Christmas and the year ahead

Not long now! Hopefully you’re nice and organised with wrapped presents, cards sent, food bought… (if you are indeed celebrating Christmas, of course). I personally love, love, love Christmas. I’m not religious so I don’t observe Christmas as a religious celebration but I see it as a great time to spend with the family, eat copious amounts of food and just generally get into the good cheer of it all.

Christmas eve (after I’ve finished work, boo!) I’ll be at my parent’s house for the traditional takeaway (Indian for me, obviously ;-)) and then I’ll head home as I plan on doing parkrun in the morning and it’s closer to my flat.

Then, after smashing out a PB at parkrun (hahaha) I’ll be spending Christmas day with my parent’s and granddad at their house and we’ll be having turkey with all the trimmings. I’m beyond excited I can tell you. I’ll be helping my dad cook and then in the afternoon, after presents and food, we’ll all play some board games and probably watch a cheesy film. It’ll be a strange Christmas for me but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

I thought I’d have a little time of reflection on my year. Apart from one injury recently, my year of running went amazingly. I PB’ed at 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon, and I had my longest no-injury streak (<– that was the best part). I trained really well for my first marathon of the year, Liverpool. I was super strict, on the ball and listened to my body. I worked hard at the gym to strength train and I loved that marathon so much and got my Boston Qualifier.

Then I sort of forgot to be as sensible and got greedy. I did two more marathons too close together. That said, I loved the Cheddar Gorge marathon. It was awesome, freeing and just one big adventure as it was off-road and crazy hard terrain. On the other hand, Bournemouth marathon sucked royally but it taught me a lot.

This is a chart of my year that I made a week or so ago from Strava (miles on the y axis):2015 running

Next year I have the Boston marathon in April and Chester marathon in the autumn. It is highly tempting to do the Cheddar Gorge marathon again in August but I just don’t know. It doesn’t sell out so I’m playing it by ear. I know it’s very similar to what I did this year which caused me then to get injured but the marathons are a bit more spaced out this time. I think if I did do it I’d need to take proper time off before building the miles back up again for Chester. But anyway, two marathons (all being well) is my plan.

Another race in the plan is the Cakeathon in May (one of my favourite races and my favourite medals). I’m also signed up to the Marathon Talk Run Camp in February (with which I’m also signed up to the New Forest Heartbreak Half). So I’m quite excited about the year ahead. I just need to stay sensible, keep focused and listen to my body.

Aside from running, this year obviously wasn’t that great for me personally. This time last year if you’d have told me I would be living in a flat with Alfie on my own and Ben living in Switzerland I’d have laughed at you. But I’ve grown stronger and more independent because of it. Life doesn’t always go how you think it will and you have to roll with the punches and get out alive. I have no idea what my life will look like this time next year but I’m excited, optimistic and ready for the challenges ahead.

Have a lovely Christmas, and I’ll see you on the other side!

What are your Christmas plans?

What do you hope to achieve in 2016?

What races do you have planned?

11 thoughts on “Christmas and the year ahead

  1. What a year you’ve had! I’m having a year off marathons next year, it’s all about triathlons, skateboarding and cycling events/tours for me. And shorter, faster runs. Christmas is in a tiny village in France at father in laws big family house. Taking my running kit for some Christmas plods. Yours sounds lovely, family is what Christmas is all about 🙂

  2. Have a lovely Christmas! Parkrun and then celebrating with family sounds lovely. We have got into the habit of having a Christmas Eve tea with bread, salad, cheese, and then opening (starting?) the Christmas cake, which I need to decorate tonight!
    I am going to go to parkrun too, which I am very excited about! Andy isn’t impressed, but he will still be asleep so he won’t actually mind at the time. We are spending the day at his parents, as mine are in Brazil, so I feel that some fresh air first thing will be needed. Although we might have a dog walk in the afternoon.
    I love that graph! I could spend hours looking at stats on Strava and parkrun- although I don’t have the premium ( I think you do?) so I can’t do all of those things.
    I am doing the Cakeathon! I think after you put it on facebook I signed up right away as it’s on my birthday – how great is that??? I have a couple of half marathons, and I am hoping for a sub 2 hour, as I think I was close to it last year but didn’t want to push it as the marathon was my goal. But then when I am running a fast 10K I have no idea how to keep that speed going for twice as long. So we shall see.
    Your plan sounds great, and Boston is going to be amazing! I am very excited for you!!! Happy Christmas!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…A year of running clubMy Profile

    • Ahh sounds like a lovely Christmas eve. I think that’s one of my disappointments this year is that everyone in my family (as opposed to Ben and his family) aren’t big fans of Christmas cake so we don’t have it. I wasn’t going to make one this year as it just takes so much effort, money and time and really it would just be me sat there eating it!
      I don’t have Strava Premium. I didn’t think it was worth it (though £10 for the year doesn’t seem too much at all, I just don’t know what I’d get out of it really).
      Finger’s crossed for your sub-2 hour half. I’m sure you’ll get it as your running has really gone from strength to strength this year.

  3. 2015 was the year of the PB for you! I was so happy you achieved such a fantastic time at Liverpool earlier in the year. A very well deserved time as you had worked so hard for it.
    I was chatting to a friend yesterday about the guys in the 100 marathon club and how they train for so many marathons so close together. Often, they don’t run anything but the marathons in order to save their legs. The body remembers what it is meant to do on marathon day. Obviously each race doesn’t become a PB but when running several marathons close together the goal is usually just to complete rather than compete.
    I am hoping to bring down my parkrun time to 25:xx in 2016 and once complete I am also hoping to aim for an ultra distance each month in the build up to running a 100miler in 2017. (Goals at opposite ends of the spectrum!) I’m still deciding on races at the moment though, as the only race I have entered for next year so far is the Cakeathon! (Looking forward to receiving that awesome medal at the end!!!)
    Hope you had a lovely Christmas. 🙂
    Mary recently posted…Festive runsMy Profile

  4. Oooh, I’m doing Cakeathon too! That makes four of us? Will be giving my cake to N – wheat flour plays havoc with me (finally tracked that down to endometriosis…only took about 20 years to figure it all out. Running more has helped immensely with it, I must say. The last two years, I’ve run more, and it’s been much less painful).

    I’d like to get sub-25 on a parkrun, sub-50 on a 10k (hahaha), sub 1:52 on a half and sub-4 on a marathon. I probably ought to focus my goals a little…. So let’s focus on the marathon (manchester) first. To that end – Ranscombe Challenge in January, simply to put the correct number of miles in.

    I’ve also, finally, extracted my digit and joined a running club. Not one near home, but one near work. I value my weekend lie-ins too much, and I’ve concluded that the only way I’ll get through marathon training mid-week is to go for lunchtime and evening runs. Intervals will likely end up with the club, on a track, without having to think too hard about it. And then they do mid-week runs. And I can get in to Richmond Park for weekend long runs if I really try….
    Jane recently posted…Pednor 10My Profile

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