I love having a look back at the previous year at this time- it’s so nice to see what has been achieved and enjoyed in one year, and makes you feel like the possibilities are endless for the coming twelve months.
In 2015 I earned my 50 run t-shirt, and in 2016 it was the turn of my 25 volunteer t-shirt. As well as sticking with my tried and tested roles of marshal, tail runner and doing the new runners briefing, I tried some new roles including token sorting (not good on a freezing cold day it turns out), photographer, time keeping and writing the run report. I wanted to do some more parkrun tourism, and in 2016 I visited Gadebridge in Hemel, Aldenham, Barclay in Hoddeston, Wimpole Estate, Hove Prom in Brighton (although I had been there once before), Tring, Portobello in Edinburgh, Preston Park in Brighton, Swindon, and Southampton Common.
At Ellenbrook Fields
Ellenbrook fields parkrun in Hatfield was started by people from my running club and I’ve run there a few times so my total is now 14 different parkruns (13 in the UK), hopefully by the end of 2017 I will have reached 20. I’m now on 90 parkruns so the 100 runs t-shirt is next on my list. Finally I managed course pb’s at both Panshanger and Ellenbrook.
They let me ring the pb bell at Tring as it was my first time there = course pb! We need to go back as it was so foggy we didn’t see any of the beautiful scenery.
The year started off with me being given the “Runner of the Year” award from my club, which was very unexpected. I was following my training from the previous year (where I had trained for a marathon) to try and break 2 hours for the half marathon in Brighton- I was elated when I managed it. I completed the following 16 races: Fred Hughes 10 miles, London Winter 10k, Brighton half (1.59.09), Welwyn half marathon (where I fell over near the end and badly cut my hands and bruised my hips), Beaconsfield 5 mile trail race (this one I should have just watched, but I wanted to run as my dad was also running it), Cakeathon where I did a half marathon, WR 10K at Willen Lakes, Ware 10 miles, Hatfield House Midsummer 5 mile race, Panshanger Park Midsummer 5 mile race, Disneyland Paris half marathon, Herts 10K with my dad, Bright10 10 miles, Hatfield 5 miles (43.58 new 5 mile pb), Festive Five and Buntingford 10 miles. Most of these races were for the fun of it- I was aiming for a pb in Brighton for the half, and I didn’t expect a pb in Hatfield for the 5 miles. I also tried to run with Ben (401 marathons) but after a mix up with where the runners were, I ended up getting to the finish point just after he had finished running for the day- ah well at least I tried.
Check out the bling! Although I did a “Rate my Run” for Marathon Talk and neither of them knew who Flavor Flave was! He knows what time it is…
Towards the end of December 2015, I noticed too late that I was close to 1000 miles for the year. In 2016, I noticed in November, and so had a big effort for the final two months of the year. I just managed it, totaling 1,005 miles for the year. I had signed up to a few of the 100 miles in a month challenges, managing 116 in July, 100 in September and 109 in December.
I don’t have any particular aims this year, although I think I am going to enter less races. I’ve signed up for a few (Brighton half, Lea Valley half with my dad, the Wings for Life run, and I’ll probably do Welwyn half as it’s so local). A few years ago I wanted to get a sub 60 10k, then it was to get under 5 hours for the marathon, and then a sub 2 hour half. Now they have been achieved I suppose I should try and get my 5k time down a bit, but really I am just enjoying running and not worrying about speed, so who knows what I’ll end up doing.
2016 was a big year in that we sold our first house, and moved to a new house. We put our house up for sale in January and although we sold it straight after holding an open house, it took us a while to find somewhere we liked (and to have an offer accepted as it was all very competitive and fast-moving). We finally moved just before May half term, and so the second half of the year has been filled with decorating and generally sorting things out (decorated my office and our bedroom, got a new shed, getting rid of the sensor in the bathroom and adding a light switch, new flooring in two rooms…). It’s going to take us a while to work around all of the rooms- nothing is bad but the decoration is not to our taste, and some of our furniture doesn’t fit the new rooms (our old place had no chimney or anything so the walls were flat- here we have alcoves that the big pieces don’t fit into).
I was far too amused by the names for some of the paint colours…
I am learning new running and walking routes, and the novelty of being able to walk into town is not wearing off. We’ve been to the little local cinema quite a few times, and we’ve even walked into town for breakfast- something we could not do where we used to live.
As a fan of the Radio 5 film podcast, I laugh every time I see this poster in the cinema.
We do love our holidays, but we we were looking at moving house the plan was to have less holidays (we’d already booked our summer trip to Canada before this happened). Then Andy had to go to Cape Town for work, and we were allowed to go during May half term so I could go too. This was an amazing opportunity, and we had a fantastic time in Cape Town and then going on Safari, although moving house on Tuesday and going on holiday on the Friday night was not the easiest! We had quite a few weekends away including going to Disneyland Paris for the half marathon, Brighton a few times for various races, Edinburgh for a long weekend, Bath for the spa and Christmas market, and Colmar for a European Christmas market. We’ve not booked anything for this year just yet, but we are probably going to do some trips closer to home.
Canada is just amazing
How was 2016 for you? Any goals or aims for 2017?