Starting Fresh

Confession: This is not the first time I’ve blogged.  I’ve started a blog 524134_10204027707310216_1408448170253564620_na few times in the past as a means of a creative outlet, but ultimately I get too focused on outside acceptance that I drop off.  I either stop getting exciting about posting because I’m trying to create content that other people will like and I’m not passionate about or I get discouraged about lack of views.  So what will make this time different?  This time I’ll be creating content for MYSELF.  This may mean few pictures or ramblings, but I believe it’s important to have an outlet, and for me, this is it.

2015 ended a little roughly and I’m excited for a fresh start in 2016.  Not all of 2015 was bad, though, and I have much to be grateful for.  Exercise has always been a priority for me and the year started off with a muddy hike in nearby Percy Warner Park.  It was at this point where I came to realize my love of this park.  The “white loop” (just under three miles) is the perfect length for a relaxing, head clearing, stroll.  Also early in the year I visited my friend in NYC and got a little artsy…

I trained for the St. Jude Country Music Marathon at the end of April and despite having a slow start due to major congestion issues for the first mile and a half, I was still able to finish at about 1:55.  Luckily I had a friend to celebrate with after!

Nash Rock n Roll

I had no goals in mind for this race because my “taper period” involved a hiking trip to Sedona (aka no break for my legs).  I have zero regrets because this was an amazing trip and the views were breathtaking.

Sedona

I was feeling pretty good after my half marathon in April and I decided to maintain my running volume and run the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon in July.  This was not smart.  My knee started acting cranky, but I pushed on.  I live in Nashville and all of my family lives in Chicago, so I had made a whole weekend trip out of this race.  I hadn’t been home (minus two days for a wake and funeral in February) since Christmas and had high expectations for this weekend.  I had some knee issues back in November, but they went away after rest and an anti-inflammatory, so I was SURE my knee would be fine as long as I rested after the race. Training for this race was also a bit of a struggle because I had friends and family visiting almost every weekend leading up to the race.  I had fun these weekends..

Luke Bryaqn

…but fitting in the long runs was a bit of struggle.  I managed and lowered my expectations for a fast finish.  I had major stiffness issues the two days prior to the race and was very anxious about how the race would go.  I knew in my heart that walking would fine.  Magically, my knee was fine the entire race, and I finished with a smile despite the 80 degree weather and sweating off ten pounds (probably an exaggeration).

Chi Rock n Roll

I ended up with another finish around 1:55 and I was really proud of this considering the heat.  My knee started acting up about about a week later despite my greatly reducing my activity level.  Paddle board yoga in lieu of running…

Paddleboard Yoga

I saw a sports orthopedist who gave me a cortisone shot to reduce inflammation.  My diagnosis changed every time I saw him and he was unable to determine whether I had inflammation, cartilage damage, or something else.  After the cortisone shot failed to help, I wound up getting an MRI (actually two) which revealed that I had an inflamed plica, a misaligned kneecap, and a cyst.  I transitioned from seeing the orthopedist to the surgeon, who recommended 4 weeks of physical therapy.  I stayed conservative and signed up for Classpass (LOVE) and mostly stuck to pilates, cycling, and barre, with a few Barry’s Bootcamp classes thrown in.  I enjoyed the running down time and went on a few hikes too.

Hiking in ATL

Sadly, this all did not solve my knee problem and I ended up getting surgery in the beginning of October.  I got my plica removed and kneecap realigned.  This was a real buzzkill to say the least.  The whole treatment process cost me WAY more than I anticipated (cortisone shot, MRIs, physical therapy, doctor visits, and surgery quickly add up).  This summer, my car broke down and I bought a new one (luckily I had a good chunk in savings) and I was not expecting to have any additional major expenses.  Sadly, I was mistaken.  Being an adult is rough. The break from physical activity was also REALLY hard on me mentally.  Luckily I had a trip to San Francisco and Napa late October to take my mind off things.

Napa

I had 7 weeks of physical therapy post surgery and in mid-November I slowly, but steadily, started running again.  I didn’t want to push it too much, though, so I also stuck to a lot of cycling, pilates, and strength training.  And here I am now.  Still mentally struggling with not being able to run as fast or as long as I used to, but trying to appreciate what I still can do.  I’m thankful for where I’m at and looking forward to what 2016 brings.  And hopefully I can save a little $$$ along the way!

One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is “Run to the Top” hosted by Tina Muir and put on by RunnersConnect.  At the end of every episode this year, Tina has asked her guest what one word they would use to describe what they hope to achieve this year and I’ve decided that I want my 2016 to be balanced–balanced in exercise, work, friends, family, and whatever else comes my way.

How was your 2015? 

What do you hope to achieve in 2016?

 

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