All in all, a pretty poor year. It started with my first ever DNS due to an injury, kept that theme going throughout the year, and ended that way with the last race being called off due to ice. Onwards and upwards as they say.
The Start of The Year – Build up to London Marathon
2009 had ended brilliantly – I was running really well, had put in some good long runs before Christmas (getting up to the 16 mile marker) and was running with a better standard of runner. Then the winter came with snow and ice, and then that was followed by a foot injury that came and went without much notice (well, took 3 weeks to go). The meant I was unable to run The Four Villages Half Marathon in January.
Getting back to running in late Jan early Feb coincided with a house and job move. Next up with Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon, closely followed by Liverpool Half. Silverstone I probably wasn’t really fit enough for, and then Liverpool was just a bad day at the office with runners stomach problems all the way round.
And so on London Marathon – what should be the highlight of any year – and was to a degree mine. I set a PB (by some 4 minutes, had hoped to smash it completely by some amazing time), and ultimately completing any marathon has to be seen as an achievement. The day itself though was gruelling. From about Mile 2 I felt as though I’d already run the marathon, and this continued pretty much all the way round.
After the event I was a bit miffed as to why I hadn’t set a better time, and also why I’d struggled so much. I’d run more miles than in the build up to Edinburgh 2009. Looking back now with a clearer head, I can see that those miles were pretty standard, one pace running miles – junk miles. I also stuck with my training strategy of 3 runs per week, and hence completely fell apart at about the 20 mile marker again.
Post Marathon Blues
Once again, as happen in 2009, after the marathon I really couldn’t keep up my running. I entered a couple of events to try and focus my training (Milton Keynes half being one), but then didn’t train, and therefore didn’t make the start line.
The End of 2010
Entering Edinburgh Marathon (after being rejected from London) in late September, early October, coupled with having a nice long relaxing honeymoon in Mexico has given me renewed enthusiasm about my running.
This lead to Ware 10, something I hadn’t trained particularly for, by wanted to use as a marker to see exactly where I was. Getting round in just over 1hr 30m was a cracking achievement, and I thought set me in really good stead to see out the year making some progress. I also took part in a Cross Country for the first time, and this ultimately lead to an ankle injury which then force 4 weeks off.
With the combination of injury, un-fitness and bad weather the remaining races for 2010 didn’t happen (Bedford Half, Dirt Half Marathon Challenge, RNLI Reindeer 10k and Buntingford 10).
Time for Reflection
The marathon was a highlight, despite it being such a hard day. The realisation that I hadn’t run a sub 2hr half in 2010 sank in late last night. My PB at half distance in Liverpool (1hr 57m) was very much running within myself as that was part of my build up to Edinburgh. I had hoped to completely smash that time this year.
However, all these ‘poor’ performances can be attributed to a lack of disciplined training. The only consistent mileage was posted between Feb to April (and most of these were junk miles) and then after that there has been little focus or structure to my training.
To The Future – 2011
So to Edinburgh Marathon 2011 it is. With the disappointment of 2010, I’m desperate to perform really well at Edinburgh. I think I’m more than capable of a sub 4 hour marathon, and to help achieve this I’m trying a more structured approach with at least 4 runs per week, higher mileage, but possibly more importantly plenty of speed work and marathon pace runs. I’m also introducing much more consistent cross training (cycling and swimming) which should hopefully go some way to helping my overall fitness.
Following on from Edinburgh, I’ve got Seaford Triathlon in August. This has given me a fresh challenge which I’m as equally excited and daunted about. So far though, I’m totally engrossed, and delving into reading everything about the world of triathlons.
Towards the latter part of the year is the Mersey Marathon (Oct 9th) and then the Great South Run (Oct 30th). Along with the Triathlon, I’m hoping these 2 events will help ward off the post marathon blues!
1. A sub 4 hour marathon
Aiming for this at Edinburgh. The backup goal will be to set a new PB.
2. Complete a Triathlon
This is Seaford, August 13th.
3. Run 1000 miles
Backup goal will be to run more miles than any other year (686 miles in 2009)
4. Side goals (which will be reviewed as the year progresses)
Set new PBs at various distances, particularly half marathon and 10 miles.
2011 Event List (so far)
Watford Half Marathon [6/2]
Aldi Ashby 20 Mile [13/3]
Edinburgh Marathon [22/5]
South Coast Triathlon, Seaford [13/8]
Mersey Marathon [9/10]
Great South Run [30/10]
I’m sure there will be plenty of others, but these are the focus so far. A races at the moment are Edinburgh Marathon, the Triathlon and probably the Great South Run, although I’ve never run 2 marathons in one year.
Other Important Things
I need to take more photos through next year, if for no other reason than to make my blog posts more interesting!!!!
So thats my year – what about you guys? Thanks for reading, have a great Christmas, and all the best to everyone for 2011, whatever your aims.