Oh oh… it is officially THAT time of year. Where we get all nostalgic and misty eyed as we mull over what we ticked off our bucket list this year, and then plan ahead to how we can kick our own asses in 2015 while sobbing into another box of Ferrero Rochers.
In preparation for this blog, I looked at my year on Strava yesterday. I’ve run over 700kms this year. Not a lot in comparison to some crazies that I know, but considering that, in 2013 as a slightly more portly version of myself, I ran less than 200. And for reasons I’ll discuss in a moment, between May and August I ran about 15km in total. I’ve cycled nearly 1000km since I manned up and got on a bike in May (again, not a lot. Especially to you Ironmen. But I have serious balance issues, mind… I’ll get to that in a minute too.)
This seems like a fitting point to review The Things What I Learnt This Year.
I am a MASSIVE bell-end.
Remember the day I got on my bike for fun? The day this happened….?
Yes. What was supposed to be a birthday adventure for me and The Boy ended with him driving me to Raigmore in Inverness with a concussion. Happy 30th, Brian!
Of course, this was week one of taper for The Marathon. Most Normal Runners would be focusing on winding down, fueling and resting.
NOT ME. Nope.
Having fallen off a bike quite un-dramatically (ahem) beside a Loch in literally the arse end of nowhere, I escaped only with a mild concussion, hatred of bikes, hatred of tree roots, and a very annoyed boyfriend. Miraculously (STUPIDLY) I managed to run an entire half marathon four days later. And I PB’d (2:27.27) And I made my hip injury about 80% worse. 2 weeks before The Marathon.
This takes me to my second learning.
Physiotherapy is expensive
I joke with PhysioDan that I could fund his holidays every year.
Except it isn’t a joke.
After The Marathon, there began 3 months of intensive weekly Physio appointments. Ouch. Financially and physically. OUCH. Swimming was allowed. No Breaststroke though. Cycling was permitted if I wasn’t a douchebag and paced myself. Running? Well. Running was FLAT OUT BANNED.
Guess what’s next?
If your Physio tells you not to run, don’t fucking run
You’re beginning to realise I’m a genius. Aren’t you?
I know. A huffy, stubborn genius. With – you guessed it – YET MORE PHYSIO.
It wasn’t until August that I was finally told “you are as fixed as I can make you. go. run. but BE FUCKING CAREFUL”.
Basically, 2014 has taught me a lot about how NOT to do endurance. Actually… It has taught me a lot about how not to do MANY MANY THINGS.
Although, as well as learning about how much of a fucking twat I can be, I also discovered some good stuff…
I am tougher than I thought.
Here’s me, 14 miles into my first Marathon. And I am fucking LOVING it.
I was still smiling at 16 miles. Maybe not at 18. or 23. But I would absolutely do it again. (And this time I’d listen to the advice I was given and also listen to my physio….)
Running Slower to Go Faster WORKS
It didn’t make sense. But it does now. I’m officially sub 30 on a fast 5k these days.
And I PB’d at MoRun with a 1:04 10k. Not the sub 60 I’d hoped for, but seeing as – for the first time ever – I listened to advice, I didn’t wind up with an injury and still beat my own time.
Let’s all take a minute to remember Sean’s Mustache.
Nothing. Is. Impossible
It’s true. I registered for the Edinburgh Marathon in August 2013. I remained in denial until May 24th 2014. And actually a little bit on the 25th May. While I was running the damned thing. It’s amazing what you can convince yourself to do. Whether it’s getting up at 7am on a Sunday in the pissing rain to run or cycle. Or leaving the house in the dark and the snow to go and change into some lycra and swim in other people’s pee for an hour.
Lets touch on some other significant events of this year too.
I got to help my incredible, talented and beautiful girl get down that aisle.
That Time I Wore A Tight Dress For The First Time Ever
(This was also the night I chased my BFF down Lieth Walk in bare feet at what I thought was 1am carrying two bags of chips and actually it was only 11.30pm and we were definitely in bed eating chips before midnight… but the less said about that, the better…)
And This One
Which is a strong blend of Brian trying not to puke on the heady scent of gels and sweat whilst looking proud of his missus for kicking a half marathon’s ass.
So, Bean. What’s next?
The last week in January marks the beginning of 30 weeks of training for my first 70.3 event in August. I’m also going back to try and beat 2:27.27 at Loch Leven in May. And “that’s it”.
I’ve lined up some time with Jonathan Pain of Painless Performance to help me work on my strength and conditioning. And also nutrition. (Bye bye pizza) Which is an area I pretend to know a fuckload about but really I’m just sitting at home like a true keyboard warrior, preaching about healthy eating while hammering into a box of Quality Street. “JUST. ONE. LAST. GREEN. TRIANGLE”. *cries*
Fingers crossed I manage to listen to all the amazing advice I get and don’t do myself an injury, concussion or otherwise.
I guess that means my new years resolution is: Must. Not. Be. A. Bell-end.