Now we are in to the new year this is just a quick look back to my highlights of the last year. The year I continued to run.
It started with a Tri. A 400m swim when I wasn’t a swimmer by any means. A 9.6mile cycle on a hybrid bike (lesson 1. a road bike is much better) and a little over a 3 mile run. I was as scared as I was determined – white as a sheet, very close to throwing up in the pool but only picturing the moment I could put my trainers on and ‘just run’. What I remember most about that day was my husband at T1 telling me to calm down. It helped beyond words.
Onto a half marathon next and although I managed a PB I didn’t manage my nutrition. There was the ‘Hill of Hell’ at mile 10 and I had nothing in me to hit it. When I stumbled from dizziness it was the closest I have been from thinking I may be forced to stop. Lesson number 2 – just because you’re not hungry doesn’t mean you don’t need to eat. Twat.
Another triathlon followed, this time with my husband racing as well. My parents were there again with our youngest at the side. Memory of that day being my dad shouting to me that Joe was only a few minutes ahead. A complete lie but it got me out of T2 faster than you can say ‘competitive much’. No, not us.
The week after the triathlon was my first marathon. Big lessons here, huge! And none that are really surprising – more common sense – which clearly, I have none. Don’t do a triathlon just 7 days before running 26.2 miles. Don’t go hell for leather on the bike trying to catch your husband at said Tri. My quads hurt from mile 5 at the marathon and I only just came in on my target time. Memory from that day is my eldest appearing in the morning to come and support. I had all 3 of my kids, my husband and my mum (it was before his operation so too much for my dad).
Onto a race that really intimidated me – the Brig Bash. A 5 mile local road race that was full of ‘club runners’ which at the time I took to mean nothing but fast. So I set myself a time to beat and resounded myself to being one of the last over the line. It’s the one I would say I definitely pushed myself at. And no I wasn’t last. Lesson from that one – just because it’s a ‘club run’ doesn’t mean a non club runner will be excluded.
The Great North Run was the first race I had to travel to. Hubby and I signed up as part of Team Alexis Rose for Meningitis. It was hard going down to Newcastle without the kids or my mum who has been at every single race. Joe loved the red arrow display at the end though.
Then it was my second marathon – Loch Ness. Without a doubt my favourite race. I loved it. Things didn’t start too great as I had to go without my kids and Joe but my mum and dad kept me ‘entertained’. I learnt a few things from that one though. Only incredibly thick people change their trainers the night before a marathon. I need to do more core work as my abdomen killed me in the late stages of the run. And joining a club is actually awesome. Hearing ‘The Perth Road Runners are here, Ella Webley is crossing the line’ will always be a cherished moment.
Last but by no means least was running in London. No actual race but I got to run round Hyde Park a few times and run up to Buckingham Palace in preparation for when I eventually get a London Marathon place. I will get one. One year soon.
Lots of races in between all of the above – 25 in total for 2016! Bit of a jump from 15 the year before. Many, many happy memories though. Some have been with the husband, some with friends, tough mudder with my brother, and a couple with my daughter. Impossible to have done any of it without my mum. She’s there every step of the way and continues to be. My dad helps out too – and likes to remind me he won a marathon when he was younger. (Of course that was so long ago newspapers weren’t invented so I’m still looking for evidence of this).
2017 has a few booked already. Big ones too. I’m already scared. But very excited.