2012 – What A Year

So, many blogs are being released at the moment, looking back at the ups and downs of the last year and reminiscing about what transpired, or perhaps what should have been. Now it is time to produce my version of events.

Targets

This time last year I set myself a number of targets:

2012 km in 2012 (thats 1250.2 miles)
As of this morning, I have successfully completed this aim. With a consistent year this would have actually have been easily attainable, but I had quite a wobble in the midde of the year when my knee flared up after the strongmanrun, and mileage dropped significantly – leading to some concern that I’d have to wedge it all in towards the end of the year.

Taken from Endomondo Statistics. Monthly running mileage
Taken from Endomondo Statistics. Monthly running mileage

Given that last year I ran a total of 537 miles, and my longest month was 83 in February, I thought this would be even more of a challenge than it turned out to be. I have just really enjoyed my running this year.

21 minute 5km
At the start of the year I thought this would be easily attainable. I still had work to do, but was showing good signs of progress. Marathon training slowed things down a bit, and then injury really put the hold on any serious attempt to go any faster. By the Autumn I was focusing on running longer so put no real effort into the parkun attempts, although time was slowly creeping downwards. Since joining the running club though, I started to see an increase in pace and thought an attempt was on the cards. Over a three week period in December I got my PB down to 22:05, 21:40 and then most recently 21:11. I am absolutely over the moon with this turn around. It’s not quite the 21 minute target, but given the actual effort that was made on reaching this goal I am very pleased, and can see this time falling in the future.

45 minute 10km
In the end, I actually only had one stab at this effort. I spent much of the summer training for the Crawley 10km race. I had done tough track sessions on my own, and put in the effort to bounce back from injury with 5 sessions per week. The route was hillier than I had expected, and although I was disappointed with 45:48, the improvement in time from my PB was still significant, and a slightly flatter route would pay dividends.

2:00 hour Half Marathon
Again, I had just one official stab at this distance as a whole bunch of twitterers met up at Silverstone for the half marathon. It was a fantastic day, and my first ever official half marathon so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the race, or my effort. In the end, I came away with 1:53 and I was chuffed with that. Target smashed!

4:30 Marathon
When I set out my targets for the year, this one looked ambitious given my 5:41 performance at London in the previous April. Running in 2011 had been hit or miss and 4:30 was definitely a fair target to aim at. Training at the start of this year was going really well and toeing the line I actually felt confident of something closer to 4 hours. The weather Gods conspired to defeat me, and it was a tough day out on the streets of Milton Keynes, and I came in to the stadium in 4 hours 21. This was a whopping 1:20 off of my marathon PB, but surprisingly I was a little deflated by the time. Target Smashed though!!

plankaday
Well, I managed January. That is all!! The less said about that the better. :-)

2012 – a review

This years running got off to a fantastic start with the parkrun triptych. It was a really tough morning, but with Lyndseys support driving me around the county whilst I refueled and changed shoes etc. What a way to kick off New Years Day.

The following week was stunning but cold weather for the G3 run at Newlands Corner. The weather was nice, but the course was rotten – very hard work, but beautiful though. Oh, my feet suffered from chilblains though. Brrr

Training was going really well at this point, as monthly totals showed consistent improvement. The MarathonTalk Jantastic campaign inspired me to superb regular achievements in my training. A further inspiration was served up when I was fortunate to meet Chrissie Wellington at her book signing in London town. And then again when I was watching and supporting the London Marathon.

The week after the marathon I had the incredible opportunity to represent TeamGB at the Neurburgring in Germany for the Fishermans Friend StrongmanRun 2012. This is one of the highlights of my incredible year. The run was fantastic, but most importantly I met some truly inspirational people to enjoy the experience with. Whilst there I even won my first pair of Brooks Shoes, the Union Jack Green Silence.

Things went a little downhill here, as I looked to complete Juneathon, but with a knee that wasn’t happy post StrongmanRun I had to give up. The Longest Day Run, brainchild of Simon Walkden, was something I had championed right from its conception. Sadly, despite my best laid plans, my knee wasn’t up to much and I did not meet the lofty aims I had set myself. But people did some truly remarkable things that weekend, and it was amazing to follow online the personal challenges that everyone was overcoming to take part in this truly special 24 hour period, wherever they were.

The next highlight of the year was the team challenge of the Adidas Thunder Run. In our group of 8, some of whom had never even met before, we settled in to our campsite and enjoyed 24 hours of continuous 10km loops. The experience was unlike any other, and I had such a great time. Running in the dark, and watching the sun rising above the tree line was phenomenal!

September saw a few changes as I started a new job, and Lyndsey and I moved house closer to work. This meant running was even easier for me, and I stepped up my training. Inspired by having volunteered at the North Downs Way 100, I started planning my next year of running. With Hardmoors looming I started to increase my training load too. I did receive my London Marathon Rejection letter though. How sad!

Towards the end of the year I was a winner again, as Brooks Running shoes awarded me entry to the Hell up North race, and provided all the clobber to complete it in. This was another awesome event, unlike anything I had ever done before or since. I enjoyed it so much, that I also volunteered to help out a Hell Down South a fortnight later.

And finally, as the year comes to the end I have had so much fun running around the ‘Largest Village in the UK’ dressed as Santa, and bringing my 5km PB down week on week. I joined the (relatively) local running club, and haven’t looked back. They are such a friendly and inspiring bunch. I have always been terrified of the prospect of joining a club, but I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Without a doubt, the single best thing about this year has been meeting amazing new people! From the group that ran at Silverstone, to the new faces pulled together to make a team at ThunderRun, and the bunch of idiots who plan to run long ways along the North Downs Way on our recce runs, you have all been amazing, and all contributed to a very special year for me. Thank You All!!

With all the other sporting achievements this year including Le Tour and the Olympics, 2012 has been phenomenal!!!

2013

This one is easy. There are only a few targets to be met:

Run 30 miles in Whitby on New Years Day
Run 50 miles along the North Downs Way in May
Run 100 miles along the North Downs Way in August
Keep up, but enjoy my training throughout the year!!

Simples!

Have a fantastic New Year everyone, and a wonderful 2013!!

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4 thoughts on “2012 – What A Year

  1. it has been great sharing some of the runs you mentioned above! and a phenomenal well done, you have done so well!! I am hoping to be volunteering at the NDW 100, and will definitely be on cheering duty for the 50 miles

  2. You have had a truly amazing year, well done on everything. Be very proud of yourself :-) I am sure as long as you stay injury free you will achieve your goals in 2013.

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