2012 was a great year…and in retrospect, a calm and simple year – the opposite of what 2013 is shaping up to be! With a big family move to Seattle, a high school graduation and a marathon (for me), the next 365 days are going to be quite a ride I think – not so simple and definitely not calm!
Looking back at 2012, I’ve decided it was a good year of running. I say this in spite of the stress fracture that sidelined me from what would have been my third Pikes Peak Ascent and had me recovering for over three months. Before the downtime, I went on more than a few adventures, I shared some beautiful runs with my friends on Barr Trail and Mt Herman. In fact, I ran throughout the entire state of Colorado (thanks to an Epic adventure this summer).
And despite some of the depression that comes with being an injured runner, the beauty of this “rest” period was that I truly explored some cross training avenues… sincerely. In the past, I have half-heartedly knocked out elliptical miles and spin sessions to stay fit while recovering from an injury. But these past few months have led me to have to accept a few things, and to explore some other things.
Sometimes when I reflect on the ups and downs of running, I feel like I am just not the sturdiest of runners. I run, I have some great races and then something or another sidelines me. I take time off or I live in denial for a bit and then take time off. Like I said, then I reluctantly hit the spin bike or the elliptical – always eager to get back to running.
This summer’s injury was a little different because of the time off – 3+months… meant that I needed to accept the realities of cross training and try to enjoy them a little more or just be miserable (or miserable to be around).
I wrote of some of my XT efforts recently – new things like swim lessons, mountain biking and hitting different machines in the gym like the row machine. I certainly mixed it up and got out of my comfort zone.
I think that one of the most beneficial activities that I embarked upon is Reformer Pilates. I’ve always been a little intrigued and a little intimidated by all the contraptions in that room. So taking advantage of my non-running free time, I signed up for a few sessions a week. The first session was just a simple introduction to the Reformer and I was humbled and sore the next day!
With regular Pilates over the past few months, I definitely feel a change in my strength and balance. I think that Pilates has helped me work areas that are sometimes ignored in traditional strength training – smaller muscle groups, stabilizer muscles and definitely the entire core.
I believe that I will be a better runner for it – if not faster, at least a little more sturdy!
So as I start 2013 and prepare for all it will bring… I plan to keep a balanced approach to training for the marathon… and a balanced approach to preparing for everything else this year is going to bring!