Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 - My Annus Horribilis

"I want to run four times a week, strength train twice and throw in some yoga at least three times a week. With my running I'd like to get my mileage back up around the 50-55k per week"

I just checked back to my New Year's post for this year and that's the only real hint of a resolution that I made for the last year. And how did I go. Major, epic FAIL! But it was because of circumstances beyond my control and I'm at peace with it. My main aim of 2012 was to find out what the hell was wrong with me and I finally found it so I'll count 2012 as a success - albeit a pretty torrid and traumatic one.

The year started for me with another bout of exhaustion with no apparent cause. A diagnosis of post-viral fatigue meant resting as much as possible. I spent the days wondering if I'd be able to survive the day without a nap or two, worrying whether I could get through all the work that had to be done for my business and at home. I tried alternative therapies to try to up my energy levels and whenever I could I'd try to continue an exercise program that was so itiful compared to what I'd been doing before. 

For weeks I couldn't run - so I'd walk. And then I did a mix of run/walk. And I gradually built back up to be able to run the 10k at the Gold Coast marathon festival in July. It may have been my slowest time ever but I ran the whole way and I was thrilled. And then I set my sights on the half marathon in October and again managed to finish, slowly but surely. I've finished the year with 1650k on my Garmin which is much better than I would have dreamed at the beginning of the year.

It's been a tough year for someone who likes to set goals. How can you set goals if you don't know if you're going to be well enough to do anything. I went into both of my races with contingency plans. If I couldn't run the whole way I'd walk. And if I was too tired I'd just use the weekend as a holiday. It's not a terribly satisfying way to do things but beggars can't be choosers and just being there had to be enough for me. 

But I've learnt heaps about myself this year.

I've learnt that I'm a dreadful patient. I get terribly frustrated to not be able to do the things I took for granted before. I also hate to ask for help and I've had to do that A LOT this year. But I've learnt that people don't resent you for having to help out. 

I've found out that I have some amazing friends. People who will drive for an hour to let you know that they care how bad you feel that you've had to put your dog down. People who turn up with flowers when you're worried about your son. People who listen to your tales of woe and keep coming back for more. People who live miles away and send you such uplifting, caring texts that it brings tears to your eyes and gives you the strength to carry on one more day. People who know you're in a cranky mood but still offer to meet you for coffee even though you frighten them when you're cranky (yes, I mean you Coach Chris). All these wonderful people have been my props when the going has been tough and my knees have felt like they've been buckling under me. I am so incredibly blessed.

I've learnt to find happiness in the little things. Toby was one of the little things that has brought me enormous happiness and made me laugh every day.

How can you keep a straight face when this is what greets you at the door, lights flashing?

And how can you not take a tennis-ball-throwing break from work when you see this face?

It's not been all bad having to take life at a slower pace. You get a bit more time to see the treasures that are hidden if you rush on by.

I'm really looking forward to 2013. It's going to be nice to turn over the page and have a nice fresh one to start writing on.


  1. I hope your 2013 is awesome!! Now you know what's going on with you and you are feeling better so the sky is the limit as they say.

    I always love the pics of sweet Toby!!

  2. I love your blog and your perspective on life.

    I appreciate the reminder to slow down and appreciate the little things. Bring on 2013!

  3. 2013 will be most excellent.

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  5. Congrats on your 1650k in 2012 :) completely agree with you about finding happiness in the little things! Great picture of Toby ... the first one.
    I look forward to following your posts in 2013: I love reading them and you're a nice writer :)
    May you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  6. I think you've done brilliantly considering all the ups and downs you've had with illness. And ditto what Jamoosh said above.

  7. i got a little verklempt reading your post...i looked back at my 2012 goals and i pretty much didn't accomplish any of them...but they'll come and there's many reasons in life to be happy besides ticking things off my to do list! congrats on the awesome mileage and 2013 will kick major @ss... :)

  8. Here's to a great 2013. I love our across the world friendship and keeping up with you, your family and of course Toby.

  9. I see a great 2013 in your future!! Looking forward to reading about your adventures!!

  10. 2011 was a shocker for me. Job issues; told finally I'd never have a child; place on market for 3mths and not selling; then my dad in hospital for 6wks before passing away.

    2012 has been much better. Sadly I've gained weight I lost in 2011 (the only highlight in 2011) and am finishing the year less fit, but the move I've made and leaving work has made the year a good one. Can't believe it's taken me until now to realise that work isn't the most important thing in my life!

    Hope 2013 is injury free for you and you have a great year!


  11. Do you know what? You spent such a large part of the year doing it so tough with all the unknowns regarding your health but you kept me and all of your readers laughing! You have such an admirable perspective on things and I can't wait to read all about the successes (and hilarious adventures!) that 2013 is sure to bring you :)

  12. I really enjoyed that Char - I think we all probably need something in our lives to make us slow down a little and enjoy our surroundings a little more. Unfortunately, we probably don't recognize it at the time, and don't process it as a blessing when we're going through it.

    Toby also brought me a lot of enjoyment this year. I love all the photos of the little guy! Like most dog owners, Michael and I impersonate what we think our dog Jack wold sound like if he could talk ... if you do that, does Toby have an Aussie accent? I hope so, a dog with an Australian accent would be one of the most awesome things ever my friend!!!

  13. I hope 2013 is a great year - full of good health and lots of awesome running for you!!!

  14. I wish you all the best in 2013, Char - may it be a wonderful, testosterone-charged year!

  15. I hope 2013 is awesome too. And Toby is super-cute!


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