Humans seem to like traditions. Especially around this time of the year. Everyone has their own traditions when to comes to events, decorations, food, music, plans, and everything else regarding the holidays, and so do I. For as long as I can remember, a long and tough swim practice has been mandatory for New Year’s Eve. Usually, 10,000 meters were required. I owe so much in my life to swimming, so I have to admit that end the year smelling like chlorine and with water in my ears is a pretty great feeling. This year (just kidding ~ last year) was no exception! However, I dropped one zero from what I used to do. Not too impressive, but it felt amazing.
Here is a little recap of my past year: swimming and I ended our relationship on mutual terms in February. I ran a couple of 5 km races in April, with a couple of runs as a practice in between. I celebrated my last finals week by joining two other non-runners on a 20 km route. I got my Garmin towards the end of May and between then and July 8th I ran 139 km/86 miles. Then the BUS, Backyard Ultra Sydkusted, by Sweden Runners happened and added 53.6 km/33 miles in 8 hours to my stats and made me more or less unable to walk for a way too long period of time. It was a great experience.
With my move from Sweden to Lisle, new job, and a lot of stress going on in September I totaled 36 km, which is way less than I did during my 8 hours on the 8th of July. I am that type of person who needs to workout and I feel so much better both physically and mentally after a day with a good workout, so September was not my highlight month of the year in any way. When October came around, I decided to stop messing around. I enjoy running and I truly want to get better, but that means I have to be consistent and I know that. I think I finally came over the relief I felt when I stopped swimming and didn’t have to be on a strict schedule anymore, and realized that schedules and routines aren’t that bad after all. I found myself a running group and I started to prioritize my runs.
I tripled the distance in October and added even more in November, and that was when I decided to run the Marathon. Now, there really isn’t any going back. With that being said, I have decided to make new traditions. This morning, I joined the running group I train with on their yearly New Year’s Day run, and it was great! We ran about 8 km on an indoor track (it was -22°C/-8°F outside) before having lunch at the Empire in Naperville.
I really appreciate this group of people. I usually run with them every Thursday and as often as I can on Saturdays, and it is the perfect motivation. If you are like me, new to running, struggling with finding a good pace, and in too much need of social interactions, I highly recommend finding a group to run with. It makes the experience so much better and I learn so much, regarding running and races, from the people I run with.
Now, with 2017 in the books, I look forward to 2018 and everything it holds. I am excited to see my progress and to continue to grow. And on that note, I wish everyone out there a happy, healthy, and injury free new year!