Monday, December 29, 2014

2014: A Huge Disappointment

I went into 2014 thinking this was the year I'd finally have another breakthrough in the marathon, that I would smash all of my PRs, that I would be injury free. Little did I know at the time, 2014 had something else In store for me.

I started the year out strong. Running outside when I could- which wasn't very much do to the extreme cold polar vortex shit that descended upon Chicago.

I was happy to see the pancake ice again swaying in the lake.

I ran long runs on the treadmill before work nearly every week that I was training for Knoxville. Yay for waking up at 3am to run 20 miles before work on a Thursday. Yay.

All that work paid off when I ran my 2nd fastest marathon ever on a hilly beast of a course. I was nearly all smiles for 26.2, which was exactly what I needed after I blew up at Fox Valley in 2013 due to fu$king hormones.

I took some time off running post Knoxville. I thought- maybe I could run another late spring marathon and BQ!

I went for a run one night while it was kinda stormy at the end of April. It was gorgeous. I remember speeding up the last 4 miles to out kick the fast approaching storm and get some burgers from 5 Guys.
The last photo I took before my cankle returned.


The next morning I ran on the treadmill and a familiar pain started in my calf/ankle. I was devastated. I knew that the Tendinosis of the peroneal tendon had returned.

I took some time off, and it started feeling better so I ran the inaugural Original 5k put on by fleet feet. But I knew that I had a long couple of months before I would be able to run again.

I started going to PT, something which lasted 4 months. I started lap swimming in a pool.

I even got to the point where I thought doing a triathlon would be a good idea. Because so much of the race would be activities which wouldn't hurt my ankle.

I knew my old blue specialized bike would be up to the challenge.

I even bought a wet suit so I could practice some open water swims, because I was "all in" for the TRI.

The triathlon was a blast and I was so happy to finally give a multisport race a chance.


After 4 months of PT, including 4 weeks of absolutely NO RUNNING, I graduated and started running little by little again. Of course now it was cold out and not my favorite time of year to run. I love sweating my balls off during the summer. Layering up and freezing to death just sucks for me.
But I was happy to be able to run in hot weather for a week in Brasil. It was springtime there after all.

So 2014 was a huge disappointment for running (once again). I didn't get a single PR and got injured again. I only ran 3 races, only one of which I actually "raced."

The interesting thing is that I feel 2014 was one of the best years athletically for me. I ran a decent marathon, learned how to swim (beyond the dog paddle), completed a triathlon, and most important- took care of myself by going to PT.

In May, right after the tendinosis returned, I contemplated giving up running entirely. I've been plagued with injuries for as long as I've been running- 15+ years and felt it was no longer worth it to continue on with these injury cycles and damage my tendons further. But before giving up entirely, I gave PT a shot. Best. Decision. Ever.


After more consistent running including long runs and fast paced runs recently, I finally feel the tendinosis won't return. With 3 days left in December, I will surpass my 2013 December running mileage.

So while 2014 was a huge disappointment for my running, It ended up being the best thing that could have happened to me because I finally got the help I needed to sort out the imbalances and weak hips which were causing chronic issues for me.

So here's to a much better 2015. It can only get better from here.




19 comments:

  1. Sometimes life gives you lemons and you made some lemonade (with vodka even)! Anyway, congrats on the great year with you crushing the Tri (especially the run portion) and getting the help you needed at PT. Here's to 2015 and many side fives on the trail! :)

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    1. Thanks man! You summed it up perfect- I took lemons and make a really strong happy vodka lemonade :) it's all about rolling with the punches and keeping moving in a positive direction. Here's to many side 5's on the trail in 2015 :)

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  2. I swear running mimics life. It ebbs and flows and frustrates the hell out of us but ultimately we learn. It was awesome to see you spank that tri this year. I hope to follow in your non-dog paddling footsteps in 2015. Here's to a great new year!

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    1. The ebbing and flowing definitely takes us out of our comfort zones, but makes us stronger and appreciate the good times even more :) I have no doubt you will have a blast at your TRI! :)

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  3. Even though it didn't go as you planned, I still think it sounds like a successful year! And you can ring in 2015 feeling great! Here's to healthy running in 2015!

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    1. Absolutely! It was sucessful in ways I wouldn't have thought until after the fact :) happy healthy 2015 to you too!

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  4. I can totally relate! :) 2014 was definitely a rebuilding year, and one that forced me to think about priorities, at least when it comes to fitness.

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    1. It's tough to not be able what you want to do, but in the end I think it worked out nicely for both of us. We will crush 2015 with our super strong hips from PT!!

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  5. When I was working downtown, I saw my chiropractor religiously, my insurance covered it and I was injury free. If ONLY I could go back to her. I think a lot of my issues are due to imbalances.

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    1. You'd think that by simply running that you would be fine- it's crazy how much extra work goes into staying healthy! I hope you can sort out your issues and be able to run again.

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  6. The best lesson you learned was how to adapt and be flexible when life gets in the way. This is a good thing! Basically, your body will benefit from all of that diverse training, and you'll be even better in the marathon next time.

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    1. That's exactly what I'm hoping for :)

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  7. So 2014 not a disappointment at all! You added a new sport and two new disciplines! Tri's are a whole new addiction! I thought I was cool running marathons, and did my first Olympic distance tri this year. Triathletes are supreme! They have all my respect!!!
    Glad you are on the mend, can't wait to see what 2015 holds!

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    1. The title was a bit misleading Id admit ;) but it was a great year overall.

      That's awesome you did your first olympic TRI! I think that will be on my list for 2015 ;)

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  8. I think despite the cankle you had a pretty great year! Conquering the whole tri thing makes you really rock in my book. I am still a dog paddler :)
    Hope you really rock in it 2015 and here is to no injuries!

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    1. Thank you :) dog paddle is still my go to stroke haha. Here's hoping to an injury free, kick butt 2015 for both of us!

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  9. A huge disappointment is the wrong title for this blog post, in my opinion. You actually ran a lot (besides injury) and completed a triathlon which is amazing. Here's hoping for more running in 2015 :) GOOD LUCK.

    -Agnes

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  10. I know it has been a tough year athletically for you, but I think the title of your post is a little harsh. You still ran a lot of miles, and you seem genuinely healthy now. That is a great thing. Seems like you have learned a lot too in the process. Your trip to Brazil sounded like the trip of a lifetime, for this alone I think 2014 was a success for you. I understand what you go through in terms of injury - my 2011 and 2013 years were very similar to your 2014. I'm basically healthy now, but I know I need to strength train more consistently or I might get injured again.

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  11. Happy New Year, Xaar!!! I beg to differ - I think that you had an amazing 2014, and you made the most of your incredible fitness in so many jawdropping ways. To be able to complete a triathlon with as much ease and success as you did! You are FIERCE! And your travels to Brasil sounded absolutely heavenly.

    2015 is going to be a great year for all of us. I can't wait to see what's next on the horizon for you, as you never cease to amaze me. =) Cheers to another year of fitness, health, travels, and our friendship!!!

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