Year In Review: 2018

2018 wasn’t one of my better running years. I started off a little overcooked with the Absite and a tough rotation and just when I got my mojo back, I tore my MCL. The second half of the year, however, I started to get some more of my fitness back and finally built the consistency I’ve been missing.

Residency has been significantly harder on training than I anticipated. Our time is so limited that I can get 30 minutes in almost every day but finding time for more than that is much more difficult. When I’m on a rotation with a post call day, I can guarantee a long run or a workout (or a combination thereof), but on others, it’s a complete toss up when I can find an hour or longer to run.

2015 to 2018, compared month by month

2015: 2,654 miles
2016: 2,216 miles
2017: 1,695 miles (End of Med School to first 6 months of intern year)
2018: 1,070 (second half of intern year, MCL, first half of second year)

My total mileage for 2018 was my lowest in ten years. When you consider the chart above, it’s clear that the biggest difference in mileage comes during the summer months. I always naturally run fewer miles in the winter because of snow, ice, and skiing. The weather issue doesn’t really apply here in the winter, although we’ve had our share of ice and flooding recently.

One of the benefits to come out of a year of running where I didn’t accomplish a ton, however, was a boatload more gratitude for running in all its forms. After tearing my MCL, I found myself far more grateful for even a 20-minute run when before, I considered it almost a waste of time to do. I also found myself running with more grace, at least in recovery. Instead of being fixated on specific running times, I honed in on effort and was able to keep a fairly positive mindset throughout workouts. By the end of December, I was starting to run times in workouts that were approaching “old Sarah.”

I haven’t set any time or performance goals for 2019; I’m still working on building a base before I do that. My only quantitative goal so far for 2019 is to run at least 1,500 miles. I am registered for the San Diego half, for Grandma’s Marathon, and for the RocknRoll Savannah marathon next fall. I’m sure that more will get added in as time goes on and my work schedule gets finalized.

My PROCESS goal, however, is to 1) work on consistency and 2) do yoga once a week. Although I’ve been getting better, I do still sometimes skip a run because I’m short of time to do my whole planned run when I could still get a couple of miles in. Two miles is better than zero! With regards to yoga, that’s all about trying to improve the flexibility and mobility of my hips and back. These are perennial issues for me but with more and more time in the operating room, I’m finding them even more uncomfortable than normal.

What goals do you have for the New Year? How do you reflect upon your last year of training?