2016 was an interesting running year for me. It wasn’t a great year, but it wasn’t all bad either. This year I was forced to take a step back and in doing so it helped me to gain a new perspective on running. Let’s talk about some of the lessons I learned this year.
1. You may think you are doing everything “right”, and still get hurt.
I’ve been in PT enough times to know what I “should” be doing. I would also like to think that I take a balanced approach to my training. When I got hurt last June, I really couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. I still don’t really know, but my guess is that my form was not ideal and my core was not as strong as it needed to be. (These things are still a work in progress.) Just because you do a set of assigned exercises doesn’t always transfer into better running. Other factors I have learned to consider are hypermobility and slowing down enough to really engage the correct muscles.
2. There are plenty of other ways to get in a good workout without running.
As much as I prefer to always run, I’ve been able to enjoy other things such as spinning, Pilates, yoga, and strength training. Variety is good. I’ve moved away from the mentality of running almost every day and then doing something else once or twice a week. Now it’s a question of how I want to get in movement each day, running or otherwise.
3. Don’t “expect” anything from the weather.
What a strange year of weather! The snowstorm in January was pretty typical but then it took forever for spring to get here. Summer seemed to last longer than usual, and winter came sooner than I would have liked. I was so excited for spring running weather, but we pretty much skipped that season (and got lots of rain instead). I’ve tried to embrace running in whatever weather I’m faced with, but if I don’t feel like dealing with ice or wind or 100 degree weather, then I stay inside.
4. Be open to different types of running shoes.
For way too many years I only ran in the Brooks Pure line. When I was faced with trying to find a new pair of running shoes this year, I was lost. In hindsight I should have been trying other shoes so that I had a few other options since running shoe models ALWAYS seem to change.
5. Running accomplishments can be found outside of racing.
I had great intentions of racing this year, but my last race of 2016 was on June 4th. Since that time, I have gone from being proud of PRs to being excited about running for 30 minute straight. When you have to start from scratch again, you have to learn to adjust your expectations and celebrate even the smallest amount of progress.
What lessons in running did you learn this year?
How as 2016 a different running year for you than other years?