Big picture-wise, I am happy to see 2012 in the rear view mirror.
My mother spent 10 months of 2012 either in a hospital or nursing home/rehab facility. That translated to me spending all but four days with her in those facilities. I need a vacation — desperately.
Aside from my need for some time away from illness and hospitals I can honestly say that some good things really did happen in 2012.
Yes, there is that knowledge about not taking anything for granted, counting your blessings, and letting the people you love in your life know that you love them. But there were some good things and these things only happened because of my mother’s illness.
I got to meet some of the most incredibly wonderful people, people I would not have met if my mother were healthy. The doctors, nurses, and techs who took care of her are amazing people and many times they took care of me just as much as they cared for her.
5:00 am became a time of day that I greeted on a regular basis by going out for a run. Since I was visiting my mother in the hospital every evening my running schedule had to change and that meant heading out before work. It wasn’t easy, in fact early on 5:00 am won our morning battles by forcing me to turn off the alarm and roll over in bed. But I eventually came around and appreciate those morning runs. There are four other people out there with me every morning. Yes, it’s dark in the winter but it is incredibly peaceful and now I know what all those morning runners mean about it being a great way to start your day.
This early morning running also helped me to run more consistently. It was easier to blow off a run in the evening but knowing 5:00 am would be my only shot I got out there more often. I only had an hour to run so that meant that I would have to focus on what each run would be. Some days they would be easy recovery runs and others they would turn into tempo or speed work. I became I better runner and my recent improved pace shows that.
I also managed to train for a marathon during my mother’s illness. My last 20 mile long run was on the weekend before she came home. In a way she had very good timing. But alas, that was the marathon that was not to be. It took me a while to get over the cancellation of the NYC Marathon, but again it helped me improve as a runner. The marathon always teaches you something, apparently this is true even if that marathon gets cancelled.
I didn’t hit my goal of 1150 miles for the year. In fact, I missed it by 300 miles. See above about only getting to run for one hour every morning, plus me being slow and all. In 2011, I ran a total of 1120 miles so the additional 30 would not have been far-fetched based on the races I had planned to run.
I got to Miami to run the half marathon last year and had a great time. That race didn’t turn out as planned but it was a great weekend. I’m planning to go back again this year, see above about needing a vacation. But now I’m trying to hunt down people who would actually like to see me get that time off that I deserve and help take care of my mother during this time. I can’t be the one shouldering that burden all the time.
While the challenges I faced in 2012 gave me some more gray hair there was some good but I am happy to see it go. Here’s hoping that 2013 has more good that doesn’t come from something bad.