2012 In Review

All the blogs I read are popping up with “year in review” posts, so I might as well get around to that, also.

This is a tough one for me. Overall it’s been a fantastic year with a lot of major life milestones, the kinds of things that only happen once. When I break it down and look at different aspects of my life, less so.

In a past blog life I did annual summaries by the numbers. If I were to do that again, I’d have to say 2012 was sponsored by the number 1:

  • 1 move (hooray, just one!) most of the way across the country
  • 1 wedding – and it was perfect
  • 1 baby on the way
  • 1 completed dissertation (hooray!!)
  • 1 PhD
  • 1 new job
  • 1 surgery for each of us
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So long, old house

What else did 2012 hold?  Well…

I started the year with a list of fitness-related (running-related) goals. This year that did not include a mileage goal, but did include a goal of no zero-mile weeks. On top of that, I planned on running the Race for the Cure and 1-2 half marathons, while considering a full marathon. I also planned on lots and lots of skiing.

That didn’t turn out so well. I started 2012 with major surgery that had a pretty profound effect on upper body muscle function and kept me out of exercise. I was cleared to run at the end of January, but upper body-intensive stuff like cross-country skiing was still off the table for another month or so. Of course, that didn’t matter, because it was basically the year of no snow in Western Michigan. Rather than running consistently….well, I basically consistently didn’t run. It looks like I stopped logging my runs in the beginning of July – with only 112 miles for the year. There were some I didn’t log, but certainly not more than another 30 miles or so. There’s no other way to put it – I’m really disappointed in myself. For the first year since….2005? I  didn’t run a single race. Skipping the RFTC was a conscious decision after the Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood debacle early in the year, but otherwise I just (clearly) was not fit enough to entertain the idea.

Skiing was a total bust due to the aforementioned year of no snow. We got out once.  ONCE.

It’s in my nature to look back on my year of fitness and try to assess why I failed so miserably. As I said, the year started with surgery. That was actually phase 2 – phase 1 was in late October, 2011. So basically, I ran the Chicago Marathon that month and then stopped running. I planned the surgery that way because I had been running consistently and rather seriously since 2007 and felt I needed a break – it wasn’t fun anymore. I can honestly say that I’ve only been getting the urge to run again in the past month or so. Maybe I needed a longer break than I thought. Nearly every run I did in 2012 was forced. And not fun. Then, there was life. That list of 1’s up there contributed to a lot of that, but really the dissertation takes the cake. Holy crap.

In good news, 112 running miles does not cover every bit of exercise I did in 2012. Thank goodness. I did yoga, enrolled in a series of spinning classes, did a good bit of road cycling, walked to/from work and for exercise a lot, and since we’ve moved, did a lot of hiking. Obviously I’m nowhere near as fit as I was the day of that marathon, but I’m not a total slouch either. So there’s that. And walking is very good exercise, I tell people this all the time.

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Welcome bear in New Town

Not to be solely focused on fitness, I also set unrelated goals each year. For 2012, those included getting married, finishing my dissertation, graduating, getting a job, and not losing my mind before August.

The losing my mind part could be up for debate (see dissertation) but otherwise – I knocked those goals out of the park. So a fitness failure, but a good year overall.

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Ooooh, pretty science.

What else did this year include? We moved out here for my job, but Adventure Guy found a job in town he loves and he can be happy there for a very long time, we think. With each job came new friends we expect to have many happy years with. We’ve even made new friends outside of work – probably a speed record, that one always seems to take us years. I coached toddler soccer for the first time and had a blast (after all, one of my favorite things in the whole world is toddlers running). We’re finally fully acclimated to altitude. And we love love love the mountains. And our new town and new lives here. Trail Dog loves the parks in town, her new dog and human friends, the snow, her new boots, and her new trails near and far.

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Trail Dog says Happy New Year!

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