Monday, December 31, 2012

The Highs and Lows of 2012: A Year in Review


2012 has been a series of highs and lows all year long.  The highs have been really high and the lows have been really low.  It has also been a year of big changes.  Change is always hard, but for the most part as one door closes, another one opens.  Work changes, school changes, coaching changes, and the changes that come with having pets have kept me in a constant state of adaptation.  Athletically, 2012 was a year of huge gains and huge losses.  I am still struggling to come to terms that most of my fitness that I worked years to achieve has basically disappeared in the last five months. Maybe I was overtrained, maybe I was over reaching, maybe I really needed the break to heal, recover, and start the process of rebuilding.  We will see what happens in 2013.  So here is just a year in review.  


January:  High

Ran the Houston Marathon in sub 4 hours and took 17 minutes off of my previous marathon time. 

February:  Low

Dealing with the sad fact that I made less money than a member of an office cleaning crew at my job.  My W-4 arrived in my mailbox and I knew I had to dump my job that kept 60% of what people paid to do personal training with me.  But how could I just leave and abandon my clients, some who had been working with me for twelve years, and move to another gym that they were not a member of?  Calf muscle issues that popped up in the Houston Marathon are keeping me from running too far without pain. My hives flare back up.

March:  High

I went to California and attended a fitness business conference and gained the confidence that if I moved to a new location, my clients would move with me.  I had a great run in California.  The hives are still bothering me.

April:  Low

My kid had a grand mal seizure in the back of my parents car on the way to a fishing trip while I was in Galveston with my athletes I had been coaching for the Memorial Hermann 70.3 Ironman.  After many CT scans, MRIs, and doctors visits, he is diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy.  Calf muscle issues are keeping from running very far.  I’m not getting my miles in to train for my next race. The hives are pretty bad this month.  My doc cannot figure it out and he thinks it is tied to my kidney function.

May:  High

I get to go to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands with my athletes that I have been coaching for the St. Croix 70.3 Ironman.  Frankie selects me to be his dog-mom and take him to his forever home.  I leave my job at the “Big Box” gym when they sell to a no-name company that doesn’t know how to run a gym.

June:  High/Low

I run the San Diego Rock n’ Roll marathon and take six more minutes off my marathon PR.  I miss qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 2 minutes and 8 seconds, my time spent in the port-o-cans.  My right calf is so jacked up, I am unable to walk without pain for almost two weeks.  My son turns 14 and gets to go to swim camp and band camp. The hives are still around.

July:  High/Low

My kid gets to attend a brass band camp and meets his private lesson trumpet instructor.  I begin working for myself out of a great fitness studio less than 3 miles from the “big box” gym.  Many of my clients follow me to my new location.  I try to get my running going again after five weeks off and my calf gets jacked up again.  I cannot run further than 5-6 miles without being in a lot of pain.

August:  Low

I injure my right shoulder on a cable machine doing chest presses.  I am in incredible pain until I trip in my kitchen and pop something in my back and the pain suddenly goes away.  I am not if pain, but I am unable to raise my right arm. Driving and keeping my hand on the steering wheel is exhausting.  The air conditioning unit in the attic leaks bad enough to go through the master bath and come out of the ceiling of the first floor.  We discover where the leak that caused the mold in the master bath came from.  The master bath will need to be gutted and repaired.  The hives are bad again.

September:  Low

I still cannot raise my arm and running is painful.  I am unable to run further than two miles without being in pain and feeling like a python is wrapped around my chest.  My dad is diagnosed with stage 2 colo-rectal cancer. 

October:  Low

My back is always tight and sore.  I cannot raise my arm.  It feels like I have no power to raise it up.  I cannot run further than a mile and a half without feeling like someone is driving a knife down between my collar bone and shoulder and up under my shoulder blade.  I have an MRI on my shoulder that comes back clean.  No answers on why I cannot raise my arm. The hot water heater in the attic leaks and overflows.  The master bedroom ceiling needs to be pulled down and repaired.  My dad begins his radiation and chemotherapy.

November:  Low/High

My kid fails Algebra.  I have to make the hard decision to give up on training to run the Houston Marathon.  I get to go to Cozumel, Mexico to watch one of my coached athletes take two hours off his Ironman time to hit a new PR.  One week of beach therapy.

