Chasing the old ghost

At this time of year, it’s hard not reflect on the year that has gone.

Did I achieve my goals? What went right or wrong? Am I still me? Am I a better version of me?

Every year since I was about 14, I’ve done a year in review in my journal. I get out the entry from the year before and I look at my goals.

Some goals have been on rotation for the past 20 years. “Loose weight”, “learn spanish” (🙄 not much spanish gets spoken in Australia!) have all been on and off the list at various times.

Some boxes have been ticked, careers goals, life goals, others remain illusive and some are just flat out not that important to me (Spanish much?)

It’s usually about now, between Christmas and New Years, where I wonder if I can do an urgent catch up, a crash diet if you will. Shit, I haven’t lost any weight, salad for two weeks. Oh I haven’t saved any money or cleared that debt, quick don’t spend anything for the next two weeks! It’s ridiculous and doesn’t really do a thing but make me feel bad about not achieving my goal.

Running or training for a race is no different. I see the countdown on my watch face tick down daily. My goal race is getting closer and closer. Am I ready? Can I do more? Is it too late?

When the 60 day until departure warning appeared on my watch, I hit my internal panic button. In 60 days I’ll be heading to New Zealand to take on two races that as an Aussie flatlander I probably have no business doing. (Yes I have a lot of mental training to do!)

Now it’s 50 days, soon it will be 40 and 30 and then I’ll be there.

So as I look at my goals for 2018, I can’t help but feel a bit flat that I didn’t actually achieve any of them on account of a pesky giant injury in January which reframed my entire year. But of course I didn’t update my goals so I look like a giant failure.

In comparing to 2016 and 2017, 2018 was pretty slow on the running front, actually on all fronts if I’m being honest. 2018 kicked my arse, physically and emotionally and I can’t wait until it’s over.

This year after I hobbled through Two Bays in January (in a race I was actually pretty happy with, read about it here) I was diagnosed with the pelvic stress fractures and returned to “racing” with the Gold Coast Half marathon in July.

Once the ball was rolling I added an MCG Stadium stomp and a 25k trail race in Brisbane as part of the Glasshouse trail series.

In September, I got a sneaky 2nd at the inaugural Wonderfalls trail marathon.

In October I returned to the Halloween Howler at the YouYangs for a dusty, night time trail marathon dressed as Thing 2.

I guess if I had an “a race” it was the inaugural Portland 3 Bays trail ultra (read my recap here!) It was 60 brutal kilometres and reminded me why I love and hate trail ultramarathons.

I trotted, danced and laughed through AfterGlow at the end of November and I’ll close the year at the You Yangs, where I closed 2017, with the Rock around the clock marathon.

With a week and a bit to go, the year will probably end on about 1850km.

In 2016 I ran 2712km and in 2017 I ran 2412km. So I’ll fall a bit short but I’ve trained a lot smarter, incorporating a lot of cross training and strength work.

2018 generally sucked. There were a few highs but mostly it just sucked and can go away now. Looking onward and upward to 2019.

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