In many ways I'd like to just forget all about 2018 altogether, move on to 2019 and see what's next, hoping for less drama and less trauma. On the other hand, maybe taking a quick review will help me close the door. Feel free to skim around and look for the high points. No need for anyone else to get all bummed out, too.
I finished the year with 550 miles, according to my spreadsheet. I don't trust either Strava (574) or GarminConnect (533) for my official mileage total. Maybe I'll look into the discrepancy sometime.
In February I was in the second month of a very slow buildup after taking December off with a hamstring strain, when my left knee started acting up. A week off didn't help. Neither did a few more weeks. When I went in to the knee doc, my insurance wouldn't approve his recommended MRI until I'd gone through six weeks(!!!) of PT. That helped exactly zero. The MRI, when I finally had it at the end of May (three months after the first problem), showed some minor damage and the doc recommended letting him go in and scrape it out. What he found once he was on the inside was a small tear of the meniscus. That fixed, it took a lot longer than I expected to recover. Plenty of rest, lots of limping around the office, a few little test "runs" in July, more PT. It was a long summer.
Once I discovered that running didn't make the pain any worse, I started a slow build up at the beginning of September. It sucked worse than any getting in shape period I've ever had. Every single run was a struggle, and I don't mean my knee hurt. That's the only thing that didn't. The rest of me was a mess. But I was undeterred. By the end of October I had my long run up to 9 miles and thought I'd give the half at Rehoboth a shot, if the other dominoes fell into place. They did.
Tried a 5k in November that went better than expected. Not blazing and I didn't feel great, but it was in the lower 20's and I didn't die. Rehoboth went sort of the same. Never felt the joy, but I didn't die and my time (1:50) was decent.
So, I declared my knee 100% and it's been good since, both at work and running. I've been doing short stuff since the race. December weather has been amazing around here. Last week I switched my long run to Friday because 50 degrees and did 9. On Saturday it was 31 and expected to snow/rain. I beat the weather, but with 10 yards or so to the end of the run, that stupid hamstring tried to pop again. So I've limped into the new year for the second year in a row. Did an easy 4 on NYD and could feel it most of the way, although not badly. I'm babying it now with ice and IBU, so I hope if I'm careful and stay slow, it'll recover and get me to spring.
But, hey, I'm running, which is 100% better than not running.
Second, not running.
I assume it was from not running at all in December (after Rehoboth) and really pigging out on holiday food, but my blood sugar numbers were mostly not good when I had my annual physical. Doc had me re-test in April, and although I'd gone out of my way to eat much, much better, I'd improved only the tiniest fraction of a point. Having another reason to run is OK, I suppose, but still.
My PSA was also up from the year before (and the year before that), so he ordered an April retest of that, too. Just like the blood sugar, it jumped again. That resulted in a urology appointment and a biopsy, which was mostly positive, but not conclusive. It also resulted in an e coli infection that won me a 3 day stay in the hospital. Thank goodness for health insurance.
The next weekend (the Sunday before Memorial Day), my mom died. It was an unexpected result from minor injuries she'd received when she and Dad were in a fender bender a few weeks earlier. She'd gone through rehab, had returned home just the day before, and woke up the next morning with breathing trouble. Pneumonia. She lasted about a week after going back into the hospital. She was 82.
In July I saw a dermatologist about a couple of spots on my lower legs that came out of nowhere and weren't responding to anything we'd tried at home. He took them off and had them checked. Basal cell carcinoma. Not a big deal if they don't come back. Big concern of they do. I have to go in now a couple of times every year to make sure.
My October PSA screen showed another increase. Next step was an MRI which looks mostly OK according to the report, but I'm waiting to hear from the urologist before I can declare this item closed, at least for now.
On the plus side, Big Mac, my elder daughter who lives in Seattle fell head over heels for a tall sciency guy and they are planning an April wedding. T-Rex passed two of the four classes she took last semester (we dropped the other two early on). Still hoping for her to reach a more functional level of work/study. My granddaughters seem to get more adorable every day.
I'm mostly comfortable now planning for a late spring marathon. I'd like to stay close to home and do Glass City with Mark and (maybe) Peg, or join the growing group of Loopsters in New Jersey, but those are both at the end of April, and that's a little tight for my slow training plan and the winter training uncertainty. Not to mention that they are two weeks after Mac's wedding and there is no running allowed that weekend - not good for late mary training. At this point I'm thinking more the end of May and Vermont City. I had penciled that in last year before the meniscus, so why not just do a reset? No plans at all for fall yet. I may skip fall and do Disney next January, depending on finances this year. Training will be less intense while my body figures out if it's really old already. I'll switch tempos to Tuesday and skip most of the intervals for the spring race. Didn't get into Hood-to-Coast again, but am still interested. Maybe I'll try to find another of those silly multi-day relays to do and see if it's as fun as I imagine.
As for my non-running life, one more year closer to retirement. I'll keep watching the numbers and hope the economy doesn't crash too hard so I still have some savings as it approaches. Still a few years away unless someone gives me that winning lottery ticket.