I felt as if my 2016 was a bit “meh,” if you really want to know (and you probably don’t, really, but you know, it’s a blog and I’m going to tell you anyway!). I kept my events to a minimum this year, so it’s not all about events. But for what it’s worth, here’s my fitness top ten from 2016.
(1) My running crew. Anita, Julie, Morgan, and Helia, you are all amazing. So many time in 2016 I would not have made it out the door for my run if I hadn’t had a commitment to meet one or the other or all of you! Anita gets bonus points for the many breakfasts we’ve had at Campus Wifi following our Sunday long runs.
(2) The Run for Retina 10K in April. I do not know how Julie convinced me to sign up for this cold 10K in April, but I did, and we did it together (and then we went for breakfast — maybe this is the secret of getting me out the door). No personal best or anything like that, but I did it.
(3) The Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon in June. What a blast! This time we managed to recruit some newbies (Violetta and Rebecca), who solidly left us in the dust. I loved the camaraderie and the road trip to Niagara Falls.
(4) The Kincardine Women’s Triathlon in July. This is always my favourite summer event. It’s a low key, super well run race with lots of first-timers and a great buzz in the air. It was my first triathlon ever. This year, like my first year, it got changed to a duathlon because of the water temperatures. The cancelled swim was a disappointment but unlike my first year, I now like running. So the change to the duathlon didn’t throw me completely.
(5) 100 days of fitness tracking for the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC). Yes, I went from excited, to not so much, to “will this ever end?” And yes, I flushed my tracker down the toilet at my doctor’s office just a few days before the end of the challenge (by mistake, I swear). But I did it, and along the way developed a new appreciation for walking, especially to and from work.
(6) Back to yoga! In the thick of our fittest by fifty challenge (2012-14), I gave up regular yoga practice to make space for triathlon training. This year, I managed to get back on the yoga track and I’m loving every minute of it.
(7) Tough decisions–actually, not so tough. After several years of trying my best to like cycling, I decided it’s just not for me. That made it easy for me to sell my road bike to a friend in need–it’s getting the appreciation it deserves. I still have my triathlon bike and am trying (though not especially aggressively) to sell it. But I have definitely given up on indoor bike training and sold my trainer to close the deal on that decision. If any spinning happens over the winter, it will be in a class at the Y, not Coach Chris’s basement.
(8) Personal training. Just over a year ago I started personal training twice a week with Paul from Definitions Fitness. It was my treat to myself after Renald retired and moved onto the boat. It’s definitely a financial indulgence, but Paul is amazing and I am stronger than ever after one year of working with him.
(9) Training for my first “destination race”: the Key West Half Marathon. This January 2017 has kept me running since the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon back in June. It’s been the perfect motivator and I’m excited that Anita and Rebecca will be doing it too. I’ve never gone so far to run a half marathon before, but a blast of sunshine with friends in mid-winter will definitely help with the blahs. And I’m a big believer in attainable goals.
(10) A year of injury-free training. Maybe I should be knocking on wood here, since it’s i fact not quite the end of 2016. But I am so happy to report that I’m 52 years old and over this whole past year I haven’t been taken out of training by injury even once. I attribute that to a few things. First, I know my body and listen to it closely. I have a forgiving attitude towards missed workouts, so I can take a time out without getting sidelined indefinitely. Second, yoga. Getting back to yoga has made a big difference in stretching out my muscles and helping me recover from and prepare for longer runs. And third, resistance training. I have never before in my life had this much high quality muscle mass. I’m not a hulk by any means, but there’s some hard muscle supported my lightly padded frame, and that helps me stay strong and without injury. I consider an injury-free year to be a big deal at my age, especially for a runner.
Those are my top-ten feel-goods for 2016. I hope you too had a year that makes you smile as you reflect back on it!