It’s that time of the year again where I look backwards to be able to go forwards. Let’s review what went down in 2017.
2017’s targets and PBs
Ho-hum… I did originally set these targets whilst not realising the true extent of my Achilles injury from the end of 2016, so some of them are quite laughable!
- 5k: sub-18:00: FAIL!
- 10k: sub-38:00: FAIL!
- 10 mile: sub-64:00: FAIL!
- Half marathon: sub-83:30: FAIL!
- Marathon: sub-3:00: FAIL!
The closest any of the above came to succeeding was, of course, the marathon goal. I opted to put all of my eggs into one basket, with the view that the other distances would receive undivided attention again afterwards.
Now let’s have a look at 2018’s goals:
- 5k: sub-18:15
- 10k: sub-38:15
- 10 mile: sub:64:00
- Half marathon: sub-83:30
I’ve purposely softened the 5k and 10k goals, now firm in the knowledge that it will take a lot of work to get back to my 5k best and to run 30 seconds faster than my 10k best.
The 10 mile and half marathon goals remain the same as 2017’s. I would like to put some serious graft into the 13.1 mile distance again, so I’m hoping I can hit the goal by the time the Spring is over.
A softer goal is becoming a member of the 250 parkrun club, of which there are just over 2,100 members in the entire world! I should get there by the end of February.
My Achilles injury basically wrote off January, February and most of March; even so, I was still able to almost draw even with 2015’s total of 1,612 for 1,594. By my estimations, I reckon I would have broken 2,000 miles if fit and healthy.
Pleasingly, thanks to the marathon training, I broke 60 miles in a single week for the first time and also covered 210 miles in one month – both taking place in July.
Highs of 2017
Once again, the top of this list could only be the mighty Yorkshire Marathon! Sure, I missed my sub-3 goal by just 35 seconds, but the experience from the race will remain with me forever as one of my proudest achievements and happiest memories. For the full write-up, please click here.
2017 was also the year I found joy in simply running for the fun of it. Any of you that have been benched by injury for a prolonged period of time will know what I’m talking about here when you first return to running! I came to acknowledge that solely chasing after times couldn’t go on forever and I’m now firmly in the territory where year-on-year improvement is no longer guaranteed. All I can do is keep training to the best of my available resources and ability, and hope that everything comes good on race days. This newfound serenity handily coincided with developing a taste for parkrun tourism for variety and visiting 9 new courses over the year; compare that with 13 over the course of 2011 through to 2016!
I tried my hand at coaching in 2017, getting Dave Burton across the start and finish lines of his debut marathon. Taking responsibility for somebody else’s training is not to be taken lightly, so I was incredibly pleased when Dave pulled it off with minimal trauma and having looked like he enjoyed the experience.
Lows of 2017
Thankfully, there are few I can think of!
Nursing an injury was obviously something I could have done without, where it looks to have cost me in top-end speed but not endurance.
Falling over on a run for the first time was embarrassing, but will also hopefully be the final time!