January 2, 2012

What's Next?

In review, I ran 3,056 miles last year, that being in only 11 months. I was out all of Jan. b/c of the dreaded achilles tendon. I ran 30 races- 16 wins, 1 DNF. I did NOT have a strong marathon last year, but I'm actually okay with that. I really think 2011 was a GREAT year for my running, even though I don't have shiny PRs to show for it. I ran many weeks over 100 miles and was very pleased as to how my body held up. I do have a pretty dang good ultra to show for my efforts- winning overall in my first attempt at the distance.

When thinking about 2012, I had all these great goals and resolutions to blog about. That was until Friday- wow, what a day. I was scheduled to close on my house in Mayberry at 1:00, but before that I had my yearly "girl doctor" check-up. *Sidenote- what was I thinking? Planning to see my ex AND the girl doctor in the same day? I really AM a glutton for punishment! So, I went to the appointment that morning feeling very preoccupied about the closing. After the exam, the worst thing happened- the doctor came back. Within about 10 minutes, she had used all kinds of scary words- biopsy, surgery, healing, resting, etc. I'm a fairly modest person; so I won't go into very deep details, but the Cliff Notes read- I have some cysts and "spots" that have grown at an alarming rate over the past year. I will be having surgery to remove them (yes, more than one) the Thursday after the marathon. I really love my doctor. She is very open, honest, and to the point. It was like she was reading my mind and answered a few things before I had even asked.

Yes, they might be cancerous. They might also be just plain cysts.
Yes, I will have stitches "down there" and not be able to exercise (at all) for a week. She also said, "I know how you runners are; so I might be okay with 4 days."

I had in my mind I expected to feel like this incredible sense of freedom and success when I got the check for my half of the house. I don't know if it was b/c of my doctor's news, or what, but when I got the check, I felt... sad. I can't really explain it, but it definitely solidifies the fact that money doesn't buy happiness. I didn't feel sad b/c of my ex, exactly, more just sad that life hadn't turned out like I wanted. (I know, boo-hoo, it never does.) I felt sad that I had wasted an entire decade in a relationship that wasn't respected mutually. And, I also felt a huge sense of loss b/c, well, I want to have babies. And now, I'm 33 and who knows, what if this IS cancer? Not to be Debbie Downer, but I surely don't have luck on my side. And I have to face the facts that the haste in my doctor's surgery request is a bit alarming. I also have to be realistic that I've had female issues before, and now this, and now I'm getting older...

I'm just kind of sad. Luckily, I had a really good NYE and b-day. My friends and TP never stop amazing me with the way they treat me. I'm very blessed in that area. And Houston is coming up very soon. Frankly, I am kind of over wanting to run a fast marathon. Yes, I want to break 3 hours, but dang, I am sick of training. I have not enjoyed my last two long runs. I'm sick of being out there for so long. I'm tired of my toenails looking nasty, and I'm tired of being tired. I'm tired of 3 a.m. and I'm tired of doubles. The forced days off will be a good thing, at least.

So... what do I have planned for 2012?

1. I don't have a single time goal that I want to break. Yep, nothing. I just want to improve. That could be in the form of PRs, or possibly winning a big race. I just want to have marked improvement as a runner. No more pressure.

2. I do have 2 ultras in mind- Run for Kids Trail Challenge (to defend my title) and Blackwater Trail 50K (new racing series here in the panhandle).

3. I'm doing another relay- Reach the Beach

4. And I'd like to add a state or two to my marathon list.

5. I REALLY want to work on flexibility. I did really well when I was injured- yoga, pilates, etc. Um, now I can't touch my toes. EEEEK! I've got to work on that.

5. I'm quitting my gym. I hate it. It's a meat market. It's a waste of money. I have weights, a bike trainer, and various exercise DVDs. There's also a very crappy treadmill here at the apartments that I could use if we had a hurricane or something, where I couldn't run outside.

Phew, this blog post has gone on long enough. Happy New Year and Run Happy!


  1. Anonymous1/02/2012

    I will say a little prayer for you that your cysts are benign and easily taken care of!

