This year has been a bit up and down both for my family and for my running. In my profession we always talk about reflecting on our actions and what has happened. Reflection is a useful tool so I thought I’d reflect back on my running journey in 2012.
Edinburgh Marathon 2012
I had always said I would run a marathon but had never actually got round to it. When the rejection magazine came through again from the London Marathon my husband put me on the spot and asked why it had to be London? Truth is it didn’t have to be. So I looked for another Spring race and Edinburgh became ‘the One’.
Training for the Edinburgh Marathon was an incredible experiences It challenged me not just physically but mentally. Marathon training takes you to some dark places. You have moments of self doubt and fear but also excitement and anticipation of getting to the start line. I think if you train for a marathon you can discover that you are stronger than you think you are. Once I crossed that line the elation was immense and I now know that I can tough it out when things get hard. For a first marathon I can’t recommend Edinburgh enough. Thanks to one of my favourite places I can always call myself a marathon runner.
2012 saw me gather up the courage to return to go to an athletics club and join a training group. The last time I did this was in my early twenties. In my thirties and two children later I wasn’t sure if I should but the marathon had given me such a boost I thought ‘Hell why not?’.
I love training back on the track. I love wearing spikes again. I love the interval training and I relish the burning and the feeling of nausea because that’s when you know you’ve trained hard. I may never be a champion of anything but hopefully next year I can run for the club at some local meetings.
I discovered Dragon CrossFit via my husband who had worked alongside Andy, coach and owner, at a local rugby club. I was hugely sceptical at first because I had never heard of it and, as a runner, have a long standing dislike of being in gyms. What I discovered was an amazing fitness community full of fantastic people.
I truly believe that the strength and conditioning I gained from training here helped me stay injury free for my marathon. I’ve also learnt a huge amount and gained some new skills. I can proudly say that I can snatch, power clean and dead lift. I never thought little old me would be doing anything like that. I could watch the Weight Lifting at the Olympics and really appreciate what they were doing. I’ve also met some brilliant people at the classes and I am missing it so much while I’m waiting for the latest injury to settle down!
The London Olympics
Ok, I know I didn’t run in them and I know it’s odd to include them in my own running highs but hear me out.
When I was twelve I watched Sally Gunnell win gold in Barcelona. I was a young athlete and Olympics Champion was the ultimate title for any track and field athlete. When I watched the Olympics I knew that one day I wanted to be in the stadium watching.
Fast forward to 2012 in London and we were there! I spent a whole day inside the Olympic Stadium watching heats and finals. I saw Mo Farah in his 5000m semi final and Usain Bolt in his 200m semi. I also watched some nail biting women’s finals in the 400m hurdles and the 200m. I have never been in a stadium where the crowd was so loud and the atmosphere so electric. As an amateur runner and lover of athletics, watching the elite at the Olympics was literally a dream come true.
Sharing running with my children.
Thanks to running my two boys have an understanding of what it means to exercise. My eldest asks to come with me and my youngest at not even 3 runs to fetch my trainers when he sees me in my running gear. They may hate running when they’re older but a running high for me is that they see me trying to be healthy. Hopefully they will take my habits on board, whatever the sport or activity may be.
I’m a lady. I like shopping. I like clothes. And I love buying running gear. There has been some great running gear out this year. I have plundered my bank account and caused my running gear drawer to over flow with running goodies. Ahead of the game still, I feel, is Nike. Their range for women tends to extend beyond bright luminous pink, something that other brands (hint hint Ron Hill) could learn from. I am currently loving my Nike purple waterproof running jacket. There’s something about new running gear that makes your following run feel a little bit better.
Brighton Half Marathon
I didn’t go into this race in February as prepared as I would have liked. I wasn’t feeling it mentally and I wasn’t happy with my preparation going into it. There was some confusion with markers during the race which meant we ran further than we should have. On my watch I ran just under 1.40 on the day at the 13.1 mark. The official time had me at 1.43 which was then adjusted to 1.40. I’m not happy with my time for the half. I know I can go quicker. I will come back to half marathon distance again but for now I want to cover the shorter endurance distances. Halves and I have unfinished business! Oh and the goody bag was essentially a plastic bag with a Sweat Shop voucher in it. Disappointing! I did spot Katie Price’s pink 4×4 though and I beat her so every silver lining. Um, yeah, anyway…..
Injury and Illness
Woe is me. The end of 2012 has been a bit unlucky for me running wise. I tore my calf end of September. I was also beset with vomiting bugs and recurring viruses so I had the best part of six weeks off. I started training again and everything seemed fine until I injured my back. The running gods are vexed with me I tell thee!
The suspicion is for my back is that it’s disc related which might make people recoil and think ‘Oh no running over for good!’. The irrational side of me thinks that but my sensible Physio side, with my knowledge of spines and tissue healing knows this isn’t the case. I have my own Physiotherapy appointment booked in and reading this blog post over at Running Physio has helped put my mind at ease.
So that was my year of running. I haven’t achieved as much as I would have liked but running isn’t going anywhere. As it’s December I might just knock the rest of 2012 on the head from a running point of view, get my back sorted and start afresh in the New Year.
What were your running highs and lows this year? Do share!