A recent Marathon Talk podcast discussed the importance of setting goals & aims for the upcoming new year, which is something that I intend to do shortly, but in preparation we should look back at how 2012 has sized up to our previous goals & aims. Unfortunately I have not been a goal orientated runner up to this point so I have nothing to compare against for the year but there is certainly some value in casting my eye back. So here is my running year in review…

Marathon (under 4:30:00)

I completed the Brighton Marathon but failed in my time goal. My training was decimated by illness, including a two night stay in hospital, so I reset my aims to just “complete it with a smile on my face”. That I managed but I will be taking this down in 2013. Result = slightly sad face.

Half Marathon (under 2:00:00)

My first half marathon of 2012 was a disappointment as I only managed 2:08:40 at the adidas Silverstone Half Marathon but I then obliterated my target at the Ealing Half Marathon with a time of 1:54:10. Result = happy face.

10k (under 0:48:45)

I set my 10k PB at the 2011 Gunnersbury Park 10k and I wanted to lower it further this year. I failed miserably and out of four races I could not get under 50 minutes. My fitness was not just there for the first half of the year and my overall training was poor (by my standards) until the end of September and by that time I had run out of races. If I raced a 10k now? I would probably dip just under 48 minutes so I am in a positive mood for the Serpentine 10k on New Years Day. Result = slightly sad face.

5k (under 0:23:00)

Smashed this one out of the park with my recent 0:21:57 at Gunnersbury parkrun. Result = very happy face.

Blog

No real aim for my blogging other than to maintain it through the year and see how things go. I certainly do not write it for a loyal readership because there are few visitors but as a motivational tool for my running it works wonders. I also find it a great place to quickly reference my race calendar and to compare times with previous races. Result = wry happy face.

parkrun

I signed up for parkrun ages ago but for some unexplained reason I just did not go. When I eventually made it to Gunnersbury parkrun I could not believe that I had left things for so long. I even managed to convert a fellow Dad from The Son’s school into a fellow parkrun evangelist. However, my real love of parkrun is because The Son comes along and runs with me. Whether he is in a foul mood, a happy mood, cannot be bothered to run it all, or wants to go for a PB… I love every minute of running alongside him. Result = proud face.

Training

The first six months of 2012 were a bit all over the place in terms of my ability to stick with a training plan. Once I get going then it’s not a problem but if I suffer a significant break from training then I find it hard to get going again. Since September I have been regularly running 5-6 times a week with quality easy, tempo, threshold, speed, and long runs. Result = half a smiley face.

Janathon & Juneathon

Now we get to the reason why I started this blog in the first place: Janathon. It was the end of December 2011 and we were in Japan visiting family. I was casually browsing the web looking at running sites in preparation for starting my marathon training and somehow I started to search for running blogs where I found a link to Janathon. Some sort of exercise every day for a month and blog about it each day? Simple I thought. That’s how I started this online experience and I went through it all again for Juneathon. Result = happy face.

Run With Others

I used to plod along by myself with my headphones on and that was ok but not exactly awe inspiring. I finally joined my local running club (Ealing Eagles) and I have not looked back since. Gone are my days of running with headphones and I enjoy my running so much more chatting away to other runners or just silently matching the steps of those running around me. I should have done this a lot earlier. Result = very happy face.