It hasn’t really been much of a secret that I spent the last few weeks of 2014 in a bit of a funk. The changeover from year to year is always a time of reflection for me, and this year I couldn’t shake the feeling of dissatisfaction due to my issues with writing.
I got a dose of perspective on New Year’s Day while I was out for a bike ride. The day was beautiful and clear, and I was taking it easy, chatting with other cyclists on the trail and smiling and waving at people I passed by. I also had a lot of time to think, and what I realized was that I was being quite myopic about my year.
Here’s what I wrote on my personal Facebook page after I came back in from my bike ride:
So I’ve been feeling kind of blah this holiday season, and I’m pretty sure the reason why is because I was dwelling on all of the things I haven’t accomplished this year, specifically my issues surrounding writing. (Those of you who are creatively inclined know how this can feel, like someone’s blocked off part of your heart.)
But this morning while I was out for my bike ride, I realized I was being totally stupid about this, because in many ways 2014 was a spectacular year for me. I would say 2014 was the year I really started to come into my own as an athlete.
Allow me to brag for a second:
- I broke four hours in the marathon.
- I was fourth female overall in my first ultra.
- I ran my first 50-miler and was first in my age group.
- I took part in my first open-water race.
- I completed my first half-Ironman.
- I was the first female across the finish line in three of the five 5Ks I ran.
- I joined Kennedy Law Racing, which really kicked things up a gear. After I joined the team, I found I was either regularly AGing at races or I was at least finishing in the top 10 percent. Training with faster people has in turn made me faster.
- I set a new PR in the half-marathon.
- I ran my fastest ever mile.
The best part of all is that I feel like I’m only starting to scratch the surface of my potential as an endurance athlete. I’m excited to see what the next year holds for me. If it’s anything like 2014, it will be pretty damn amazing.
I’ve documented a lot of these things on this blog, but I wish I had written more. Like, can we talk about the exhilarating feeling that comes with being the first female across the finish line in a race? Even a tiny race? And can we talk about how competition can sometimes drive us to achieve what once seemed impossible? And how fun it is to train alongside others when you are used to training in solitude?
So that’s part of my goal for 2015, to take some of that focus and discipline that helped me achieve the aforementioned athletic goals in 2014 and to spread it around a bit so I don’t feel so lopsided come New Year’s Eve 2015. Here’s what I’ve got in mind:
- I would like to return to blogging more regularly. I talk a lot about the importance of just showing up and doing the work when it comes to training. It’s time to apply those principles to writing.
- I have been wanting to write a book for a couple of years. This year feels like the time to finally knuckle down and get to work on that.
- I want to get certified as a guardian ad litem (my training is currently underway) and then I want to put my best effort possible into doing this work, because while most of what I do is all about me and my needs, this work will be all about someone else. A younger, more vulnerable someone else. I have no intention of letting that someone else down.
Of course, as always, I have athletic goals:
- Right now I’m training to run my fifth marathon – the Albany Marathon – in March. But this won’t be just any marathon. No, I’m going to try to actually qualify for the Boston Marathon.
- I would like to ride a century this summer.
- I want to break six hours in my next half-Ironman (the Hutchinson Island Half-Ironman in September).
Okay, now your turn. What did you do in 2014 that you are most proud of? And what do you hope to accomplish in 2015?