Without a marathon to concentrate on, 2015 saw me become a triathlete after completing the London Triathlon; run with Paula Radcliffe; be a poster girl in the This Girl Can campaign; learn to swim front crawl again, and take part in my first 24 hour race at Equinox24 which included getting up and running in the dark at 1.30am! Phew!
So let's see how I got on with the rest of my goals...
1) Join a running club
This is probably the best thing I've done for my running all year, hell probably ever! After a few tentative visits, in January I signed up to the Manchester YMCA Harriers and haven't looked back since. Running with these lovely lot has meant going to wonderful races I'd never have entered alone, tackling a 24 hour race and coming top ten, winning the Christmas 5K Handicap as well as lots of brilliant social outings - not to mention chat chat chatting all the way through our weekly club runs.
2) Go to parkrun and make it routine
As soon as I completed my first parkrun early last year, I knew I would be back. The atmosphere en route; waiting for the text later to confirm your time and the feeling of being back in the warm tucking in to a post run brekkie by 10am, have all contributed to the best start to the best weekends. This weekly free 5k has also helped in increasing my speed (my 5k PB is now 21.34) and kicked me into gear to up my mileage by incorporating it into a long run. I've run in a number of different parkruns and when I'm away always check if one is nearby! Brilliant.
|Impromptu Harrier parkrun meet up|
3) Try out Cross Country
Not too long ago I did my first Cross Country race with the club. The wind was howling, the rain was pouring and the mud was slippery. But it was lots of fun. I've only completed one race so far but the season is young and I will be back for more in Jan!
|Mud mud mud|
4) Properly train for half marathons and try and break 1.45
Along with completing my triathlon, this is the running achievement I am most proud of in 2015 - completing the Wilmslow Half Marathon in 1.39! A new PB and much faster than the 1.45 I was hoping for. It was really hard work, but I really felt like I put the effort and training in, and unsurprisingly it paid off. I must remember this in my marathon training for Manchester 2016.
5) Have a clear out and lend a hand
A mile in her Shoes is a charity which helps women who have been affected by homelessness help find their feet through running. It's great, and I was really pleased when my new club told me they'd read my blog and were also doing a collection of running clothes to donate to the charity. So after sorting through my kit drawer I added my donations to the pile. In fact, having complained that my drawer is currently bulging, it's about time I had another clear out. I also volunteered to marshal our club race this year. It's nice to give something back and I should very much make it my goal to do more volunteering this year.
So there we have it - a pretty busy 2015 with lots of achievements I'm proud of. But the over riding bonus of the last year are all the lovely crazy people I've met and trained with along the way. From swimming, cycling, triathlon training and of course running, it's been the people who have been crazy enough to do these things with me that have really made it a brilliant year.