2014 Running review

So, I am a few days late, but better late than never I suppose.

I have enjoyed reading the recap post that have been popping up all over blog-land, and I like to look at my own race calendar and see what I have been up to this past year (I won’t link to any of the recaps here, but if you have a burning desire to read them, then they are all linked from that race calendar link). When I looked, I was surprised to see that I did 10 races last year. That sounds a lot to me.

2015-01-01 13.56.40This year I really wanted to speed up. I think I mentioned before that I really wanted to do another marathon, but before I signed up to one I wanted to get faster. Of course I love getting a pb, but I am never going to be at the front of the pack (unless the pack is very small), and to me finishing a race and enjoying it is what is important to me. But running non stop for nearly five and a half hours is pretty tough, so I wanted to work on speed before aiming for that distance again.

Anyway, the year started well with the Bath half, although that would be a race I would not do again. I had wanted to run it for a few years, but a combination of things (late start, awful weather, no foil blankets at the finish, finish line being away from the bag drop, expensive cost and rubbish cotton t-shirt) meant that I didn’t massively enjoy it. But I ran my fastest ever half, and the closest to the 2 hour mark I have ever been. On a side note, when I trained for my first half (before I even started this blog) I read that if you finished in 2 hours you would be with the average runner and that had stuck with me. And after all this time, I am still not there. I can’t remember where I read it (it was a magazine but can’t remember which one) but it annoys me that it has stuck with me.

After that was the Sports Relief 6 mile run- loops of a 400m running track! I ended up being the first female finisher, due to most people doing the 3 mile option instead. It was a good run though, and surprisingly I enjoyed the repetitive nature of the track. I just hope if they do it again it gets a bit more publicity.

I was meant to do the Oslo Rock and Roll half (such a cool medal) but it got cancelled, so I signed up to a trail half marathon instead. Wow it was tough. But really enjoyable. It gave me a glimpse of ultra running I think, as people were stopping to walk, check maps, and everyone was very friendly. It was all about finishing, and I did, in my slowest ever time, but that didn’t matter as the scenery was just beautiful.

I did a couple of 10K’s, including the Women’s Running one- I wasn’t sure I would like a women-only event, but the scenery around the lake was lovely, and there was a good mix of club runners and first timers.

October was my busiest month, with 3 races. My beloved Ware 10 miles (how all races should be- small but perfectly formed)- I managed a pb which really boosted my confidence, as since March and Bath, I hadn’t managed pb’s in any races and was starting to worry I was slowing down again.

The 15K breakfast run (which changed to a Women’s run or something) was enjoyable to run (I saw deer and parrots!) but it reminded me that the hassle of getting in and out of London for a race is not generally worth it for me.

I did a 5K Poppy run which wasn’t timed, but a really lovely event with lots of families taking part.

In November I finished the year on a short-but-speedy streak, with a new 10k pb of 55.23 in Brighton, and then a new 5 mile pb of 44.44 (the coolest time).

2015-01-01 13.58.20

So there we have it. I really should look into getting a medal hanger, as they are still just hanging on the door handle of our living room door.

I think best medal goes to the 15K (that cool pink shoe with the deer on it), best goody bag goes to the WR 10k, with an honourable mention to the Poppy run, best scenery goes to Ashridge, best pb potential goes to the Brighton 10k, and best overall race goes to Ware.

I am really pleased that I have managed to speed up some more. I know that running with Sweatshop helped, and I think I have a bit more belief in myself now. Before the 5 mile race I knew that I could hold a certain pace as I had achieved that in the 10k, so although it sounded fast, I also knew it was do-able. Β I went to parkruns a bit more regularly too (and achieved 25 in total by the end of the year) and I want to keep that up, although my new favourite parkrun course is really cross-country so not really speedy.

I am also looking forward to more runs with the club I have joined- I know running with other people helps. My fitness has taken a bit of a dive recently, but I am pretty much over the cough now.

I am going to have to work pretty hard though as I have a 10 mile race in a few weeks time (and 6 miles was very tough yesterday), then the Brighton half not long after that, and then the Brighton marathon in April (I didn’t quite get my 2 hour half, but I was only 6 minutes off so decided to have another try). So 2015 is going to be about running long (until April anyway) and then running for fun.

Β What are you looking forward to in 2015?


