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...