OK so I don’t have a running update for this week because I have been ILL! I knew this would happen – I got a bit overworked (not anyone’s fault, just how things fell, happens when you’re self-employed), my running days went erratic and then I went on two bus journeys where all I could hear was cough cough cough. I had an earache on Christmas Eve, a sore throat in the night and a full-blown cold for Christmas Day. I missed out on Christmas lunch, not wanting to take my germs to the extended family, and have been lolling around reading and sleeping and playing (fancy new) Mario Kart since.

As I won’t be running tomorrow, I decided to round up my running year and briefly discuss goals for 2019. And I’m hoping it’s OK to submit that to the weekly wrap!

Highlights of the year started with attending the National Running Show in January, going with lovely friends and seeing Ben the 401 Marathons runner again plus meeting the wonderful Lisa Jackson of “Your Pace or Mine” fame. Then in February, I was taking part in the lovely Verity’s February Five challenge again – proceeds go to Mind and it’s a nice little challenge you set yourself. I aimed to do five different stretches every day and managed, even if I did have to get up and out of bed just after midnight for one set. I wish I’d continued that to be honest.

Trudie, Grace, Liz and Sam with MEDALS

On 8 April I was supposed to be doing the Manchester Marathon. However, I’d come down with – yes – a COLD in my taper, a cold that never went away. And on the day, I was just too ill to run (having done two marathons before helped with this as I didn’t have anything to prove; I was gutted though as I was looking forward to it, and I’d already deferred from the year before when I had an operation, so couldn’t defer again). So on 15 April, with the combined help of Dave, Jenny, Trudie and Grace and with Sam with me the whole way as she’d missed it, too, I ran 26.3 miles around the streets of South Birmingham in my unofficial marathon. And Trudie even had medals for us at the end. All pics and the full story here.

It was around this time I decided to go for my 20 miles a week / 1000 miles in the year attempt (it was really the 20 miles a week that appealed, as I had found during the Manchester training that I felt well during the weeks I did 20+ miles up to about 35).

Sole sister running chums!

On 11 August I did the 18 mile LDWA Canal Canter event. This had the massive advantage of starting nearby, being for walkers and runners and having support stands along the way. I did it with the lovely Bernice, who I’d trained with when she was doing the London Marathon. We had a great time and ran well together, and this helped us decide on our big plan for 2019, I think. You can read our race report and see photos here. No medal, but we got a certificate and as much cake as we could eat! I was also doing the Weekly Wrap by then, something I’ve so enjoyed being a part of and will definitely continue next year. Brilliant women all doing different kinds of running around the globe, all supporting each other.

By the end of the year I’d reached my goal and hit 1,034.6 miles. I’d also kept things very regular which I loved – not too hard to fit in and I felt the benefits. A shame about this last week but that can’t be helped.

Look at those lovely even weeks – only one fall and one holiday (with a lot of walking) messing up the lovely regularity.

Of course my other big achievement was qualifying as a Level 1 Endurance Official (essentially, out-of-stadium officiating) and getting over half-way towards my Level 2 licence, and doing my courses for my Level 1 in Track, Field and Starter’s Assistant for in-stadium officiating and two of my experiences for my Field licence. Thanks to Alison, Hilary, Mary and Noel for their extra support in working towards these goals.

2019 plans

Bernice is very excited about running an ultra. Liz is too, but shows this more “subtly”. We have the same book!

This one gives it away really – Bernice and I plan to do the race to the Stones (2nd day) 31-mile ultramarathon in July. This is quite a big ask but it’s one of those things you start mulling over when you’ve done some marathons and wonder where to go next. Also, you get a special medal at the running club awards night when you’ve done a race you’ve not done before and unless we take up triathlons, this will be it. So we got the same book and frightened ourselves with the training plans and we’ll see how it goes.

We’re also doing the Liverpool Marathon in late May in preparation (esp for it being a sunny one). I’ll be supporting various friends at London and doing more training with Claire, who is great at encouraging me off-road and is training for London so a perfect combo.

My other plans for 2019 are to continue 20+ miles per week, continue with my officiating (hopefully gaining Level 2 in Endurance and Level 1 in at least Field) and continue helping to support new runners at club and through social media etc. I’ll also be volunteering at parkrun where I can.

In the near future, I’ve signed up for Mind’s RED January which encourages people to exercise daily in January. I won’t be running every day and as one of our club’s Mental Health Champions I’ll be encouraging people to take a gentle approach to this, involving stretching and yoga and walking as well as running (everyone who’s signed up so far and is talking about is being nice and sensible). Then in February my February Five will involve doing strength and conditioning AND stretching 5 days out of 7 for each week of February. Not my whole circuits routine but something from it, etc.

I hope all running readers had a great 2018 and have a good 2019. Anyone who isn’t a runner, thank you for putting up with these posts through the year: they will continue to be weekly with the odd race report, so shouldn’t take up too much space on the blog. And if you’d like to learn to run, talk to me if you have any questions!

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.