Excuse the platitude, but 2017 for me was a real roller coaster- one which, with hindsight, shows that I am no longer as young and as agile as I was.
It all started well with a hop in my step and a positive wish that I was going to run the London Marathon in 2017. January looked good; a couple 10 mile runs (including the Braunton 10- a hilly local event). My times were slow but the smiles were big.
February saw the problems start. Some longer runs after work saw my form dipping- the further I went, the worse my technique got. Despite this, I plowed on, with my right foot scuffing the floor and dragging as I went. I tried to ignore it and pushed myself one week to run a marathon in 7 days- the first time I had ever exercised for 6 days on the trot. I was proud of doing this, but that pride blocked my sight of the damage I was doing.
March saw the local Bideford half marathon. I reached half way and my hip started to hurt, and just proceeded to get worse the further I went. From this, it declined as I went through the month, hurting whenever I ran. A trip to the local sports physio confirmed my fears- that I had to rest, and defer my London entry until 2018.
I spent the next weeks gently riding my bike, keeping my hip turning over whilst it hopefully recovered. A longstanding entry into an obstacle 5km in July brought me back to gently running, but I had lost a lot of fitness. Instead, I used it as the start of a longer-term comeback, with the aim of 2018 London.
Summer came and I was starting to improve, but again with hindsight, I did have a tendency to go further than I was capable of, leaving me tired and disillusioned. I would then not run for a week or so. This has been something which I have been expert at doing for years- both in running and cycling- and sadly, is something I have only just recognized in myself.
The Great Western Run
September saw me tuning my miles for the Great Western Run, early October. This is new to me half marathon, a popular one. Sadly, it all unraveled for me, and I started to struggle at mile 6, and then got worse. I ended up completing it in 2 hours 39 minutes- nearly an hour on top of my PB.
To say this set me back mentally is an understatement. At the same time, a very important job interview came up, and I spent 2 weeks of every spare hour preparing myself for it, leaving no time for running. Sadly, I did not get the job, and the airplane flights gave me a bad cold which took a further 4 weeks to shake off.
So in November, once again, I started again. This is where the Vlog came in- 5km to Marathon in 5 months. I want to run better this time- gentler, more gradual, and importantly more consistently. I need to actually learn from my mistakes.
There is a lot I would change about my running in 2017. I would increase my distances slower and dream a bit smaller. However, I can not change anything now, other than going forwards. I want 2018 to be a great year with my running.
And I can do this by looking backwards.