2014 is drawing to a close and wrapping up quite nicely, so I thought I’d look back at the year and everything it’s brought in the way of running.
1. Making the resolution
Everyone makes resolutions. We do it every year and how many of us actually stick to them? I for one have the worst willpower going. So naturally, I am extremely surprised that I stuck to something I made a resolution about. I promised myself that I would run a few races in 2014 and maybe run a half marathon… But it wasn’t likely. The healthy eating went out the window, the ‘getting toned and JLo-esque also fell on its face. But the keeping fit bit actually stuck. I went back to Zumba, tried Spin, did Kangoo, started running properly, continued going to the gym, and attempted Pilates/Yoga.
2. My inspiration
For all those who have been following my blog this year will know who my inspiration has been… The lovely lady in the middle is my grandmother who sadly passed away in February. She had Alzheimers Dementia which is a very cruel disease. However, she was always so supportive of everything all of us did and was so proud of us no matter what. I decided to run the Cardiff Half Marathon in her memory and for Alzheimers UK. It’s really funny, I believe she was there on the day we did the race and I think she would’ve been pretty proud. Granted, she would’ve been shocked at the distance (for me anyway!) but she would’ve given as much as she could for the cause. So Nan, thank you for all of your support and even though you’re not here, I had a little tear last night when Abba came onto the TV singing your favourite song.
3. Joining the club
When I decided to embark on my, what felt like, impossible mission to run 13.1miles in October, I decided that a strategy was needed. And this involved both willpower and encouragement/a push in the right direction. I remember researching all of the local running clubs and asking to join but got no response from any. Apart from my lovely Maindy Harriers Club. The leader Wayne was so enthusiastic and made joining sound like a great idea to help with my goal. As soon as I joined (albeit hungover), everyone was amazing and although the first 3.5miles with them almost killed me, the good feeling and Subway sarnie afterwards made it all worthwhile. I couldn’t have done what I have this year without this bunch so thanks to you all!
4. Signing on the dotted line
Saying you’ll do something and actually doing it are both entirely different things. Saying I’ll be on time is completely different to me actually turning up when I said I would (another resolution for 2015). So when I signed up for my first half marathon back in February, it was sealed that I’d have to deliver on this aim. It was really good motivation as I was raising money for charity, doing it for my Nan and didn’t want to finish last in the race. Hence why I madly decided to sign up for Gosport and also Bath in March 2015.
5. 5k GTHC Run
My first competitive run of 2014 was for George Thomas Hospice Care and was a great way to try and beat a former PB. Before this race, my fastest 5k (3.5miles) was 33mins. I managed to beat this and get in at 29mins. Made my day that my Mum, instead of shouting my name as I crossed the finish line, chose to shout ’29minutes!!’ instead. What a diamond. She also assumed she would have time to go home, do some washing, have a cuppa and come back to get me… Dashed her hopes when I told her I’d be half hour.
6. Alzheimers UK Memory Walk 2014
Although not a run, this was one of the big things that I did in 2014 with my Mum. The Half Marathon was my way of remembering my Nan and doing something for her, this was my Mum’s way. And it was amazing. In true family fashion, we had some amusing mishaps along the way (not being able to pay the parking meter, walking a mile to find change of a fiver, running back and then losing the car), but it was an emotional morning. We made a dedication on the Memory Tree to Nan and had a little blub. It was really touching and something not to be forgotten.
7. Cardiff 10k Run
Red-faced-and-run-derful could not have been more appropriate in September when I completed the Cardiff 10k and got a PB of 55mins (1hour 12 was my time last year). I did this one on my own and was determined to quicken the pace from last year. I had fabulous support from my Mum, sister and my other half who were there at the finish cheering me on. They were really there for one thing… the sweaty hugs at the end. Throughout my mad year of newfound running delight, my family and friends have been amazing. Granted, they thought I was mad but they supported me through the nuttiness.
8. Cardiff Half Marathon 2014
Here we are. Two weary and moany souls after completing 13.1miles in October. For those who remember running their first half marathon… It’s amazing, emotional, surprising, hungry and wobbly. We trained really hard and fair play to Karl, who wasn’t a long distance runner to begin with and hadn’t cheated and joined a running club, he did amazingly well. We had a laugh along the way, spotted our awesome friends and family who were out cheering for us and making us feel better about the whole thing. Completing it together in 2hrs 20mins was fab 🙂 I want to thank him for his amazing support & agreeing to run that far with me!
9. Gosport Half Marathon 2014
This was the killer. For some reason, life hated me this day. I did it, had my amazing cousin running with me, got a PB but oh my life… It hurt. My cousin and I have never run together and we thought it would be a great idea. She’s a proper long-distance running guru and has done more marathons than I have toes. She was really encouraging and slowed to my pace to make sure I didn’t pass out or break down… Which I did several times. Having no music really affected me. But after 2hrs 7mins, we finished and I was given a spot prize… Might be the tears that did it. Last half of the year!
10. My Lazy Bottom
And this is where we’d be now. My lazy bottom with it’s lack of gluteal activity tops off the year of mad running. The physio has definitely been an eye opener and I’ll definitely be carrying on with the exercises I’ve been doing for the past two weeks when I’m done with sessions.
And so, to top it all off, bottoms up to you all, have a fabulous New Year and let’s hope 2015 is just as awesome as 14.