There’s still plenty of running to do in 2016 but with all my target races completed it’s time to relax and look back on my running year. And what a year it turned out to be!
Hauling yourself out of bed on a cold, soggy Saturday morning and heading to an exposed Warwickshire airfield to run round in circles doesn’t sound that appealing but I had something to prove.
I’ve been a little quiet on here for a while; my writing mojo wandered off. It’s decided to return on the eve-eve of my big target race of the year: the Oxford Half Marathon 2016. Here’s why it’s come back.
Doesn’t time fly?! Can you believe it’s 3 months since I wrote anything on here? It’s not because I’ve been injured or had writer’s block; I’ve just not had anything I’ve wanted to say. Which is highly unusual for me!
As we rapidly progress into the final quarter of the year, and with no more racing scheduled for this year, I thought it was the right time to reflect back and look forward.
The first quarter of 2015 was the adventure of my first ever marathon training plan; stretching my longest run from 13 miles to 20 was far more enjoyable than I expected!
And what can I say about Q2 of 2015?
Quite possibly the best period of my running career to date. The experience of running the London Marathon was almost indescribable! I also added the cherries of a new road mile PB at the City of London Mile and a 5k (parkrun) PB on my birthday too.
The third quarter picked up where the second had left off – securing a mile PB at the Iffley Road track – but after a tough 10k in the Great Newham London Run, the fatigue of such a cracking first six months was creeping in. I was running regularly but not training specifically. The dreaded junk miles were starting to increase. Races were getting tougher and the frustration was growing.
I managed to refocus enough to secure my second quickest half marathon at the recent Oxford Half Marathon to finish off my season. The last few miles really showed up the lack of race specific training – the beauty of hindsight!
I’m now enjoying taking it easy for a couple of weeks – the first time since last Christmas. I’m still running of course but nothing too long, nothing too hard. It’s providing an opportunity to be a bit more social and to pull together some coaching ideas for the spring, not to mention giving some consideration to my own winter training!
With the end of the year approaching, it’s a good time to reflect back on your achievements over the past twelve months and an opportunity to think about your aspirations for the next twelve. I look back fondly over 2014 and peek excitedly towards a challenging 2015.
Five weeks ago I had my worst ever run at the spiritual home of my running, the Great North Run. This morning I was up, literally, at the crack of dawn to implement the lessons I learned from the GNR at this year’s Oxford Half Marathon.
This month I succeeded in achieving a personal running goal: completing a half marathon in under 2 hours. That pace isn’t anything to set the world alight. More than 1200 people finished in front of my at the Oxford Half Marathon; 40% of people who have run a marathon this year have finished in a quicker time. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I beat my fiercest and closest competitor: me! Continue reading What next? My London Legacy
A frosty, sub-zero morning was not what I’d expected when I decided to run the 2012 Oxford Half Marathon back in July. Scraping the car at 8am made the summer feel a very long time ago indeed. Rather than making me panic about being late, methodically clearing the ice actually helped to calm my pre-race nerves. As with other aspects of my life, I had planned the journey to Oxford with a certain degree of contingency. Continue reading Oxford Half 2012: What a race!
In a week’s time I will hopefully be sitting on this sofa with a sense of achievement having completed the Oxford Half Marathon. Something that, come rain, shine, work or holiday, I’ve spent a large portion of the last 12 weeks training for. From what I can tell from my training sessions over the last 3 months the signs are positive towards me achieving my target of under 2 hours. Continue reading Will the hard work pay off?