Hi there buzzers and Happy New Year! I hope you all got what you wanted for Christmas and I hope you are still clinging on to those resolutions!
2017 was, too put it VERY mildly, quite a year for me! In every aspect of my life there was change, and pretty universally change for the better. I got married to Jenny McC, (four years after meeting her through this very site), it was a wonderful wedding day, kicking off with a parkrun in wedding fancy dress of course. We moved to a new house, we got a puppy (who, thankfully, loves running!) I became an Ultra runner, first at Hadrian’s Wall, then on the Escape from Meriden. I swam in my first competitive open water swim, Loch Lomond Duathlon, which I loved. I performed on stage in a professional show for the first time as part of the Manchester International Festival. I ran a couple of marathons and quite a lot of parkruns. I finished the year in a much better physical state than I began it so all in all I really can’t complain!
So how to match or beat that in 2018? Well I can’t possibly on a non-running level but with the running there are still a lot of old goals and a couple of new ones. So here is the beginnings of a plan (to be built on…)
- Manchester Marathon. April. I have a challenge carried over from the last time I ran Manchester, I want to break 3.30. I came close three years ago but blew it in the last couple of miles. My PB is 3.38 but I am convinced I have a sub 3.30 in me. Maybe not this year as I am starting from a weak base, but I will do everything I can to get as close as I can.
- Snowdon. This will be my fifth Snowdon. Jenny and I were talking about it and we realised that neither of us have ever trained specifically for Snowdon. I intend to put that right this year. I’m setting myself the goal of hitting sub 4. I don’t underestimate the challenge, but I feel if I seriously train for it I might be lucky.
- As for Ultras, well I decided not to do any this year… but then Escape from Meriden left me with unfinished business; I had to pull out when I was less than ten miles away from a precious gold crow medal and had to settle for silver. I decided pretty quickly that I needed to get that gold. This year’s escape was fully booked in no time but the organisers have come up with a new race that is like Meriden in reverse. It’s called ‘Convergence’ and the finishing point is in the Peak district, a mere marathon away from where I live, in a place called Hope. I have come up with a fiendish plan that I reckon will bag me the Gold crow this time and I cannot wait to take revenge!
- I also wanted to find a fun and different running challenge, a couple of years ago I took part in Man V Horse which I loved, I also heard about the event called ‘Race The Train’ where you do just that; race a steam train up and down a welsh hill. 14 miles, or 10K, take your choice. The distance runner in me wants to try the 14 miles but the competitor in me knows I stand a better chance of beating the train on the 10K. I haven’t made my mind up yet…
- Parkrun. In between all these I want to try to get my parkrun quota to 100, I’m on 84 now, and I want to try to improve my PB which has stuck at 20.50 for two years now. I want to change that.
I’m sure there will be other challenges but I think that will do for now!
We’ve just completed week three of training for Manchester and it has been going pretty well, the 13 mile long run was a bit of a slog today but I came in just under pace target. The speed sessions have been really encouraging and the tempo’s have not been too bad considering I hadn’t done one for almost a year. I’m looking forward to the step back week next week when the tempo is just 3 miles and the long is 10. I’m going to use that one to see how I get on with a couple of miles at marathon target pace.
I’ll let you know how it goes in the next blog.
Happy training and happy planning everyone, it’s great to read all about the challenges people are setting themselves. 2018 looks set to be a corker!
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