Continued from Fitness Ups and Downs (Part 2)
In autumn 2016, my goal was just to appreciate running, fitness, eating well, being healthy as ends in themselves, as things that would add to my quality of life, and not goal-focused things that would add stress. With that in mind, I ignored the impulse to cancel my plans to go to a running camp (made back when I thought I’d be in the best shape of my life by September 2016) and hide until I was less fat again–yes, these are the thoughts that go through my mind sometimes–and instead use it as a time to remember that I love running just for running. That turned out to be just the right choice. The camp included a wide variety of people at different fitness levels and experience, and as is typically my experience with runners, everyone was friendly. The camp (in the mountains of North Carolina) was beautiful, although prone to fog. These photos give a sense of what it was like:
After the camp, I was excited about running again, and especially interested in adding some more trail running (and even some hills, if I could find them) into my regular activities. The next plan was to run the Seattle Marathon (much earlier in the year I’d planned with my dad to sign up, with him running the half), but despite my regained enthusiasm I continued having trouble with my right foot and ankle (a tendon problem) and decided to drop down to the half and, eventually, to just get through it and help my dad keep a reasonable pace. Turned out to be a lot of fun, but did show me how far my fitness had fallen. Afterwards my physical therapist recommended I take the opportunity to really take time off running and focus on rehabbing the injury, and I did. So that was the last running I did, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, until the December run that started this series of posts (Lakeside Running in Washington State). I also put in some thought (if not practice until 2017) on my struggles with diet and motivation and what had worked for me in the past and especially in 2014, and came up with some plans there too.
Not the most consistent or successful two years, but overall a period of time in which I think I learned a lot, and now I’m ready to see if I can put those lessons to use in this coming year and forward.