I had big plans in 2018, namely to finish a 70.3.
Well, we all know how those plans went. 2018 quickly went off the rails, but I did my best to regroup and reframe my goals. One of my goals was to get healthy and I can successfully say that I did that by rehabbing my hip. I’m back to running pain free, so I consider that a huge win.
January was definitely a month of discovery. I started the month with an awesome trip to Disney to cheer for the marathon, but ended the month with a diagnosed labral tear as well as MRI findings showing some sort of mass on my ovary. Unexpected, for sure.
Though I had been working with my PT prior to this (she’s the one who initially suspected the labral tear), at this point, we started doing focused work on my hip.
In February I saw an amazing doc who confirmed my super cool ovarian cyst and told me she was going to take it out at the beginning of March. I really appreciated her no-nonsense attitude.
This also began the month of cancelled plans. With the labral tear, racing the Donna half was out. Given that I wasn’t sure what surgery was going to cost me after insurance, I opted to cancel that trip to conserve expenses. Thanks to Southwest’s awesome policies, I transferred that flight to a trip to my parents’ house to see family. Always worth it (and much cheaper lodging too).
I started March with surgery. It was not as bad as I feared, save for the fact that we discovered that hydrocodone doesn’t have an effect on me. After surgery, my heart rate was elevated, and when the nurses asked if I was in pain, I said yes, but it wasn’t awful. They gave me more pain meds, which didn’t really help. I just figured the pain made sense. I had just been cut open. It was bearable after all. Turns out with the drugs I had been given, I shouldn’t have been feeling anything. Whoops. I discovered this later, when at home and alternating hydrocodone and ibuprofen, I realized that the ibuprofen helped and the hydrocodone did nothing. (Turns out this is a fun family trait. Thanks, Dad.)
Because of my surgery, I had to step back on some of my PT exercises. My surgeon was great and told me which of my exercises I could do, but it turns out that when your abdomen has been sliced open, you don’t want to do anything where you are leaning or laying such that the weight of your organs is pushing towards those incisions. So I lost a bit of recovery time here.
This was also the second cancelled trip, as I missed out on BDR New Orleans. This month, I also officially pulled out of 70.3 Chattanooga. I didn’t cancel my trip – I was way too excited to spend time with my Coeur teammates. I just knew I wouldn’t be racing.
This month, I started easing back into training. All self-guided, but it felt good to be back. I also started pushing my hip rehab now that my incisions were mostly healed.
This was the third missed race of the year – the local National Women’s Half. This one didn’t feel like as much of a loss, since it was a local race.
In April, I also got to see Hamilton with my family! It was even better than I thought it would be, seeing as I knew the soundtrack inside and out.
May was a big month. Though I wasn’t racing (fourth missed race of the year), I still traveled to 70.3 Chattanooga with some friends and it was worth every single minute. I don’t know that I could have had more fun. It was awesome to cheer for friends and strangers, help out where needed, and just enjoy the company of friends and my Coeur teammates. I’m so very glad I went and didn’t sit at home feeling sorry for myself.
I also went to see Harry Potter & the Cursed Child with my sister and my cousins – our first of two trips for the year. I wasn’t the biggest Harry Potter fan – I liked the books and movies, but wasn’t into it as much as some of them, but I really loved the play. We saw both parts in one day, and that’s a lot of time in a theater, but it never dragged. Definitely worth the trip.
Finally, in May, I started working with a new coach. Nothing against my old coach, but after a few years of working together, we just weren’t fitting as well as we had been, so I took the opportunity for a new start, knowing that I was spending the year rebuilding.
June was a bit of a quiet month, but it was also a month of a lot of training. This was my big push back to running, my big push towards racing. It was a month of a lot of hard work.
This was the month I had been working towards. Finally, my first race of the year. I’m so glad that it was Rev3 Williamsburg, a great way to start my season (and sadly, say goodbye to one of my favorite races). I was nervous, since I was still recovering, but it went so incredibly well and proved that all my training and PT was working.
Obviously, the Baltic Cruise was the highlight of August. I still can’t believe all of the things we got to see on that trip. I’m still trying to put together a photo book from the trip. Of course, I didn’t even get it close to finished by Christmas! It was worth every single penny spent, and I hope my sister and my cousins and I all get to travel together again in the next few years.
Choir started back up this month with our new conductor following two seasons of guest conductors. It was absolutely a change, but a welcome change. I appreciate someone who insists on hard work, but doesn’t ask more than you can give.
This month was also the end of my triathlon season with the Giant Acorn Oly. I had goals for this race, and was really happy with my finish. I managed to PR the course! All my work had paid off. It was a great race that felt incredibly good, and I was sad that my triathlon season was so short, but glad that it was a successful season.
October was a bit of a blur. I raced my 11th Army Ten Miler. It certainly wasn’t a fast race, but I raced without pain, which was the whole goal.
We also had a huge choir concert this month, premiering a work that was written in 1917 and had never been performed. It was absolutely exhausting. So many hours spent rehearsing. But when it was all said and done, it was a very cool thing to be a part of, and I’m looking forward to hearing the recordings once they’re complete.
I finally made it back to book club (then promptly missed the December meeting). I need to find a way to prioritize this in my schedule – I really like spending time with these ladies!
The month ended with a triumphant return to half marathon racing, nearly a full year since my last 13.1. It was like I wrapped up the past year in a nice bow when I finished that race. The previous year, I was struggling with my hip, and this year, I finished strong.
That was followed by an amazing whirlwind trip to Disney World to see the decorations. It was exhausting and so much fun. Anyone who thinks Disney isn’t for adults is wrong.
Finally, a relatively easy month. It’s a month of rest and recovery from an intense year of training. I sang three holiday concerts (still less work than October’s premiere) and am currently spending Christmas with my family, which is the best way to end a great year.