A Look Back My Year of Running and Fitness in 2018.
2018 has been full of ups and downs for me. While I have been doing someI have also gotten a lot more involved in CrossFit and other fitness activities to mix things up. The year started out with needing a mental health break. Sometimes everything in your life collapses in on itself and you just need a break. If you have been following me for awhile you know about my struggles with depression and anxiety. It is an ongoing battle one that I am determined to win. Depression is the thief of joy and tells you lies about yourself convincing you that you are no good or that you can’t do things. Much of this year has been focused on trying to change that mindset and trying to get back to a place of positivity. I consider the work that I have been doing with therapists to be part of my overall fitness. It is a focus on mental fitness which is all a part of overall wellness.
During the first part of the year I needed a break from running because when I run I often spend too much time in my head. Once I was well enough I took a trip with Women’s Quest to Costa Rica for a surfing and yoga retreat. This trip gave me time to get things back into focus and to rebalance. On this retreat I learned how to surf which I found to be a very meditative experience. Surfing requires that you learn to read the ocean and the waves to find the one that can carry you safely towards shore. I also found this experience to be empowering because I was able to learn something new and to feel strong again. We also did yoga on the retreat including a sound meditation which allows for deep relaxation. I am very thankful that I will be headed back to Costa Rica again in January for this retreat again.
CrossFit has been a big focus this year. I have been doing CrossFit for about a year now and have made some huge gains in my strength and great improvements in my form doing the various lifting exercises. It is amazing to me the changes that I have seen in my body composition. I can now do 5 strict pull-ups unassisted (woohoo!). I can now do clean and jerks, snatches, deadlifts, overhead squats, thrusters and more with much better form making the lifts more efficient as well as enabling me to lift more weight. I still have not mastered double-unders with the jumprope but maybe 2019 is the year. My core strength has improved a ton allowing me to more successfully do a toes to bar exercise. I plan to continue to go to CrossFit 2-3 times a week this coming year.
Spinning is something new that I have recently added into my weekly fitness routine. I decided that I needed more aerobic activity in my weekly routine and figure spinning is a great thing to add in especially if I decided to do more triathlons this year (I will need to get back in the pool too). I am currently in love with spinning classes! The instructor Janet is highly motivating and full of energy which you need as she leads you through climbs and descents on the spin bike. I typically do spinning once a week.
I am sporadically going to a Hatha Flow Yoga class which has been great for deep stretching and also good for incorporating work on breathing. I enjoy being led through the flow as this allows time for mindfulness.
Running this year has been mediocre. I have had a love hate relationship with running because it often provides me with too much time in my head to think. I need to find more friends to run with! I haven’t worked with a coach in over a year so my accountability has not been great. I have run a few races without specifically training for them which has made them ok experiences but not stellar.
This summer I ran the Loon Mountain Race, the Ascutney Mountain Race, and the Under Armour Killington Mountain 1ok. This fall I ran the CHAD HERO Half Marathon and then ran with Team Sweatpink at the Los Coyotes Ragnar Trail Relay in California.
Of all of these races the CHAD Hero Half was my best race as I had the most miles under my belt before the race and had a solid run that day. During the race I felt strong and truly enjoyed being out on the race course. The Los Coyotes Ragnar Trail Relay was a highlight because I got to go to California and to meet and run with 7 other awesome running bloggers.
I loved doing the trail relay and hope to put together a team for the Ragnar Trail Relay in Vermont next summer. Really the racing has been about the people this year. I also got to see some of my favorite friends/running bloggers at some of the other races (Run Far Girl, Vita Train 4 Life, Happy Fit Mama, Crystal Seaver) and just wished they were closer to me so I could see them more and run with them more often. Another great running experience last spring was the Rise. Run. Retreat. a boutique running retreat hosted by Sarah Canney of Run Far Girl. The retreat was a great time to get away to Woodstock, Vermont to run and be inspired by other runners as well as to hear elite runner Steph Bruce talk all about her running and racing career. We also had a great talk about nutrition as well.
As far as 2019 goes I am planning to head back to Costa Rica again with Women’s Quest for another surfing and yoga retreat in January. I have no races lined up at this point but am hoping to focus on 10K’s and half marathons for distance. I am hoping to spend more time running with friends and exploring the great trails that we have all around us. I am hopeful that running will begin to feel positive for me again. I am definitely going to continue with Crossfit 2-3 time a week and hope to keep making gains with my strength. Yoga and spinning will also continue to be an integral part of my training to keep things mixed up. This winter I am going to spend more time on my cross country skis.
How was your year in running and fitness? Did you have a favorite race? What new fitness have you added into your workout routine this year? What are you looking forward to in 2019?