As is customary in the blogisphere, I’ve taken a little look back over what’s happened in 2015…and it’s a real mixed bag!
January saw a great start to the year with a PB at the Almost Athletes organised Linda Franks 5. It was a month of consistent running and strength work getting ready for the rigours of a marathon training schedule, and also featured one of my favourite weekends of the year, running around the New Forest for a few days.
In February I fulfilled a dream and ran my first foreign race, the Torremolinos Half. There’s no blog post for this because I was so disappointed at it only being 12.9 miles long and not counting as a PB! That aside, the weekend was incredible fun and we’re going back again in a few weeks time! There was the consolation of a 10k PB at Bourton. I also wrote one of the most popular posts of the year, a collection of 28 signs that you may just be a runner.
March and I celebrated my birthday with a 15 mile solo run along the Cotswold Way from Painswick back to Cheltenham. Then came my second trip to Silverstone to tackle the half marathon and coming away with another new PB!
Reaching the business end of marathon training in April, one of my favourite runs was 18 miles around the track, which most consider madness!
The madness continued in May with 20 miles up and down the same stretch of tarmac, but it was perfect preparation. That was proved at the end of the month with a massive PB in the Edinburgh Marathon, my fastest by 71 minutes!
In June I took on the Cotswold Way, all 104 miles of it, and ran the lot in 3 days. My first ever ultra, followed by two more on consecutive days. It went surprisingly smoothly and planted the seed that anything really is possible.
July can only mean one thing, a return to Catton Park and the glorious Thunder Run, 24 hours of running, laughing and eating with a group of friends similarly afflicted with a running addiction. We’re going back this year for our third attempt at breaking 30 laps.
Throughout August I was coaching a ‘Beginner To 5k’ programme through my running club. 16 participants all graduated with ease and as a result I’m now signed on to do the next level of coaching qualification this year. I love sharing the joy of running with newbies!
September and although I was running plenty myself, once again it was sharing the love that proved the highlight. I hosted the Trails In Motion film tour in Cheltenham, with a room full of mud lovers I presented a series of films that inspired and motivated some fantastic running over the following weeks. I’m already looking at how to make this event even better for 2016.
October, a new parkrun PB was swiftly followed by the most incredible pain, as I suffered a back injury while training in the gym. Days in bed and weeks without exercising where to follow, just when my running was at its best. Frustrating doesn’t come close to describing it!
Not running myself in November I took to assisting the club coach with speed training sessions and on the track. Trying to control a couple of large groups, especially in a track environment with other users around, was a steep learning curve but should hopefully help me when I start my CiRF course in March.
Finally, December, and a gentle return to training culminating in 4 runs in 4 days over Christmas. The highlight here has to be the new faces I was training with, people who share my passion, my desire to improve and in some cases my planned diary of races. It sets up 2016 perfectly…let’s make it the best year yet!