A year of highs and lows

Evening all

Happy New Year first of all.

I am a fairly optimistic person,  but when I saw all the 2011 review posts I did start thinking about how this year has been for me, and the post title reflects how I feel about it.

It started on a bit of a low, because we were meant to go on holiday last Christmas over the school holidays, but because our plane got snowed on (we were actually on the plane, they de-iced it, we even saw the air safety video!) the airport got closed and our flights were cancelled. What with all the snow it was a bit tricky to get up to much, although we did have a lovely weekend over new years in Bath.

But it was building up to something very exciting- our (mine and Andy’s) first marathon! I turned 30 in May and as a way of celebrating (?) we signed up for it. Even though I had already had my birthday by then it was a sort of present to myself!  To help with motivation I signed up to marathon talk’s spring motivation challenges, plus the magic mile challenge later in the year- all brilliant so check them out! The training was really hard (up until then I had run 2 half marathons in the previous year, but my training runs had not gone over 12 miles), but I did enjoy the achievement of it all. I also leant to like ice baths, and had my first sports massages! My birthday weekend was spent in Derbyshire so we could complete a 20 mile organised training run. Anyone who ever worried about being the last person in a race, read my report. It is not that bad!

I did it! I ran 20 miles and got a t-shirt to prove it! 🙂

And we even went on a nice walk the same evening!

One of the “lows” was that this year I kept on being ill- I had a few UTI’s (having never had them before), including one days before the Stockholm marathon.  But despite being on antibiotics I felt OK so went for it. The race was a struggle, but I felt totally elated when I finished.

Totally all about the medals here! Yes, I was slow, but I ran the entire way, and finished under the cut off and nothing can ever take that away from me!

Just about managing to stand up straight after nearly 5 1/2 hours of running!

A high note before that was our trip to Italy- two of our friends got married out there and we were lucky enough to be invited- we spent  lovely few days out there (of course sampling lots of the local gelato!).

We did share it by the way, this was a comedy photo in which Andy wanted to see how much ice cream I could get on the scoop at once! 🙂

So here is a serious photo as we spent a day in Venice after the wedding and even bumped into the bride and groom on their honeymoon- what are the chances??

Another fantastic high was our summer holiday- we managed to re-book most of the things from our cancelled Christmas holiday, and had an awesome time, especially at Discovery Cove (I still need to put some of those pics on here).

Key West at sunset was one of the many highlights. 

Plus a weekend of girly fun in Bristol.

I can’t take credit for this photo- my friend took it but I just love the colours in it.

After the marathon I kept up running, and we booked a few shorter races in the Autumn. My absolute favourite run was the one in Sherwood Forest.

Running the Great South Run was brilliant as I raised so much for charity (thanks to everyone who sponsored me), although it was not the best race experience! On the plus side a post race lunch (enjoyed in the 3 hour car park queue) of a cinnamon roll and soya chai latte was pretty good!

In the background you can see the 4×4 that kept trying to back into our car, and also caused some road rage later on when it pushed in front of some other cars- people get tetchy when they queue that long!

The year was meant to end on a high, as we had booked a holiday (can you tell we love our holidays?) to NYC (I really want to see the big Christmas tree), Philadelphia, Washington, Orlando and the gulf coast, but before that a big old low in the form of me being admitted to hospital came along and scuppered our plans. There is always next year, and it is so much better than I found out I was unwell here and not whilst on holiday! Look on the bright side 🙂

We have been lucky to enjoy a lovely Christmas at home with Andy’s family, and I got to see my parents more as they were away, back for 3 days, then off to New Zealand for a month (although this turned into a saga when my Dad cut his hand and severed a tendon the day they were meant to go- honestly someone does not want my family to get on holiday right now! Luckily he has not done permanent damage and managed to delay their flights by 2 days- he is doing more tennis umpiring out there but only missed a day I think) so as we were here I managed to spend a few more days with them.

I don’t tend to set goals, but initially I had in my mind that in 2012 I wanted to speed up with my running- I wanted to get some half marathon pb’s and have booked the Brighton and Silverstone Half marathons. But at the moment I don’t have my next hospital appointment until the end of January, and the operation will be some time after that, so I highly doubt I will manage either of them. But again, there is always next year!

Of course 2012 brings with it the Olympics! I can still remember when we found out that London got them (and I actually was going “oh my word I will be 31 when they come” )and it seemed years away- we got some tickets in the second chance round so that is very exciting.

So, I am hoping that in 2012 I get my health sorted, get back into running, enjoy the Olympics, and also have an awesome summer holiday to make up for the cancelled Christmas one.

What are you looking forward to next year?

Happy New Year!

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13 thoughts on “A year of highs and lows”

  1. Hi, I’ve not introduced myself before. I’m Elisa *waves*. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and have to say you are a very positive person and quite an inspiration! I’m a runner too, and a Starbuck’s soya chai tea addict 🙂 I enjoy your blog, and hope you get healthy in 2012 to keep us all inspired for the new year. Have a great Hogmany (I’m Scottish, in case you wondered) 🙂

  2. your post marathon walk looks to have been so meditational! i’m happy for your year, even your being “snowed in.” that’s a story to tell for generations! you’re truly an inspiration to the healthy life blogging community, and i look forward to reading your posts everyday during the new year. yes, happy new year! . . . although we’re still living in 2011 here in the states! 🙂 xxx

  3. I love that post 20-mile walking picture too – Nicole’s evaluation of it is spot on.

    You’ve definitely had a mixed year – some of the rotten luck you’ve had just makes me want to kick the universe on your behalf. You’re so lovely to continue being an optimist – such an inspiring attitude.

    Have the fab 2012 you deserve, and enjoy the olympics – I know I’ll be watching on the TV and looking out for you in the crowd!


  4. Sounds like you’ve had a hell of a year! I have so much respect for anyone that has ran a marathon, its an amazing achievement. I never realised you were 30! Well I really hope that you get your health issues sorted and 2012 is a great year for you, you really deserve it!

  5. Cor yes, I hadn’t thought about that if you’d have got ill while you were away, would have been so much worse! Hope you’re feeling better now and happy New Year!
    2011 sounds like it was a great year for you and I hope 2012 is even better. Sorry to hear about your dad but glad he’s ok 🙂

  6. Thanks for all the lovely comments guys (and hello to Elisa- hope Hogmanay was good)- 2012 is going to be brilliant I know! 🙂

  7. Happy New Year Maria! And thank you for such an inspiring year of posts – it has been a privilege to follow you through 2011. I know that I’m a bit quiet on the commenting front but I really enjoy reading your posts – I even read your recipes (something I usually skip over on other blogs!) because I enjoy how well-written they are. I have loved your race recaps too :-).

    I’m sorry that you’ve had such a rough time on the health front in the past year and I really hope that the doctors get you fixed as quickly as possible. I’m sure that your positive attitude, good sense, fitness and balanced nutritious diet will help you bounce back to top form in no time!! Sending lots of good wishes for a speedy recovery your way!

    Oh, and finally, thanks for the support that you have given to me in comments on my posts – you always seem to have the right wise words to share.

    Lots of love and good wishes, x

  8. It’s certainly been a rough year, but I’m glad that you’ve focused on the positive things that have happened as well – your summer holiday sounded amazing!
    Your goals for 2012 are brilliant and hopefully you will have a happy and healthy year. I’m sure once you’ve had your surgery you will be able to focus on getting back to health.
    Happy New Year 🙂

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