Monday, 21 January 2013

A round up of 2012

So, always a little late, but I thought I would do a little overview of 2012 and talk about some goals for 2013.

2012 was a bit of a mixed year for me, some very, very good times, some not so good times. I'd rather talk about the positive though! After Rutland Marathon I took it easy and had a few weeks of simple 7,8,9 mile runs, amounting to 62miles in November. Plus I did a lot of spin - I absolutely love spin and swear my running has benefited no end from it. In December I started to build my mileage back up, long runs of 9 and 10 miles, then a longer run of 18miles at the end of the year, plus plenty of spin.

The 18 mile route was from Pitlochry out west across the river and then back. It was a really cold day and threatened to rain the whole time but very luckily it never did! We did the run/cycle in about 3 hours (+a lunch break). I like this photo from the day: (very threatening!)

The day before that Derek, his brother and I went a walk near Glenmore in the Cairngorms. The snow was quite heavy and the path had been snowed over, so at the advice of another walker we hiked up one of the hills and scrambled to the top to see the view below, which was phenomenal:

Since the start of JAnuary, I have been running 3-4 times per week (depending on what I can manage with Uni), spinning twice a week and maybe doing a cycle or a walk at the weekend as well. My long runs have been 10.5, 8.5 and 11.5miles and I'm trying to do a fast weekly run of over 6miles. Studying physiology has really taught me the importance of allowing my muscles to rest and become stronger, so I actively take rest days now. I do think I am getting faster...on the flat certainly. I was also really relieved when I came home to Glasgow a few times since Rutland and all my runs were very hilly (I basically tried to find any hill I could and incorporate it into my run!). I coped really well and it's nice to see that Cambridge hasn't sapped the stamina out of me!

Personally, 2012 was a really hard year. I was incredibly homesick and it led me to being in a really bad place for a while. If I hadn't had D's support and been able to keep up running and going away to the Peaks/Essex/Surrey etc I don't think I would have coped as well. I realised something towards the end of the year though - I am almost half way through my course. The course is very hard, it's very intensive and I forget that sometimes. The fact I can still keep up my running, am getting stronger and am still doing well on the course is something I really need to remember and be proud of. We plan on moving back once I'm done, and at that time I won't have the same chance to do long runs on the flat, or nip to London or the Peaks for a wee weekend away (running or otherwise!) so I may as well make the most of it. I love the gym I've joined and, like I say, the spin classes are fab. I have invested in a pair of clip-in shoes which make the class a lot more of a challenge! I'm certainly working all my leg muscles (hamstrings included!) now. I also got a road bike and plan to continue cycling in and out of town come the better weather.

So 2012 was a good year marathon wise - Loch Ness in 3h39 and Rutland in 3h41 (in horrible conditions!). The Devil was probably the highlight for me, which I finished amazingly in 8h30 feeling really great.
And our run/cycles in the Peak district were another highlight - I love it up there and it's very handy for us.

Cycling-wise, Glen Affric was definitely the high point. A great 2 days cycling from Beauly to Kyle of Lochalsh (despite my complaints hiking over the boggy grass!).

So for 2013 I have decided to focus on marathons. I am really, really gutted as I won't be able to run the Devil this year ): I misread times and have booked to go away on holiday the day before the Devil. Of course I am not complaining about going on holiday! And at the end of the day I had a great Devil race last year and maybe taking a year out means I can get sub 8h30 in 2014 (:

Marathon wise I was lucky to get a good for age place in the London marathon - I am SO excited about it! I hear it's just one of those things runners have to experience and I can't wait to run it. It will be my 11th marathon and I am running it for MacMillan, making a provisional goal to finish it in 3h30. I will soon enter Loch Ness (beginning of October - wouldn't miss that for anything!) and have also entered Snowdonia marathon at the end of October. I know its ages away but I have always wanted to do it...and this way we have a perfect excuse to go across for the weekend and scout out the route before October! I am debating doing another marathon - maybe the South Downs marathon in June. However, I have been reading about the Lochalsh Dirty 30 - a road/trail 30 miles in Skye on the same day as South Downs. I am in a bit of a pickle about what to do! I would really like to do another ultra (30 miles is just an ultra!) but maybe I should stick to my plan of races in England!? We will see.

1 comment:

Silke said...

So won't see you at the Devils then?!
Good luck with all your plans and goals for 2013! Silke