I know I’m not the only one who has spent the last few days reflecting on 2017 and whether they have achieved all they wanted to; nevertheless, I feel it’s my duty, OK therapy, to share my musings with you. I honestly can’t believe how quickly 2017 has gone. It doesn’t feel like 5 minutes ago I was trying to work out how the hell I would manage to run 1,000 miles during the year. The final count 1,220 miles. Goal number one – complete!
OK that wasn’t my first goal, that was to to smash a 2:15 half marathon. I completed this challenge quite early on in the year at Bath Half, super-seeded by Reading, then Oxford in October with a 2:11 finish time. The Grand Union Canal half in November was also sub 2:15. That one meant more to me than the rest, as it was with a wonderful friend of mine, who struggled towards the end, but we still crossed that finish line holding hands with smiles on our faces.
The second goal was to run at night. I’m such a creature of routine and ALWAYS run in the morning. I signed up to run Endure 24 in a team of eight. I felt really sorry for my team members, most of whom I had never met before. I think I spent the whole time worrying. Every one of my runs were a first for something. First ever change over on a run. First ever run in the dark. First ever run in the middle of the night. The team were awesome and they taught me to believe in myself more. I don’t think they realised just how inspiring and motivating they are. Cannot wait to run with them again in 2018.
My third running goal was a sub 60 minute 10k. My last attempt left me feeling like this goal was somewhat impossible. However on a very warm morning in July, I ran around Willen Lake at the Women’s Running event and completed the distance in 56 minutes.
The fourth goal was to put my marathon running demons to bed. After NY marathon I was left doubting my ability and strength. Berlin in September definitely silenced them. It was a real mind battle, but one in which I conquered by running the entirety (apart from through the water stations) and under the 5 hour marker.
My final goal, I didn’t quite make – sub 26 min 5 k. The Parkrun course in Buckingham this week was not ideal. Like the previous week, where I set a course PB at 26:16, it was very congested at the start, but this week had very soggy sections too. I really thought I would make it after running a 26:01:07 on the treadmill a couple of weeks beforehand. But that is life. Life which over the last week has reminded me that even the best plans can go wrong. It’s been quite funny really. The roads were icy, so I did my 10 mile run on the treadmill, then slipped getting out of the shower. Luckily only two bruised knees came out of it.
Then today, I managed to kick the kitchen. I’m really hoping my throbbing toes won’t stop the first challenge of 2018 – RED (Run Every Day) January, in aid of MIND. Since turning 39 at the beginning of December, I’ve been suffering with panic attacks again… I didn’t ever think they would return, but they have. Mainly at night time when I’m overtired and can’t seem to see an answer to everything. I know I have control issues and I have to let things go, but right now, I’m struggling to do this in the depths of night. On the face of it, I have nothing to worry about in the world; but that is the sad thing about mental health. It can strike any one, at any time.
Now to 2018. The year in which I turn 40, my middle one turns 18 and goes to uni. My step daughter reaches the wonderful age of 30 and my eldest daughter gets married. In fact there will be two weddings next year. Both my daughter and my youngest step daughter will make the huge step of becoming wives. It’s so exciting!
I am also excited about starting my 261 Fearless running group. I had the pleasure of meeting Kathrine Switzer (Founder of 261 Fearless) before Berlin marathon. “Run Fearless” she said to me. Words which I really needed to hear then and really need to remember now. I’m reading her book Marathon Woman at the moment. She is such an inspirational and fearless woman. Every body has a path to walk in life and you often can’t see the importance of it. Somewhere, at some time, some one will be changed for the better because of you, if you keep doing what your heart and instinct is telling you to do.
I don’t know what 2018 will bring. I haven’t really set any goals. Completing London Marathon will be amazing and probably my last marathon. I will achieve that sub 26 minute 5k and I would really like to push my 10 mile time down to 1:30. I need to be there for my children more than anything. It’s going to be a big year of change for them all. They need me to be strong and fearless, so strong and fearless I will be.
Happy New Year!