Reflections and Ambitions

Another year comes to a close. It doesn’t seem all that long since I last wrote a post like this – looking back on the year that has passed for me.

It’s been a funny old year for me; certainly one of two halves. This time last year I was gearing up for an early night and preparing for the longest race I’d ever run. On the very first day of 2013 I ran 30 miles around Whitby in the Hardmoors 30. It was an exceptional event, if a little muddy, and I had an absolute blast! Who’d have though I could run 30 miles?!?

Despite some minor injuries I progressed from there to my first experiences of XC racing in the club vest – including a snowy road trip to Sunderland for the Nationals. I also enjoyed my first LDWA event at the Devils Punchbowl. I was hoping for a second thirty miler, but the dodgy knee led to a pull-out at 20 miles!

In March I ran the Surrey Spitfire at Dunsfold (followed by a painful run home) and the Cranleigh 15 before gearing up for a really long run! In May I traversed 50 miles across Surrey and Kent on my own two feet and under my own steam.

At about this time I was also awarded a coveted place in the Trail Running Team, the brainchild of Simon and Julie Freeman over at Freestak. The team offered amazing camaraderie and support to a professional level as well as a terrific trip to the Alps in June. We spent three wonderful days running around the mountains. Well, the team did, at least. I spent one day loving life in the snow capped mountains before busting my knee on the final downhill stretch of the day.

It was definitely all down hill from here. I had taken on a fantastic coach in Robbie Britton to guide me to the finish line of the NDW100. I enjoyed some tough sessions, despite knee issues and regular physio appointments. After all that though, it was car trouble that ultimately kept me from even reaching the start line!

My confidence took a knock and I took some time to try and finally nail the instability problems that were affecting me. My physio was amazed I could run 10 miles, let alone 50, and that the 100 miler was going to be a significant challenge. Not that it wasn’t already, you understand, but my biomechanics made it a bit worse! I searched for a replacement race, and timings and logistics all pointed in one direction – Aldershot.

More specifically, in October, I toed the start line of what was to be the final edition of the Caesars Camp Endurance Run. I had looked forward to the day, and it all started so well – for a total of about 8 miles. I made it to 30 miles, but the hills and trails well and truly destroyed me.

It was weeks before I ran again, and then I only ran three times in three weeks. I did some stuff to get stronger including pilates and bodypump, but on the 25th November everything changed again.

Baby Delilah was born at 3:55pm on that Monday afternoon after a short and dramatic labour which involved an ambulance ride under flashing lights and the threat of delivering the baby myself in the spare room! Her 1 month birthday fell on Christmas day, and the three of us had a lovely time together.

So, it has certainly been a mixed bag, and I hope for something a little more stable in 2014. This Christmas I have managed a little bit of running, but I need to find a way to get back some structure as I hold a reserve place for the London Marathon for the club so I need to put some training in just in case. In addition to that, I have my Frankfurt place in October which is definitely something to aim for. Aside from these marathons, my target for this year has got to be:

Train slow to run slow. Train fast to run comfortably

Because right now, I am not running comfortably.

I hope to get my year off to a great start with the amazing Jantastic Spring motivation campaign and then aim for faster times over the ‘shorter’ stuff in 2014. 2015 is the long run goal year again with an attempt at the South Downs 100 at Easter.

So here’s to a fit and healthy 2014. I hope you have all had a great 2013 and I look forward to sharing 2014 with you all!! Happy New Year

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