Generally the end of December/beginning of January is when my thoughts turn to a resolution for the new year. In the past I've made all kinds of resolutions ranging from keeping the house clean to running mileage numbers, beating out the previous year's totals. Some of my resolutions I've stuck to, and others... Well, I'm sure we've all experienced the successes and failures of resolutions. This year I've decided to look at this whole new year's resolution business from a different angle. I have more of a goal for myself than a regimen I generally lean toward.
This year, my goal is to heal.
This is loosely set as I don't know how a goal like this will progress, or how far I reach. I have had serious back pain over the years, even to the point of passing out (but only once!). I missed another day last week that I spent on the floor just trying to relax my irritated muscles. I spent years going to a chiropractor off and on, and then last summer I started seeing a wonderful physical therapist who helped me immensely, and changed how I work out. But alas, the pain-free running I enjoyed so much was not to last. I even developed knee problems at the beginning of 2010 that I believe is related to back issues and possibly my stride, which I am still struggling with. I've reached the point where I've done everything I could think to change to help myself get better, including starting lifting, rotating back into swimming and even changed my stride to a forefoot strike instead of a heel strike when I run. And yet, without provocation (that I am at this point aware of), my back pain persists. So I am taking the next step. I talked to my doctor, and he okay-ed x-rays for me, which showed that nothing was out of place, fractured or broken (relief!). However much relief I feel over normal x-rays, I still don't know if something is wrong. I have an appointment to see a back specialist in mid-January (those guys book up fast!) and am hopeful that he will let me get an MRI, which will show if I have a bulging disc (which my PT suspects). I am hopeful that he will give me exercises to do that will strengthen my back, or let me know if I'm doing something to aggravate the muscles in my lower back.
I have mixed feelings about this goal. Of course I want to feel better, but I'm afraid that my doctor might tell me that I need to stop running. I want to run. I want to run far! A marathon! (Plus I got a brand new Garmin Forerunner 305 for Christmas that I'm dying to put some serious mileage on!) But I have a feeling that my mileage for the year is going to drop even lower than last year.
Okay, enough of the downer talk. I do have some stats to report. Last year I ran just over 550 miles, and in 2008 I made it a year end goal to reach 600 (In both blog posts I talked about back issues as well!). This year I have less running miles to report:
Elliptical: 59 miles
Grand total: 584
I haven't included elliptical miles before this year, but because I had to take so much time off from running, I needed to do something else instead. :) I also have swimming and biking miles recorded, but they're not huge numbers.
So, to round this post out, I'm going to say that I'm remaining positive! I may not get to run as much as I want, but I think this is a worthy enough goal to lose some miles over. I wanted to leave you with an inspirational sappy quote, but liked this one much better:
"Formula for success: Rise early, work hard, strike oil."
John Paul Getty