I love reading everyone’s year-in-review. But I never feel that I have anything particularly interesting to share myself. However looking back at where I’ve come since January 1, 2012, my year reads like the elevation profile of the 11.2 mile run through Percy Warner Park.
On New Year’s day I wake up with pain in my left shoulder. It becomes very severe over the next few days and I begin many painful and expensive tests to diagnose it. I eventually lose most of the strength and mobility in the arm altogether. It is not for several months (see below) before we are able to diagnose the mystery condition. But I take my first Caribbean vacation to Jamaica with my good friend Sara. It is fantastic and just what we needed to thaw the dreary winter grays. I also start training to Hoop the Half Marathon again.
I take a trip to Chicago to visit the city and see friends. I begin planning my race calendar for the year. But 2/3 of the way through the month I became very ill and take a brief stay in the hospital. This sets me back physically and race and training-wise. I eventually end up having to miss out on 4 different races this month and the next month due to illness and recovery. I also support a friend during a difficult trial and witness that sometimes the judicial system doesn’t always work out the way it’s supposed to.
I miss out on the Triple Crown races due to the previous month’s recovery and post my first DNS ever, unfortunately it’s a 3-for-1. I come up with an Athletic Bucket List and start working towards a plan to check off the items. I tour the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and hit 7 distilleries in 2 days. I attend an Olympic soccer qualifying tournament game.
I apply for the Nuun Hood To Coast team, though I don’t get picked, I still make a funny video. I post some really high mileage with our hoop walking. And eventually complete the Hooping the Half Marathon. Many thanks to everyone who donates to the cause. I finally really start training again in all 3 sports. I also have my first swim lesson and find out that my self-taught freestyle form really isn’t that bad. I also meet my Coach for the first time in a different swim lesson. I witness my amazing friend Kira become ordained as an Episcopal priest.
I do my first open water swim ever, which also happens to be my first wetsuit swim ever. I manage to survive both. I compete in my first triathlon of the season and learn an important lesson of mental tenacity. I have another minor surgery unrelated to my two previous medical issues earlier in the year. I get a new fitting on my tri bike.
I make another trip to Chicago for a wedding and to visit friends. I begin training with my Coach. I go through a little bit of heartbreak. I revise my race schedule for the year and really buckle down and distract myself with training. I compete in the Du Run Run duathlon again and walk away with my first podium finish! I also finally get back to the doctor for my left arm, and get a diagnosis of Parsonage Turner Syndrome. I compete in the Muddy Buddy with a friend and have a great time, and once again somehow manage to never really get muddy in a mud event. It’s a special talent. I witness more heartbreak at the loss of a friend. I also go to see Tenacious D with Sara and we have a lot of rocking out silliness.
I do a LOT of running, biking, swimming during the hot month, and put down more mileage than I ever imagined. I compete in my first Olympic distance triathlon. And I go to the Forecastle Festival after my race and get to see my favorite band play. I volunteer at a major triathlon in my city and really get a chance to give back for all the racing that I do. I run in a cape for beer.
My Coach comes to town and I get in another swim session. I work on riding the course for my next big race, but the course keeps changing and I learn my lesson on some hills. I get up way too early (even for me) to watch the Olympics for marathon and triathlon. I compete in a Women’s super sprint tri and get misdirected on the course by a volunteer. They throw out the run times and I end up with a podium finish, but maybe not the one I planned. I begin physical therapy for my arm and shoulder.
I compete in my second Olympic Triathlon, in a torrential downpour. This is my last tri of the season, but I don’t let that stop me because I sign up for my first Half Ironman race for the next year. I attend my first Nashville Rollergirls bout and love it. I buckle down on my running to train for my next few running races of the season. I run my first 5k in probably 5 or 6 years, and walk away with another podium finish, once again a second place in my age group, which makes for a hat trick of podium finishes for the year. My best friend has another baby, once again with a dramatic entrance.
I run in the Boston Half Marathon. I get to visit my old friends and meet new ones, and see my best friend in a play. I tour the Sam Adams Brewery finally. I try Eritrean food, and of course eat lots and lots of lobstah! I walk the Goo Goos Jog N Hog due to a painful injury. That injury turns out to be peroneal tendonitis, and I also find out (on my 3rd Xray and MRI of the year) that I have a cyst in my heel, but the doctor doesn’t think it is affecting me. I attend a Vanderbilt football game and watch them actually win! I take a Motorcyle class. I watch the Kona Ironman championships online and am amazed by the athletes. I do the Color Run with a couple friends.
I make a road trip to tour the Calfkiller brewery and fall more in love with their beer. I try to talk them into selling me a bike jersey with no luck. I run in the Ragnar Tennessee relay race and tick off another Athletic Bucket List item. I volunteer at the Flying Monkey Marathon and witness some truly hardcore runners. I run the Boulevard Bolt and get another PR. Coach comes into town again and we have a little team dinner and recap of the year and discuss the next year.
I start the month off with my first 12k, the 12 South Winter Warm Up, and finish the day with the 12 South Winter Warmer, one of my favorite beer fests. Running and beer, what a perfect day! Then I announce I’m doing something really crazy for my birthday. I document all of my runs here, and follow it up with beers with friends. I do one more Yazoo Barely a 4k Beer Run and earn a Yazoo Santa hat. I find out I qualified for the USAT national championships for Olympic distance triathlon based on that Women’s race in August, which redeems the unfortunate results of that race. I bake a monstrous cake and swear off buttercream forever. I take a little New Year’s vacation and got to see my alma mater play in a bowl game.
And what does 2013 hold? I’ve already started working on my race schedule for next year. Who knows what else it holds? I’m hoping for a happy, healthy, and injury-free year. Looking forward to ticking off more Athletic Bucket List items and maybe clawing my way to more podium finishes? I’d also like to start trying to race more duathlons. What are your plans and goals?