  2. I'll be praying that what the doctor has seen will turn out to be nothing! I'll also pray that you have a much better year now that you have all of "that" behind you!

  3. Last year was bad. However, this year will be MUCH BETTER for you!! Hugs to you.

  4. Sending good vibes and healthy, fast, thoughts your way.


  5. Wow, I will be praying for you in these next couple of weeks. I am super excited to hear about Houston. You're going to do great! And I am sure that you will be ok, physically. You are a strong, healthy, vibrant, beautiful woman. Remember the power of positive thinking and try to stay tough!

    I think your resolutions are well thought out and you have a great approach to 2012. I think not having a huge focus on time goals will free you up to do and explore other things...and that might lead to faster times!

    Thinking good, healthy, fast thoughts for you!

  6. sending you love girl (come add CA to your state list!)

  7. So sorry to hear about the medical issues, may it just be a simple thing without that C word at all. Amazing that the doc will let you run 4 days afterwards.

    That said, sounds like you could use at least a week off after Houston. At least, from what you've written here. You've had such a long training string with all those great races, a break would do you good.

    Congrats on the closing, that's wonderful even if it was anticlimactic, it's over and that's what it needed to be.

    Sending healthy wishes your way...

  8. Oh goodness. I can only imagine how you must be feeling right now. I will be praying for your health and that the biopsies results are benign. Just getting checked can be stressful in itself.

    You have put in some amazing mileage in 2011. I cannot imagine the dedication and discipline needed for 100+ mile weeks. It certainly paid off for you race-wise. Perhaps that rest you take will send you on your way to the sub 3 at Houston!

    Your goal #1 is perfect. I hate pressure and frequently don't tell others if I plan to race. I like the freedom of knowing I can fail or prevail without an audience. Also, I bought a set of free weights and work out at home too. :)

    OK. Re-reading the last two sentences of your 4th paragraph and keeping you in my prayers this week.

  9. Anonymous1/04/2012

    I sat down to come up with some goals for this year today and I realized that while I WOULD like to improve, obviously, I don't actually have any specific times I absolutely have to hit. I just got stuck on, "be a better runner" whatever that entails.

    Fingers crossed the cysts are benign and everything is alright and recovery is quick. Sending some good vibes your way!

  10. Anonymous1/04/2012

    Your blog really touched me Rebecca...you are such an amazing woman!! I am in awe of your athletic talent, but truly INSPIRED by your internal insight!

    Two scriptures kept playing in my head while reading your post...two of my favorites!!!!

    For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" -- Jeremiah 29:11

    This next one is the verse I have dedicated to my 2012...maybe it can help you in your upcoming trials as well.

    Philippians 4:6-7

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Prayers sent your way my friend!!!

  11. I love the above verse...I'll add Phil. 4: 8-14! (Is it just me, or does it seem like Phil 4 was written for runners? :))

    He takes care of his children, and your friends are always on your side!

    ...and I LOVE your goals, btw...


  12. I know I am chiming in late here, so I hope you see this. I really hope that the cysts aren't anything major and that once they are removed, your life can resume as normal. I'm glad that you see that you've had such a wonderful year of running. PRs aren't everything-- the journey and the hard work is what makes us stronger.

  13. Anonymous1/15/2012

    I'm sorry about the doctor's visit, but don't let it worry you. I had a few abnormal results and then they found several cysts that were precancerous (what that even means, I have no clue!). Either way, they just went in and snip snip, done with it! That was back in 2005. I haven't had an issue since then.

    Can't wait to hear how your ultra training goes. I'd love some tips, as I have one planned for either October or November of this year. One option is on the pavement (Nashville Ultra) and the other is on the trail in Chattanooga, TN and is quite technical. I've never done a marathon...but the way I see it, the 50k is only a handful more miles. I'm not doing it for a time, just to finish, and I mean it. I'm even taking a camera. :P

  14. I am waiting and waiting --patiently-- for a little race report! A little bird told me that a certain lady has a new PR. :)