What better time to stop for a while and look back at what has been an awesome year of running or as I was thinking earlier nearly 13 years of running! If anyone had told me then, when I first laced up my trainers to lose a few pounds that running would end up entirely dominating my life I wouldn't have believed them. I really was just going to lose some weight and tick the London Marathon off my to do list!!
13 years later I live and breathe running, obsessed, addicted or a healthy way to spend my time you decide but I wouldn't have it any other way. This year has been awesome, having Lindley as my coach has improved my running no end, I'm more confident about what I can achieve and although I had two DNFs this year and still have lots to learn I know it was 100% the right decision for me. Having that schedule on the fridge and knowing exactly what I have to do each week works for me and I love it. I no longer just run routes I know as my navigation skills have improved I'm happy to get out and explore.
I still have The Flitch Way Marathon on New Year's Eve to take part in and then I will be completely focused on training even harder to ensure I finish Challenge Running's Grand Slam next year. Finishing the two races I didn't finish this year is constantly on my mind. Physically I believe I'm fit enough, toughening up mentally and being stubborn enough to get through the tough bits I'm working on! Another race I am fascinated by is The Hill, 48hours, 160 miles and 55 laps of a hill in Derbyshire in December. It is a insanely tough but I can't get rid of the little voice that keeps telling me I could potentially be the first female finisher, so when I finish the Chiltern Way Ultra next year I will seriously consider entering!!
As always it's the people I have met along the way this year that really makes me happy to be part of the running community. Race directors, volunteers, other runners all support each other in a way that I'm not sure happens in other sports.
My newest venture has been to join the core team of Great Notley's parkrun, Saturday I shadowed Richard as run director and although out of my comfort zone had a thoroughly enjoyable morning and am looking forward to going solo on 3rd January. It was a surreal morning as it was a fancy dress run for Christmas, so I shivered on the bench in my 118 costume as I delivered the run brief, to some Mexicans, Santas, Penguins, a two person parcel and even the Christmas dinner! I love parkrun and am really happy to be part of the team and looking forward to all that 2015 brings.
So 2014 has been a pretty good year and it can't end without me saying thank you to all those that have supported me this year... Lindley and Maxine, all the volunteers and runners at Challenge Running events, Richard, Łen and everyone at parkrun who have welcomed me as part of the team, the Commando Runners, the Nutters and everyone else I've met along the way this year. Also my non running friends and family who have supported and sponsored me.
Abbi, James and Ben my children, who listen to and encourage my crazy running plans I love you all x
Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year and happy running xx