Almost a former blogger

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Doing my own thing ... time for February!

My “doing my own thing” theme that began to take hold in January turned into me not blogging about anything that was going on.

And that’s perfectly fine with me. Because that’s just how I’m doing my own thing.

For January, I decided to set two goals: one for life (cleaning out my attic) and one for running (getting my long run back to 10 miles).

Cleaning out the attic is a bigger effort to declutter this year. I’ve seemed to have a horrible approach to this and never get very far. But my plan right now is to take this slow and make it a much longer process.

So boxes that were previously labeled as “yard sale,” or something to that effect, are out. A bigger mess is being made as this begins, and I’m OK with this. As Christmas got put away earlier this month, several other boxes made their way out of the attic, too.

For February, my goal is to continue this process of getting everything out. I have a feeling this will continue into March, too, as I essentially want to touch everything that may or may not be thrown out, sold, or kept.

For running, that goal of getting back to double digits was a challenge with the ups and downs of the weather all month. The first half of the month didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but I really turned it all around at the end of the month.

And YES, I hit my goal on the final Sunday of the month. 10.1 miles DONE … the first time hitting that mark in nearly two years. And January was my highest monthly total since January 2017.

As for a running goal in February, I debated on several things, but as I continue to set my sights on the Blue Ridge Marathon in April, I know how important these long runs are. So for the second straight month my focus will be on increasing my distance to get to 14 miles for a long run.

While that may seem like normal progression (and admittedly maybe not enough for marathon training with the race just a little more than two months away), 14 miles is a HUGE milestone in my return. The last time I ran farther that than was the Disney Marathon in January 2013. The last time I ran farther in a training run was October 2012.

So February, let’s do this …

OK January, let's do this

I often wonder why why we like to measure our lives by year standards, but if you fail in January, you usually just don't make a change. If you succeed in January, you still have to put a lot of effort into February. Then change will happen.

I'm always about thinking about and making efforts to declutter, both with stuff and things on my mind ... it's a continuous thing, but it's always renewed around this time of year.

So what will make these coming months different? Writing goals down again. Blogging about them. Putting them on Facebook. Something that helps me be held accountable.

On several different years, I've made an effort to have three goals a month. One year it was perfect; other times it's pretty much been a disaster.

For 2019, my goal is to make one goal a month, both with running and at home. Perhaps other goals will be a part of those bigger goals, but trying for three isn't appealing anymore, nor is it sometimes realistic to do things that are satisfying enough to do three things.

I think sometimes these goals need to be BIG. Sometimes it can be as simple as crossing the finish line of a race. Or maybe there's a particular room in the house that needs cleaning/decluttering and it would only take a few hours of effort ... there don't have to be any "rules" with this other than what I want to do. 

I just want to get to the end of this year and look back on this post and feel satisfied with 2019.

As I said in my last post, I'm doing my own thing this year, which was a theme that developed throughout 2018.

So for January, my home goal is to clean out my attic. Oddly enough, doing this is going to briefly cause more clutter, but in a couple of months, so much will be gone.

And as for running, I want to get my long run back to 10 miles by the end of the month.

So January … let’s go! Let’s live life day by day, week by week, and then month by month.

Doing my own thing: Reflecting on 2018, looking ahead to 2019

I don't like year in reviews, so I'm not calling it that. But this year was certainly special to me when it comes to running. 

The truth is, in addition to a couple of injury plagued years, I just got tired of running. I got tired of the same races, setting goals, being disappointed, listening to other opinions,  putting so much of my time into just thinking about training ... and the good moments just weren't good anymore.

So my last injury in the final quarter of 2017 was just what I needed to make myself fully stop and start over. I said last December that I was "starting over," but it's taken me until now to really grasp what I meant by it.

These past 12 months have been about as basic as possible with running. I started from scratch and have taking a slow, methodical approach to returning.

I've been able to run just to run for the fun of it again; I've raced both for the fun of it and for pushing myself; I've stopped worrying about what other people think.

It's a basic approach. And I wouldn't change a thing despite the feeling of always wanting to do more.

Running in 2018 was never ever going to be about accomplishments in a 12-month span. Whatever I did this year was always for that particular moment, knowing that if I can stay injury free, 2019 could be a span of time that I focus on a calendar year again.

But what happened in the past year cannot be something I ignore. I ran 520 miles after a year in which I didn't even run 400. I ran the most miles in December. My longer runs gradually became long again as I broke through 2-3 mile runs after the first couple of months in the year.

Most importantly, I'm closing off the year injury free. I had a few moments of concern during the year, but when I did, I stopped instead of trying to run through them.

So what is ahead in 2019? Aside from my obvious goal of a return to a marathon, getting back to "big picture" running is big for me.

Many years ago, running 1,000 miles in a calendar year was a huge goal, but when I finally hit it, I was injured. The next year was such a big deal when I did it again. But I lost sight of the fun part of it, and it hasn't been something I've thought about since the early 2010s.

But it's time again. Nearly doubling my mileage next year over this year sounds absurd, and that's why I want to go for it again.

I'll adjust my big goal as the year goes along, but only if I have to. I don't need others telling me I can't do this or I need to do something else or to give me some other advice.

This year I realized that I'm done with all that. I'm doing my own thing, which is something I pretty much established this year.

And for 2019, "doing my own thing" will continue...