It’s the beginning of another year which can only mean one thing, another yearly review. 2018 has been a year of great ups and downs, running wise the year didn’t go to plan.
The year started off with the Waterway 30 in January taking place the day after my birthday, the race is a 50k race in Nottinghamshire following several canal paths. The route is a fairly flat one but it still had enough to keep it interesting, especially as it was in January and the weather decided to tip it down making the paths very wet and slippery, there were a couple of times that I thought I was going to end up in the canal. I enjoyed the race and it felt like a great way to start off the year with my second ultra.
I then had a long brake from racing with my next one not until May and the Sublime Swaffham 10k, this was the first time this race had taken place and being a road race I wouldn’t normally have entered it but the race HQ was based at the Green Britain Centre, and the promise of a vegan café was too much to pass up on. The course was an out and back and wasn’t the most inspiring of courses, now that the GBC centre has closed I wouldn’t be in a hurry to enter this race again, having said that I did have the bonus of managing a 10k pb on the day.
June saw me return to one of my favourite races if not my favourite race, Trail Marathon Wales in Coed-Y-Brenin, this is my second year at this race (yes I will be going back for a third time). The forest of Coed-Y-Brenin is one of my favourite places in the world, and the route follows some lovely trails with a real mixture of terrain. If you are thinking of entering this race I would very much recommend it.
My next race was the Scott Snowdonia Trail Marathon in July, despite having finished races of a longer distance this was my toughest challenge to date. The course as expected for Snowdonia was absolutely stunning and tough, you run 3/4 of the route before climbing Snowdon towards the end.
This is when the day got really tough as it soon became apparent that I hadn’t done enough hill training, and I have never come so close to pulling out of a race as I did that day, to be honest part of the only reason I didn’t was because I was stuck half way up a mountain. The highlight of the race was meeting Hannah on the way down Snowdon and running some of the final mile with her.
August started off ok with another of my favourite races the Run Norwich 10k, despite having an ok race I knew that all was not well and that I had a got the start of an injury. A couple of weeks later and I could barely walk let alone run so I took the very difficult decision to pull out of the Hangman Ultra, a race that I had been waiting a long time for, but not all was lost and I had an really enjoyable time cheering on the other runners instead of running, again I will going back to in 2019.
The year went down hill from here with me having to pull out of my first 50 miler and the Chiltern Wonderland 50, to say I was gutted was an understatement. Without any running to help me keep on top of my mental health my mood soon went down hill and even though I eventually felt injury free I was too crippled by anxiety to take part in other races including the King’s Forest 50k in October, I have written about this in previous posts so I won’t go on about again here, feel free to check out my “being chased by the black dog” post if you would like to know more. In fact I wouldn’t race again until the Brighton 10k whilst being at the Vegan Runners uk annual agm in Brighton, I was a long way off my best pace but ran the race with another couple of VR’s and it turned out to be an really enjoyable race.
2018 was a year of disappointment race wise but was also a year that I learnt a hell of a lot about myself, a year that I didn’t complete all my goals including running my first 50, but that has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I will now get to attempt it at the Peddars Way Ultra which is run on the day of my 40th birthday. Also all though I didn’t get to race as much as I had hoped I did get to explore lots of new trails around the uk with Hannah, so 2018 was not all bad. Here’s to a great 2019, I’d love to hear of any plans you have for the year so feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you have planned. I have a massive plan for the year but I will let you know more about that in future posts also keep an eye on the “From Mountains To Molehills” page.