It’s a little early for a year-end re-cap but I’m already done with 2017 so I’m going to just get this over with. We all start new years with new ambition, motivation and excitement. 2017 started no different and after coming off a really great 2016, I wanted to keep that momentum going. In some ways, I achieved that goal, but with every turn 2017 had so many surprises for me.
Roller coasters would be a good symbol for my 2017 year. The ups were thrilling and the downs were terrifying. As a runner, I had a pretty incredible year despite the setbacks and constant challenges. I ended my indoor track season setting new club records, promising a very strong outdoor season. My plans for 2017 after indoor track started to come together and once again I was going to give my coach a few more grey hairs. I was going to train for 800m/1500m, help my team set an FKT in July on the Rideau trail and then race a 50km in Squamish. Everyone told me, I couldn’t do it and I don’t like to be told I can’t do anything. So I did it and with my best friends!
The bizarre running range I was going to attempt was the easy part of 2017. It was the in-between stuff that tried to de-rail my goals. For the first time ever, I got sued. I can’t remember who wrote it, I think it was Woody Allen or Walt Disney who said something like, a celebrity getting sued is a sure sign they’ve made in the world. As a result, and as all my friends and followers have noticed the MichelleTheRunner brand has been different in 2017. There are some changes for 2018 and more about at the end, so stay tuned.
Our WBC FKT team decided to run the Rideau Trail on Canada Day to celebrate the 150th anniversary. This was, however, more challenging than any of us anticipated. We spent most of our free time preparing for the FKT. Safety was our number one concern. With tick mania on the rise in Ontario, we were headed straight for tick country. I landed myself in the hospital with a tick lodged in my arm. This only made me want to learn more about these pesky parasites, so it’s no surprise when someone gets bit by a tick now, my phone starts beeping. It wasn’t my last encounter with ticks, but it was the last time one was going to get any of my blood.
I got a new puppy for Christmas and she came home late in January. I forgot how much work puppies are and I had no idea boxers were even more work. Esja was the cutest thing I’ve ever laid on eyes. The early days were blissful and I thought this was going to be a breeze. 3 months, then 4 months, then 8 months, I was figuring out I had a monster on my hands. She’s mouthy, stubborn and extremely protective of me and Lucy. She’s almost a year old and I still have a long way to go, but as hard as it has been, I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
I got hit by a bike weeks before my final championship cross-country race. Running down the trail, a guy on a bike completely took me out from behind. How I didn’t’ break any bones is shocking, but I did end up at the hospital (AGAIN) with 3 stitches in my chin. Covered in bruises and a torn abdominal muscle, I thankfully only had to take two days of rest before I was back to my training for my final race. Most everyone knows I hate cross-country, yet I still find myself getting talked into it by my coach. I hate cross-country because it’s the complete opposite of indoor track. Indoor track is a controlled environment, if you have a bad day, it’s you, not the race. With cross-country, you are at the mercy of mother nature and a bad race is almost always elemental and not your training. So I trained like a beast, I’m the fittest I have ever been in my life and mother natures had other plans for us that day. My race was good, not great but I was happy with the results. The goal was to get fit, not to have the best race and so I focused only on my 8-week training load, as the rest of my life threw up obstacles. Now with 2017 behind me, 2018 is going to be a very adventurous year.
What have I learned from 2017? I’ve learned I can only control so much and the rest has to slide off my back. I can control my training, my work life, the decisions I make to be a good human. I can’t control the outside factors, the obstacles that life wants to throw up to challenge me. To be honest, if life was easy, I would never learn anything. I’ve learned to accept life’s challenges as an opportunity to grow, to learn and become better. Did I suffer? Yes. I had longer and more bouts of depression this year than I’ve had my whole life. Anorexia has re-surfaced to create even more havoc and I have exactly 10 more scars on my body than I did at the beginning of the year. So this is life and I have two choices, quit or push back. I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you what I chose.
I’m not even going to start 2018 saying “2018 is going to be amazing” because I have no idea. I’m starting the new year with a different approach. 2018 is going to be about me as narcissistic as that sounds. I learned in 2017 when I focused on my needs, things felt less out of control and I was able to better service my clients and help my friends. Kind of like that airplane speech we’ve all heard, put your oxygen mask on first so that you can actually help others. So that’s how I’m approaching 2018, helping myself be the very best I can be so everyone around me can enjoy the best of who I am.
What is going on with MichelleTheRunner in 2018? There will be some very big and positive changes happening. This will be my last “personal” post. I will be slowly rolling out a series of changes inspired by the athletes I coach. The first change is my weekly “Coaches Tip of the Week” newsletter. Click the link to sign up. http://eepurl.com/dc8R-r Next up I will be broadcasting a YouTube show where I will be sharing expert advice about coaching tips and managing your training. My athletes inspire me and challenge me every week to think outside the box and provide the best training for them. I want to share some of that unique experience I get to have with my social media followers. I hope you will all come back in 2018 and participate in the journey. One last request. To prepare for my upcoming shows, I will have a slotted section for viewers questions. So please think of the things you really want to get to the bottom of and send me your questions and add Michelletherunner LIVE in subjext line. email@example.com
Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has the happiest and safe holidays. Kiss 2017 goodbye and start planning for an even better 2018.