My topic, as it is the end of June, is a Mid-Year Review.
I decided to look back at my WORD for 2021 (RESILIENCE) and see how I’ve progressed.
Here’s are the things that I wanted to work on in 2021:
- Prioritize relationships.
Sometimes it feels easier to run alone but being with others can help you get back on track. However, try to surround yourself with those who either share your goals or support you on your own running journey. These relationships also include your VIRTUAL running friends!
Y – As much as possible, I have tried to run with others.
and join other running bloggers!
- Join a group.
As I said above, it’s often easier to just run by yourself on your own schedule. I am fortunate that my area already has many running groups formed. You just have to join them on their runs. Virtual groups count as well!
Y – In addition to my running friends, I have participated in SOAR group runs, Ice Cream group runs and ARE Trail group runs.
- Take care of your body.
Proper nutrition, ample sleep, hydration, and regular exercise can strengthen your body and help you adapt to anything life throws at you.
Y/N – To some, I may not eat healthy or get enough sleep. I do not stretch or foam roll but I do walk, hike and run regularly. That’s something 🙂
- Practice mindfulness.
Journaling, yoga, prayer, or meditation can help. And when you do any of these activities, remember to focus on the positive aspects of your life and remember the things you’re grateful for.
Y/N – The closest I get to it is during my solo hikes in nature settings.
- Avoid negative outlets.
In stressful times, you may often turn to overeating, alcohol or even over-exercising. You may feel better but it’s like “putting a bandage on a deep wound.” Find ways to manage your stress in healthy ways.
Y – I admit that an occasional ice cream cone or a glass of red wine does make me feel better. But running/racing or hiking with friends has been my regular stress-reliever.
- Help others.
Whether you volunteer or simply support a friend in need, you will gain a sense of purpose and self-worth. Again I feel fortunate that there are many local opportunities to volunteer as a runner: being a mentor with the Frehofer Run training group, or with STEM or with GOTR. You can also informally mentor/help your running friends.
NA – Due to COVID, not many official volunteer activities. Informally, I run and walk with friends so hopefully that is helpful to them. I hope to start volunteering with STEM at the end of the summer.
- Be proactive.
In other words, acknowledge and accept your past (unhappy) situations. But more importantly, take initiative in recognizing the strengths that you possessed and the successes you achieved during those difficult times. This will increase the likelihood that you’ll rise up again if you happen upon painful times.
Y – Not many races happened in 2020 and had to run them virtually (including 6 virtual half marathons.) I have actively signed up for many races so far this year. In fact I have already run 7 races (including two half marathons).
- Move toward your goals.
You need to set realistic goals in addition to a BIGGER (possibly unachievable) goal. This goal should be something that you can do regularly. Even if it seems like a small accomplishment, it can enable you to move toward the bigger goal that you want to accomplish. Your big goal may seem unreachable but it can help to focus on smaller tasks or activities related to that goal.
Y/N – In 2019, my goal was to run a full marathon and in 2020 to complete twelve half marathons (one each month). In 2021, not knowing when the Pandemic would end, I did not set any lofty goals. If anything, it would be to keep running and to reach 1000 miles for the year.
I had hoped to have completed 500 miles at this point. But I’m behind (484.5). Maybe I’ll catch up by the end of the year. Maybe not….
- Look for opportunities for self-discovery.
Runners can find that they have grown in some respect as a result of having faced adversity. Maybe by running fewer miles, they have fewer injuries. Maybe by not running any races, they have improved their form or pace. Maybe by not worrying about speed, they have added endurance.
Y/N – I had hoped to improve as a runner in 2021, as well. Not sure that has happened YET. Even after many years of running, I am still trying discover what I am good at. lol
- Keep things in perspective.
“How you think can play a significant part in how you feel.” Try to be a “glass half full” or optimistic kind of runner. It’s not the end of the world if you never PR again or you do not qualify for a prestigious race or you do not win any age group awards. Focus on what you CAN do.
Y – I have tried but it has not been easy as I tend to be a competitive person by nature.
- Accept change.
Accept that change is a part of life. As runners get older, they get slower. This is often hard to accept but it’s a fact. After a year of not racing, our finish times may have declined at an even faster rate. And even when in-person races return, they will probably be different.
Y – I have run many races with staggered starts, mask mandates, no water stops or post race refreshments or age group awards. However, racing with restrictions is better than not racing at all.
- Maintain a hopeful outlook.
Expect that good things will happen to you in 2021. Visualize what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.
Y – I may be afraid to run on trails. Instead I continue to walk on them and attempt longer and more difficult hikes. My reason for visiting the trails is for the views. In other words, I have had to get out of my comfort zone from time to time.
- Learn from your past.
What did last year’s negative experiences teach you? What strengths did you discover that helped you deal? Use them to make this year your best running year ever. (Best does not have to mean fastest, most races, most PRs, most awards.)
Y – I learned that consistently is key. I thought that I would only be motivated run if there were races and yet in 2020, I ran over 1000 miles with very few races on my schedule. I started out this year well (even in the coldest temps).
I’m also linking up here:
Happy Running! How are you doing so far in 2021? Did you set goals? If so, how is your progress going in meeting them? Please share.