23 Dec

Reflections On My Running Year

Runner reflecting

It’s only natural to slip into a reflective mode at this time of year. Where have I been? What has happened this year? What has changed? What’s been my highlight of the year? What’s been the saddest part? Has 2015 been a good year?

I think everyone spends a little time devoted to their own introspective review of the year as it draws to a close. If, like me, you are a runner, then there is another major consideration. How was my running year? Have I ran enough? Could I have done more? Have I achieved any running goals? Am I fitter? Am I fatter? What was my favourite event?
2007 was probably the most adventurous year of my life. I started it working in the Middle East, went on to work for a sports organisation that took me around Europe and in between times I backpacked around India and Nepal and then to South America.
Yet I reached the end of December and suddenly it struck me – I hadn’t taken part in a single race all year. No medals, no race numbers, no tweaked hamstrings to wince over, no recollections of that agonising hill in that half marathon – nothing. It remains the only year that I have allowed that to happen in 12 years of running.
What – on the face of it – was a brilliant, enjoyable year somehow felt incomplete. Is that weird? Or is it just part of life if you are a runner? 
So to 2015 and my reflections on this year. To be honest, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I did manage to get a race in nice and early with a 10k in January. Box ticked. Otherwise it was a bit stop-start. I had spurts of training and other times I missed a week or two. I was similarly sporadic with my parkrun participation.
I did have a sore Achilles throughout the year and I also began a demanding new full-time job. But, truthfully, if I had to pick a word to describe my running year, it would be ‘procrastination’. That said, I did manage to achieve one of my lifetime running goals this year. I actually won a race!
Admittedly it was a small one mile event at a Devon May Day fair where all the other participants seemed to be fuelled by cider rather than isotonic fluids. Still, I happily collected a trophy. Most importantly, in my mind, it salvages my running year.
But next year will be better. Much better. I will commit even more time to training, get myself fitter than ever and try and launch a fresh attack on my personal bests. Then again, I’m sure I said that last year…