Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A summary of my running year

In summary 2014 was an epic year, at the start of the year I would never have dreamed I would have been involved with most of what 2014 brought. I never thought I would start a blog and had no idea of the supportive world of social media that lay in store! 

In all I covered 1,648Km or 1,024 miles which passed my target of 1,000miles! 

They say pictures tell a thousand words and they are of course much quicker to view than hundreds of words so if you are a bit strapped for time a flipagram of my year is here:

The start of the year:

2013 ended with me feeling very disappointed after a poor performance at the Beachy Head Marathon in October. I was eager to quickly get this disappointment out of my system with another marathon in early 2014 but couldn't find anything that fitted into my schedule for the early part of the year.

So in January I instead took part in the Benfleet 15 not so much a running event as a mud fest! It was a great event though that I really enjoyed and quite liked running a 15 mile distance although it took me around 2 and a half hours! 

A half marathon PB

Come February I had entered the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon searching to better my half marathon PB of 1.46 and aiming to run sub 1.45. The event goes down as my best running performance as I smashed my PB and expectations finishing in 1.39! The feeling of catching the 1.40 pacers in the last mile and then powering past them in the final few hundred metres will live long in my memory as a real highlight! 

Three marathons in three months 

Around this time I hatched my plan to run three marathons in three months later on in the year, my three marathon challenge was designed with the aim of me running sub 4 hours for the first time and giving me a focus ahead of the impending doom of my 30th birthday in early 2015.

As things transpired I missed out on my sub4 hour target principally because two of the three marathons were tough off-road affairs where a PB time was never realistically going to be achievable.

The first of the three marathons was the Vanguard Way in August starting in Croydon and taking place over the North a Downs. It turned into a very eventful race as I got lost three times and eventually crawled over the finish line in 4.55. The race was probably the most enjoyable of the year as I enjoyed the camaraderie with other runners, the small scale of the event and the subsequent isolation and solitude experienced while running.

Marathon number two was an altogether different affair with a large scale inner city marathon with the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham. A great performance and a marathon PB of 4.09 which I was really pleased with.

The third marathon was a tricky kettle of fish, a local off road trail marathon the Weald Park marathon which consisted of 12 3.5km laps. Again really enjoyable but so demanding and again I was massively pleased with my finishing time of 4.34. 

Overall I loved running marathons so close together and really felt I gained momentum as I progressed through the three and I was able to learn more about myself as a runner as well as the requirements of running a marathon.

Somewhere towards the end of my training towards my first of three marathons I ended up unexpectedly taking part in spitfire scramble which is a 24 hour team relay event which held its inaugural event in a nearby country park. I say unexpectedly as I ended up getting involved only days before the event was due to take place as a team had suffered with dropouts of runners with injuries and illnesses and I answered an urgent appeal on Twitter for runners to get involved. 

The event was amazing and it was a great experience to run late at night and in the early hours of the morning, in all I contributed six 9.5km laps in the 24 hour period towards our teams total. 

I enjoyed it so much I am already signed up for 2015! 

My other memorable achievement of 2014 was the completion of my long held aim to run all the way home from work a route of some 18 miles. I capitalised on my marathon fitness to complete this aim in October and you can read about it here. 

30 Day runstreak  

After these three marathons and the relative disappointment of missing my sub4 target I was a little unsure of what my next aim would be. In November I embarked on a 30 day run streak to push my limits as a runner as well as aiming to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer awareness month while also fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer UK, you can still visit my JustGiving page here

Asics 26.2

I was only a few days into my runstreak when I got caught up in the whirlwind that is Runnersworld Asics Target 26.2. I was fortunate enough to be selected in 50 lucky runners from over 3,000 entrants to go through to the boot camp stage. It was an amazing experience and I was so lucky to have been involved despite not progressing any further in the competition. I have made some great friends though and am really looking forward to following everyone's progress in 2015 as everyone searches for Marathon PBs at various events in the spring. 

The year ended with me completing my 30 day runstreak and my last event being the traditional Santa run, which as always is great fun! 

Thank you again for all your support I really appreciate it, best wishes on all your running endeavors in 2015!