December:  Low/High

I return home to learn that I need to open up my heart for two more abused animals.  Lil’ Sis and Kitty gain a new home and learn all about having a forever home and a new big Greyhound brother.  I start cooking lessons that I received for my birthday and I love my Thursday evenings. My kid is still failing Algebra and other classes are in danger.  I am sweating my ass off to learn Algebra to help my kid learn it and to pass the semester.   Bud makes 4th chair trumpet in the Freshman Region Band, third chair in his school Symphonic Band, and passes Algebra!  I have an MRI on my cervical spine to figure out why I still cannot raise my arm over my head but I have more range of motion.  No results yet.  I have not been running, lifting weights, cycling, or swimming in months. 

So here are my resolutions for 2013:

  1. Participate in more events for fun than I did last year.  That shouldn’t be too hard since I only did two events.
  2. Regain my health and fitness.  I have to see what is up with my neck before I make solid plans.  I at least want to be able to raise my arm over my head with ease.
  3. Fix my nutrition.  I will be cutting out refined sugar and refined grains out of my diet for five to six days a week and then, only small amounts on the other days.  Other things will happen, but I will start with those.
  4. Be more involved with my kid’s grades.  I was focused on other things and did not keep up with his grades and he failed Algebra.  It was living hell trying to get him back on track and passing for the semester.  It won’t happen again.
  5. Give myself a break.  I will be taking some of the pressure off of myself to be perfect because I really am not good at being perfect and it just sets me up to disappoint people.  I’m just going to focus on doing what I can do within my limits and learning to say “no” to requests of my time and service.
  6. Repair the master bath and bedroom.  Get rid of stuff.


Thank you to those people who have been a great support to me even if you don’t think that you had an influence in my life whatsoever.  Robin Campbell, Sylvia Harris, Kim Orr, and Andrea Ward, you ladies have such powerfully positive attitudes and posts or phone calls have helped put a smile on my face or buoyed my spirit when it was low.

Thank you to my coach, Anthony Humpage, for pushing me further and making me run faster than I ever would have thought was possible and then being understanding when I couldn’t run.  The train might have derailed, but the cars are being uprighted, the spill is being contained, and the cars will be put back on the tracks.

Thank you to my kid for providing me with so much joy as I got to watch some amazing swimming and attend some spectacular concerts. I am very proud of you.

Thank you to my assistant coach, Audree Begay, for reaching those athletes that I cannot reach and helping me get everyone physically and mentally ready for their 70.3 race.  Oceanside is going to be a blast!

Thank you to my personal training and Pilates clients for being willing to change as I moved to a better work situation.  It may not have been smooth at times or convenient, but now it feels like we are back on track and moving forward.  More great things are to come in 2013.

Thank you to my husband for letting me have the pets to bring excitement into the house, for the cooking lessons that I really enjoy, the opportunity to have some beach therapy when I needed it, and the times when you are home and clean up after my messes in the kitchen and around the house.  One day I will clean out the house and get rid of everything so that we can live like monks.  Be patient.

Thank you to my good friends Cathy Breig, Rachelle Little, Kendall Gray, and John Vigil for the fun adventures, the hugs when I needed them, the extra cowbell after my (or my kid’s) victories, and letting me moan and whine while I figured out my next move.  Even though we don’t see each other as much as we used to in the past, when we do get to chat or see each other, it is like we just saw each other last week.  Here is hoping that I get to make a trip to Denver, Vegas, or to a race we will both be doing in 2013.  

And not to be forgotten, thank you to you, the reader, for taking the time to sit and read this.  I know that I have been really bad at updating my blog this past year, but there was not much that I wanted to write about.  Who wants to write about their crappy run workouts that have to be scrapped after two miles?  Not much at all has taken place in terms of triathlon or cycling, but hopefully there will be some running adventures in 2013.

Happy New Year!  Let’s see what 2013 has in store for me.

Coach Liz

4 comments:

Christi said...

2013 is our year!

Christi said...

2013 is our year!

Nothing said...

Will trade Algebra tutoring for Triathlon coaching!! I love Math and Physics and I LOOOVE Triathlon and Running :)

Ryan said...

What's next...mountain biking with Kendall? Wait that was last year - X I "LOL'd" when you had to learn algebra