should try to somehow fit it in

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