Anyway, enough explanation, let's get into it. .
- 2017 started with 6 months of rehabbing plantar fasciitis. This was at the tail end of a year long battle that started weeks before I ran the Boston Marathon in 2016. Over that year I tried physiotherapy, ice, rest, the sleeping boot and laser therapy to no avail. I learned to use KT tape to support the foot successfully but that never solved the problem entirely. Finally shockwave therapy quickly cured the issue and so I was exposed to one more option in my war chest of fixes for running injuries. I was happy to be running pain free and registered for the Victoria Marathon in October.
- While training for the marathon I decided to train lightly, meaning I didn't push high mileage and was mindful of my foot or any pain that arose. It turned into the best marathon training I've ever done leaving me fit, healthy and pain free at the starting line. It was also short on total mileage which showed up on race day withme bonking at 32km. Despite planning well, I faltered on in-race nutrition which didn't help. In the end this was a very enjoyable marathon, one I was glad to have run and a step in the right direction as I try and master this race distance.
- I ran my furthest distance ever of 46km at the Cedar Ultra, a 6 hour event. I did a large amount of walking during the day and enjoyed the company of others but it gave me some important insights into longer events. Fuelling at slower distances (eating food) is much easier as your body is settled and not exerting itself too hard. Recovery is very fast as well. I was able to easily run the next day with no soreness. I've signed up for the event again in 2018, hoping to do 60km.
- I entered my first organized cycling events in 2017. At the start of the year I joined mylocal cycling club to get familiar with group rides and being close to other cyclists. My wife and I did a 55km ride at the Tour de Victoria which was fun and useful for me so I could gain experience at a cycling event. In September I participated in the 122km Whistler Gran Fondo. It went well, the distance and climb up the sea to sky highway weren't overly challenging but my cycling inexperience showed up as I underdressed and finished the race near hypothermia. In 2018 my wife and I are again doing the Tour de Victoria together as it falls on our wedding anniversary weekend and I've signed up for the Okanagan Gran Fondo in July. I'm hoping for warmer weather and a faster time in my second attempt at a cycling event. Similar to the Cedar Ultra, what I like about cycling is recovery is very fast, I was able to go out for a run the day after my last Gran Fondo with no trouble.
- in 2017 I started the year consistently doing gym workouts and yoga. Sometime around October I dropped both largely I think due to a desire to lack of time and desire. I started back in late December with gym workouts and I'm already noticing some strength improvements. I strongly believe yoga helps keep me injury free and more importantly stress free so I'd like to go back to that soon. Swimming has pretty much dropped off my radar for the past year. I went a few times and was so horrified by my lack of skill that I stopped going. Assuming I want to do a triathlon one day I'll have to drag myself back to the pool.
- In 2018 I have three running goals. A 5K and 10K PB are two of them. The Bazan Bay 5K and Rattler Run 10K are my goal races. My thought is that as I'm aging my window of opportunity to PB these shorter races is coming to an end. This means the spring will have to entail much more speed work, I'm not starting the year feeling particularly fast. My third goal is to race the Okanagan Marathon in October. I'm not looking for a PB, but I'd like to build on what I learned training last year.
- I graduated with a Nutrition Certificate from CSNN in 2017 and began an advanced class on athlete nutrition which I should be done in late January 2018. The course was difficult, but I enjoyed learning again, expanding my mind and challenging myself. I have some thoughts around the state of nutrition training in Canada, but want to save that for another post. In general though it was helpful to learn different viewpoints on diet to help get me out of my own echo-chamber of self affirming thought. I'm also more committed to the notion that a whole food plant-based diet is ideal for health longevity.
- in 2018 I plan to enroll in an online cooking school that focusses on plant-based cooking. I'm excited about this as I very much enjoy cooking and want to include more recipes and cooking videos on this blog. Eventually I'd like to tackle a cookbook (long term goals).
- The end of January will be my 5th anniversary of eating entirely plant-based. I've never once regretting making that change.
- 2017 was a tough year for a lot of people. The world is best described as .... unsteady. I've spent a lot of time absorbed in the news as have most of you I'm sure. I'm trying to find balance again and limit my hyper focus on current events. With social media in particular I think I've found a healthier balance. Namely I've removed Facebook from my mobile devices and I generally reduced my phone usage. I'm going to work on this more in 2018 along with my mindfulness practice.
- Our family has gone through a tremendous amount of change in 2017. My wife ran for political office and lost, but the exposure of our lives to public scrutiny took its toll. I'm so glad she did it, the example she set for our daughter was amazing. I'm very proud of how she put herself out there but I'd be lying if I said it was stress free. I'm hoping for a quieter 2018.
- I've closed my photography business at the end of 2017. For the past decade my identity has been tied up in that career and it's been very interesting to close a chapter of my life. I've returned to more full-time community support work and will take a few months to assess my path. Ultimately I'd like to spend more time writing both in the book I started a few years ago and on this blog. I'd like to improve my video skills on a YouTube channel and continue my education. I sense an explosion of the plant-based movement coming over the next few years and I know I have a place in helping others navigate a transition to a healthier lifestyle.
- On my own health journey I'm starting 2018 hoping to finally deal with a couple of large kidney stones I've been carrying around for the past few years. While marathon training last summer I started to experience rather bad nausea after long runs. This all culminated in various doctors visits recently where blood was found in my urine and a referral to a urologist was made. On reflection I'm wondering if the nausea was just the crisis that earlier symptoms should have warned me about. I've long struggled with lack of appetite after running and difficulty taking in nutrition while running. Generally my stomach has never been as happy about my running hobby as the rest of my body has. Maybe the nausea was just the tipping point. My hope is that the urologist will agree to remove those stones, that I'll be able to enjoy a happy digestive system and ultimately a better marathon effort. You can see/hear more in the video below.