It "feels like" 13 degrees outside and we have a new president being sworn in within the hour as I'm starting this post, so I'm home drinking coffee and watching the news on my furlough day rather than freeze on a run or go grocery shopping. That's OK; it is a historic day and all.
Even though we're most of the way through January I figured I'd do a quick look back at the year, just because SO much happened and I like to have these reviews to look back on, reminisce, and remember what worked and what didn't.
|January: I got back in the pool and ran on the treadmill.|
January: Everything started off normally. I was in a bike trainer routine, and running regularly on a treadmill at the gym. I got in the pool a few times to prepare for an indoor tri, and actually remembered how to swim. I did weights, pre-hab, and yoga occasionally. I didn't see the sun for a while. I tweaked my knee and took some time off running.
February: It was the only month I raced: I did a fun 5K on Super Bowl Sunday, and I did a super fun indoor tri a few weeks later. I got sick with a hard and fast flu and had to take about a week off. (I really don't think it was COVID; I don't ever remember losing my sense of smell or having trouble breathing, no one around me got sick, and I was back to normal within a week.) I did less of everything but kept an overall training plan going well enough.
|This was my view for a lot of March.|
March: This was when everything changed. Not only did I change jobs early in the month, I only spent 8 days in the office before being sent home with a laptop. My commute went from 25 minutes to 5 minutes — which I was thrilled about — to zero. My gyms closed. Everything closed. I tried to pivot as best I could and threw myself into riding the trainer and running outdoors. I did a bit more PT, weights, and yoga. I tried dryland swim training.
|I ran a bit more and started running a bit longer in April.|
April: If we didn't know what kind of mess we were in before, we definitely knew by April. The weather mostly cooperated, so I added in an extra day of running when I could. I put in decent time on the trainer. I had more time to add in more PT, weights, and yoga. My dogs got used to me being home all day. I started taking my one hyperactive dog on 2-mile walks most mornings. I was furloughed one day a week and tried to make the most of it by making it a dedicated training day.
|May was my highest-volume month of the year, but I still stopped for pretty pictures.|
May: May was my highest-volume training month of the year and probably for many years. I ran a lot; it was my second 120+ mile month in a row. I biked on the trainer a lot. I got deeper into a weightlifting routine and dedicated myself to doing more PT and prehab, and more yoga. I tried to get into a dryland routine.
|My hip was giving me issues in June so I bumped up the weight training.|
June: I cut back on the running for a while after a mild hamstring strain. I tried to maintain my other routines, but some of that suffered a bit as I enjoyed other outdoor activities like pretending I know how to garden. I got back into an outdoor pool. I rode my bike outside.
|July: The dog days of summer.|
July: I ran and swam exclusively outside and took my bike out on the roads a couple times as well. I spent a good amount of time on the bike trainer. I lifted weights. I suffered through a Michigan summer. I took the dogs on long walks and ate outside safely with my friends.
|I had good bike volume in August, and bought some new gloves and bar wrap.|
August: I swam more in August than any other month. I cut back on the biking and running a bit, but still rode outside a few times and logged some solid running. I did my usual PT and yoga routines. I got outside and enjoyed summer sunsets and early mornings.
|Biking was a bummer in September: I flatted on both my outdoor rides.|
September: I bumped up the running a bit and spent almost exactly the same amount of time in my running shoes and in the bike saddle, 17 hours each. Weights took a bit of a back seat but I started working a short mobility routine into my PT rotation and feeling the effect from that. I swam my last laps of the year before my outdoor pool closed. Things took on a very "back to school" feeling.
|I ran a lot, and enjoyed the fall scenery, in October.|
October: I bumped up the training hours almost 10 more from September, even without swimming and only getting outside on my bike for one last time this season. I ran my highest volume month in years. I rode the bike trainer a lot. I lifted a lot and did a good amount of yoga. October was the month I got REALLY serious about PT, doubling the number of sessions from even the previous highest month.
|November included a trail run...|
November: I cut back the running a bit to focus more on the bike trainer. I did a ton of PT and even more weights and yoga. The weather cooperated enough for me to continue running outside. I tried to settle into my indoor routines. I celebrated my husband's and then my birthday, and Thanksgiving, by not going anywhere or doing anything. We started to gear up for a long winter.
December: I logged a monster month on the bike trainer. I cut back on running a bit more to make room for that and also because the weather got colder. I did a strength challenge and realized I needed to start working core-specific exercises into my rotation. I did more PT, mobility, and yoga than I have all year. December was the only month I logged more than 74 sessions, even though many of them were short; May was still my highest volume month, but December was only behind by 20 minutes or so.
Overall: I ended the year feeling strong, good about where my training is, and proud of the gains I'd made. I was able to pivot and funnel a lot of time gained back into something for myself. Part of me thinks, Why bother if there aren't any races, or group training, or much of anything coming up? But I still like to challenge myself, to see what I can do, and to try new things. An hour or two of training most days has kept me sane and grounded throughout this whole debacle.
And, to look ahead to 2021: I'm probably months away from getting vaccinated, and might not get to race in 2021 at all, but that's OK. I'll continue to do my own thing and take advantage of pools and gyms opening up when it's safe. I'll continue to put time in on the bike trainer and run outside when I can. I'll challenge myself to discover new weaknesses, and then work on those.
When the weather warms up I'll go on 2-mile walks in the morning again. Maybe I'll get back on the tennis court. I want to work on the bike trainer all winter and spring, and then take that leg strength into some fun road rides. Maybe there will be gravel rides or group rides this year. Maybe there will be a 5K or a sprint tri this year.
But maybe not. And even if there aren't any races, there's still lots to do and try. I hope I can stay motivated and focused no matter what the next few months bring.