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26 thoughts on “2014 Running review”

  1. I hate judgmental comments about time. I see myself as a pretty average runner but when I first started I was told that I should be running 10mm or under to be classed as a runner and that all 10ks should be run under the hour. It stayed in the back of my mind for a long while and put a lot of pressure on me when I was starting out.
    I’ve just signed up for the Ashridge Boundary half for this year as it is part of our club’s trail series for 2015. Are you running it again?

    1. It’s annoying how these things stay with you isn’t it?
      I am not sure about the Ashridge half- I don’t think I will as I am away for May half term, and have a half the weekend after, so will probably want a 10-ish mile run that weekend. But enjoy!

  2. 2014 was a fantastic year for you, I’m loving your 10km time.

    So pleased you are doing Brighton, there are a few mommies from school running so I may pootle down and cheer again but will let you know closer to the time.

  3. I definitely think you can go under 5 hours for the marathon, if not faster. With the improvements you’ve made this year, I think you’d be closer to 4:30. Also, the first marathon you ran was abroad, and those are so much harder than marathons on home turf once the exhaustion and dehydration of travel have been factored in, plus the unfamiliar environment and schedule.

    You have quite a busy 2014 already πŸ™‚ I have two races this month (hopefully) and potential half marathons in March and May, but other than that I’m really not sure. I still haven’t found any new marathons I’d like to run, and I can’t afford to travel any more, so I will just have to hope something pops up locally.

    1. Thanks- I hope I can do it in around 5 hours, hopefully under. We shall see.
      Hopefully you will find some more local races that you can sign up to.

  4. Great round-up. I think we must run at a similar pace – I’m also getting closer to a sub 2 hour half, having completed the Liverpool Rock n Roll half in 2.04 last year. (They are indeed great medals, and are certainly the best-organised events I’ve participated in, I’d highly recommend them). I’m determined that this year will be the year I finally do it, and I’ve got three halves lined up between now and June just to give myself as many goes at it as possible! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog this year, I find it so helpful to read about runners who are of a similar ability to me. Good luck with achieving your running goals this year – we can do it!

    Becky x

    1. Thanks- yes we are a pretty similar speed. Hopefully you will get there this year!
      I was really looking forward to Oslo and was pretty annoyed when they cancelled it- especially as they offered a transfer to another one (possibly Edinburgh) which then got cancelled too. We had already booked flights and things, so it was a bit annoying.

    1. Thanks. Yes the number surprised me – a slow start but I made up for it in The second half of the year.

  5. Seeing all of those race medals line up like that is really impressive, you had such s great running year! I’m determined to get my fitness levels back to where they were this year and would love to get running (non-competitively) again. Happy New Year!

  6. Great job with the speed and so many races Maria! By the way, drinking roobios each night and have already seen improvement in my asthma – thanks so much for the tip!! Hope 2015 brings even more speed to your feet πŸ™‚
    I read the 2hr thing before my first half too, it terrified me! Then I read Julie from PB Fingers talking about how many attempts she had taken at sub 2hr and I realised that time is highly optimistic for many people.

    1. Glad it helped Claire- I can’t remember where I read it, possibly Oh She Glows- anyway glad it helped πŸ™‚
      I wonder where the 2 hour thing comes from, as the more I have run and spoken to people, the more it seem a good time and not an average time. There are some male runners who have joined clubs and have just managed to get under 2 hours. Anyway, I should not be fixated on it!

  7. Your year of running has been great! I’m so pleased for you getting faster and stronger in your running. You deserve it as you’re so sensible and work so hard at it.
    I’m all for the marathon goal as that’s my favourite distance (though my body might disagree with me I suppose). Personally I have no real goals this year apart from stay injury free for as much of the year as possible and run more for fun than any real goals. But we’ll see, running is still on the back burner right now!

    1. Thanks Anna πŸ™‚
      I think your goals are sensible too- taking a break and enjoying things is properly listening to what your body needs right now.

    1. I sm doing the half too – maybe see you there ! Thanks – I am looking forward to the marathon mostly!

    1. Exciting stuff! I thought I had read you were doing a marathon but I didn’t realise it was the same one! πŸ™‚

  8. Great medal haul! Sounds like our 2015s will be similar – marathon training until April and then just running for fun πŸ™‚ I’m doing the Manchester marathon though. The goody bag from the women’s running 10k was one of the best all year for me too.

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