What are goals? What are achievements? How often do you think about them?
For me at the end of 2016, my only running based goals were a sub 4hr marathon in London and to raise as much money as possible for UNICEF. This I achieved, you can read about it here.
I had a personal goal, something I don’t want to share here. This I haven’t achieved; it annoys me that I haven’t but I only have myself to blame for that! Moving on…
Running wise though, as I entered mid-January of 2017 I did start to think about some other goals I wanted to achieve with my running but I hadn’t planned any races. I never made these public at the time as I hadn’t connected with this amazing and inspiring running community.
As the year went on I did share them though.
For those that don’t know them, here you go:
1) Run 2000KM
When I set this in Strava, I had no idea if I could achieve it. Like I said, I had no race plans apart from the marathon at this time or how many KMs I would put in for training.
To my surprise I achieved this goal on the finish line of the Beachy Head Marathon at the end of October. Maybe I should have set a harder number, lol!
2) A Sub 20min Parkrun
Before this year, I had only run 1 Parkrun and I came in somewhere around 22 or 23mins on a hilly trail course. I found my local one in Bromley and practiced the course over the next few months, coming close in Feb with 20.22.
I felt I could do the time though but I just didn’t know when or how though. To my amazement I achieved it twice this year!
The first time was on the 13th May, with a storming 19.57 boom!
Then on the 15th of July I clocked up about 19.42, which was astounding to me. I ran with an amazing woman the whole way. We didn’t talk obvs but somehow we knew we were pacing each other to a fantastic time. Sometimes you just know right?
3) A 10K PB
I didn’t know what that time would be, I had run 4 10ks before and each one was a PB, lol.
My time at the Petts Wood 10k (trail race) was 45.24ish. I knew I had a sub 45 road race in me but didn’t have a chance until a week before the marathon. This is where I made the dumb ass move of getting a PB with only 7 days before the biggest race of my life. Dick!
Anyway I rocked it in at an awesome 42.26!
I didn’t book another 10K until the Petts Wood in October. Here my goal was to beat the previous years’ time and do a sub 45min. Somehow, out of I don’t know where, I got a 42.07! I am still a bit in shock to be honest but that’s the beauty of running.
4) A Half Marathon PB
Prior to 2017, I had run two of them. These were two very different races.
The first was the Palace half, where, I felt comfortable the whole time, listened to my music and ran my race. Finished in 1hr41 something, pretty chuffed with that to be honest.
I then booked the Ealing half for end of September. Here I wanted to get sub 1hr40 but around 11 or 12k in my IT band went, I had to walk some bits and I discovered I can’t eat Jelly babies and run, sorry kids. My time here was around 1hr 46. I was not happy but understood what the issue was.
This year I was given the opportunity to run the Silverstone Half through UNICEF, a flat race on a race track, what could possibly go wrong right. Well almost nothing, (apart from wearing too many layers and forgetting my nipple protection), as I smashed out a 1hr 36 23!! I was amazed at the time; I had beaten my father’s PB of 1hr 39ish. OMG!
I guess this is what the hard work of the marathon training is. I knew I could do more but failed in my sub 1hr 35 attempt at the Great North Run. Still this goal was achieved.
5) Run more trails
Before we had Poppy, Gillian and I used to go on long hikes, we went on mountain adventures, which were amazing. These hold some fond memories and I can’t wait to start again with Poppy, although she will probably hate it!
When I started running in 2015, I knew that my heart lay in the fields, woods and hills of the trails. My good friend Paul showed me the short trail routes around the local area which made up the Petts Wood 10K. Whenever I felt a little stressed or my head needed clearing more than usual, I would divert my route to the woods and just run it off, it’s a really liberating feeling, something hard to explain.
As late spring came and the mornings got lighter I hit the woods for some of my easy runs. I was shown some more routes by Paul. Then I entered the Maverick 21K trail race in Kent, the Petts wood 10k and the Beachy Head Marathon. These would turn out to be the best runs of the year for me emotionally. I have never felt this way about running before and didn’t think I could feel so free.
This was a major goal achieved, worth more than the PBs. I have learned that experiences and memories count for so much. Yes, being fast and pushing yourself gives you a major rush and sense of achievement but it’s so different.
These were the goals for 2017, they are all done. Finished…Well there is one last one to add to the list.
On the 26th November, I will finally have the privilege of running with a very dear friend. Someone who I have so much respect for. Someone who inspires so many people but often doubts herself, when she shouldn’t. Who can pull herself up when things are crap. This will be my last race of 2017, it is not my race though. It is hers. Even if I have to leave a trail of Nutella in front of her, you’ll smash it like the awesome lady you are x