Where to even begin with 2022? There were a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I think we all say that, though. It’s not like everyone’s life is perfect 100% of the time. But whew. Running was not great. I didn’t have very many “good races.”
I had a few glimmers of hope but a few injuries and illnesses, and I never got consistent training. Strava shows that with their “fitness tracker.” I still don’t know how they figure that out. I digress.
While running wasn’t great, life was ok. I started working at Edwards, and I enjoy my job. It’s a stark difference from working from home but in a good way. It sounds like my 2022 was all bad, but it wasn’t. I won’t lie and say it was my greatest year of running because it was my worst.
In November of 2021, I fell and hurt my back. I hate bringing it up, but it continues to play a role in my training, especially just two months later. January was one of the better months for me. I ran the Carlsbad Half and finished Gail’s first half marathon with her. It was awesome.
In January, I felt like I was *finally* starting to build back mileage, and I was feeling good about it. January gave me hope that I would have a good 2022 regarding running.
In February, I had my first (and only) overuse injury of the year. My ankle swelled up, and while I only needed a week off, it was the first of many hiccups of the year. But Matt and Gail got married, and we celebrated their wedding in Florida. It was a lot of fun!
I ran Surf City Half Marathon and had one of my only stomach issues. I was probably dehydrated and ate the wrong things before the race (LOL, tres leches cake?). I haven’t wanted to quit a race so badly.
I spent half of March on the East Coast in New Jersey and Virginia. It was wonderful. I got to see many friends, hang out, and relax. I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon in my slowest time ever at the race. Considering I had just been building back from the ankle injury, I was happy to finish. A week ago, I didn’t think I would finish at all. Since this is a running blog, I spent most of March rebuilding mileage after my ankle injury.
April was one of my favorite months of the year. I ran the La Jolla Half Marathon and was 7th overall (it’s a hilly course). I realize I do better on hills and enjoy hilly courses. While slower, I want them. Then spent a reasonable amount of time at Point Mugu.
I also trained and competed in my first swim meet in a decade. I swam competitively, and my friend and I competed in our first adult meet. It was a lot of fun, and I surprised myself with times, including 6:30 500 and 13:13 1000. Plus, a 23-minute mile? Not PRs but a heck of a lot better than I thought I would do.
So as far as racing and sports, April was probably my best month. Although as far as life, I really enjoyed it too.
As much as April was my favorite, May was my least favorite. In May, I got the flu. Not just any flu, but it knocked me out for over a week, and it took another month to feel any normalcy. Even now, in December, I still have lingering effects of the flu. It’s affected everything. My running but so much more. What else happened in May?
I really don’t have a lot. I didn’t leave my house for a week with the flu. Then the next few weeks, I took it super easy. The last weekend of May, I ran the Carlsbad 5k…it was not my smartest decision, and I wish I didn’t. I was still coughing a lot, and a mid-race coughing fit and hacking were unpleasant. I was no longer sick, of course, but that cough lingered for weeks.
Of course, I can’t forget when we went to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree Park and got caught in a sandstorm. The sandstorm came out of nowhere and caused about $7500 in damage to my car. Insurance covered it, and they wanted to total it. But my car ran fine, and we were in the process of selling it (to my brother). I quickly realized sandstorms are not to be messed with.
In June, Tim graduated from Test Pilot School, the most challenging thing of his career he’s done. It was a year-long; he flew 30 different airplanes and had actual “school,” too. My brother graduated from his masters program, so we got to see my family. It was a month of exciting family moments. Probably my favorite.
Plus, at the end of June, I started my new job.
I got to ride in a T38 which was awesome.
In July, we moved up the road. The house is more significant than our previous one with a better layout. We do like it. It was a stressful month between moving, the new job, and life. I ran the Wineshine half marathon in literally my slowest time ever. I was mentally crushed and needed a few days off—another minor hiccup in training.
We also went to Virginia to visit family and Tim’s grandma. It was great to relax and be away from the desert for a week. Finally, we hiked one of the rigorous peaks in SoCal, Mount San Antonio (aka Baldy).
August was kind of a blur for me. Nothing too eventful happened, and I can’t say I minded. I started to find my groove in my new job. I realized what worked and what didn’t for me, but for the most part, it was unnotable.
My huge highlight was picking up my new car, a model 3 Tesla. Truthfully, these days I have mixed emotions about Tesla in general, but I appreciate having an electric vehicle. I’m not a “Tesla Diehard,” but the credentials I wanted in a new car were: fully electric, smallish sedan, and 300 + range. You’d be surprised there aren’t many options except Tesla and Lucid (with Lucids being 80k+). I like my car; so far, I’ve put about 7000 miles and paid $65-$70 for charging. For us, it makes sense to go electric as going into town is 35-50 miles one way. There are plenty of chargers in the desert. I’m not sure we would have gone electric in any other of our other chapters of life, especially not on the East Coast (the infrastructure for electricity isn’t there yet).
In September, I finally felt like I was building some fitness. I was running more. It felt like things were clicking right along. Work was going well. I was finding my groove. For the most part, the month was good. We planned to hike Mount Gorgonio, only to realize we needed a pass. We walked to San Bernardino instead and surprisingly enjoyed it.
I ran a few races in September. None were terrible, but none were glowing either. I was just kind of trucking along.
I was hoping my training in October would make for a decent half-marathon at RnR San Jose. I rested. I tapered. I slept so well the week before that I thought it was a definite sign. And yet, I felt like garbage. Similar to the rest of my long races this year, it didn’t go well. I was upset but tried to shake it off.
I got a work trip just 10 miles from my parents in mid to late October. Being home in Chesapeake, VA, was great, and seeing friends. I even got to run the Wicked 10k, a race I haven’t done in several years.
In November, I took a nasty fall in my kitchen and landed on my head. It was bad enough, so I decided to go to the ER. Luckily, nothing came out of that except they said I would likely have a black eye. I didn’t believe them, but I had an excellent black look for a month afterward.
I also ran the Revel Big Bear Half, my best half of the year. Not because I ran the fastest (LOL, it has 3000 feet drop) but because of how I ran and how my last few miles were my fastest (of the entire year!).
Regarding training, I don’t want to jinx it, but December was my best month for miles. I ran many miles, was consistent, and focused on building a base. I’ve done most of my training in the dunes to take the pounding off my body. I feel good about at least ending the year on a higher note. We ran the Crystal Cove 15k, which was a fun trail race, but other than that, nothing huge.
We spent Christmas with my brother in San Diego; it was exactly what I needed. I’ve been struggling with the cold lately, so it was nice to reprieve from the winter.
What’s next for 2023?
Honestly, as cliche as it sounds, I have no idea. It’s hard to make “goal races” when I’m far removed from my PRs. Of course, I know I can train for a goal race and not PR, which is likely what I will do. I have to figure out what that is. My underlying goal is to get consistent again and run better than in 2022. With so many hiccups in 2022, I wasn’t as consistent as I liked.
So that’s really the goal. Life-wise, I am still falling back into a routine at work. It seems silly to say that, but I haven’t worked in an office in nearly a decade, and it’s taken a lot of change and adjustment to do so. Don’t get me wrong; I love it! But I can’t exactly decide if I want to run at 8 or 10 am because it’s warmer. Or make a doctor or PT appointment when I feel like it.
Questions for you:
How was your 2022?
What is your goal for 2023?