Thursday 2 January 2014

2014 in Review

It's that time of year to think about what happened last year and what I hope will happen in the coming 12 months.  This year is a bit different to the previous few, in that I haven't really got a clue what the long-term goal will be - the result of my "A" race and biggest challenge at the Rocky Raccoon 100 taking place in just a few weeks.  Only when that is finished will I have any idea of what my body is willing to do next.

So, how did I get into this situation?  Well, I blame Nic.  We enjoyed our Scottish racing so much in 2012 that it seemed foolish not to have another go in 2013.  For a variety of scheduling reasons, it seemed sensible not to go back and run the River Ayr Way Challenge again, so I had a look at some of the other SUMS ultras and decided the Highland Fling might be fun.  That went well enough that I decided a 24 hour race might be a laugh, and that in turn went so well I decided to look around for something warm in February to shoot for.  Simple, really, until I stupidly raced the Bourton 1mi Challenge in July and tweaked some already tender body parts.  I'd been running quite quickly until then, considering the Spring of ultra training, but had to wind everything back in and let the injuries drop back into niggles.  The racing dried up until cross country season started, where I've been enjoying some mildly competitive speed sessions as I try to get everything back in gear.  Now, with a dodgy 50Km Boxing Day run under my belt, I at least think I can complete the RR100.  But, with no real confidence that I'll be recovering quickly, I've only got a trip to the Eco-trail de Paris in March on the calendar - all other planning is on hold until February.

Racing Highlights of 2013:

Pictures, according to the slogan, are worth 1000 words.  So, here are a few highlights of the year in pictorial shorthand.

The Adventure Hub Exmoor Ultra -the hardest race I've run to date.

The Tewkesbury Half Marathon - friendship is as inspiring as any running achievement.

The Highland Fling - I'm still paying for this one!

Endure 24 - wow!

The Dahlonega Firecracker 10K - first old git!

And first xx-yy age group lady, too!

Running in the mountains in the sunshine.

My first trip to the Peak District

Vicarious racing - Nic & Chris being ultra-awesome

Gear reviews! So much fun to do.

Finding new trails in Andalucia

Sunny running in November

Finish run, open beer, stand in the sea!

Boxing Day wet-fest, at least from the ankle down...

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