New year and for me I’m looking forward and not backwards. I’m glad 2018 is done and out of the way as it was a crap year for numerous reasons. I didn’t learn from previous years and by September I hated running. A complete break from racing has helped and I did re-discover what I liked about running. To help me get that passion and desire back I had to remove everything that I felt was having a negative impact on my running and me as a person.
I’ve always said if it’s not right for you then don’t do it but I don’t listen to my own advice. I was doing stuff to fit in, racing stuff I didn’t like and doing everything I hated in the end. I made a promise to only race when I know it’s right. So for me to lace up my racing shoes again I will follow these rules;
- Road race only
- It falls on the correct date in my training
- The race is either a tune up race
- Or my target race.
- Race to achieve a time target only (anything else is a bonus)
For me personally my passion comes from achieving times. I let the ability to win medals get in the way. The competition for the medals were limited so felt these medals were easily obtained so never got the satisfaction from racing that I did when I achieve goals I set myself. If I win anything going forward I want it to be secondary to me actually achieving my time goals. I’d rather set a marathon PR over winning a masters gold medal. Before I cover what goals I have, I also wrote a list of things I won’t do anymore.
- No parkruns
- No cross country races
- No fell races
- No trail/multi terrain races
- No charity challenges
- No club affiliation
- No Saturday running/racing
You will read that list and go “WTF” that rules a lot of races out. Well actually it doesn’t. I am a road runner. I’ve tried every surface and road is where my love lies. I’ve never liked fell/MT or XC racing. Never liked getting muddy and as I’m a runner who’s main desire is to chase times those surfaces are not for the likes of me. Each to their own but I know what I don’t like and for too long did these just to fit in. Well I don’t have to fit in, please anyone or do anything that I don’t like. This leads me to parkrun, now when I started I won’t lie I benefited from a weekly parkrun and used to love it but parkrun is a different beast now and a lot of things I dislike can be found with parkrun on a Saturday morning. The good thing is I made Saturday my non-running day and is now family day and since October Saturdays have been amazing.
The last two items on the above list is no more charity challenges. I’ve done enough fundraising to last a lifetime. I’m proud of what I raised but do feel like I did not matter to the charity I raised millions for and feel like I was very much under appreciated. Others have raised less then 5% of what I did and have been recognised, got honours etc. All I got was a letter and requests to raise more each year…..sod that!
Running clubs and me don’t mix. I’m not a team player when it comes to running. I don’t train with a club and have not done for a good number of years. I had to be affiliated for track and championships but track is for youngsters and I’ve hung up my spikes. As for championships, personally I’d rather not compete then run for a club that I have no loyalty with.
So to future goals……………. Firstly I’ve not set any time frame for any of these as I want them to happen when I know it feels right, and not forcing it.
- Join the Navy reserves.
- Race a marathon
- Race a new distance
- Race at Disney
- Race aboard
- Set new PR’s
For me this year I’m looking at joining the Navy reserves and already put the wheels in motion. I have unfinished business and think joining the RNR I get the best of both worlds. More on this over the coming months.
Running wise those are my goals. I’m happy with my times at every major distance except one and that’s the marathon. So this year my main focus will be building up a base so when I’m ready, I will do a marathon. For me though there is only a few I’d consider doing in this country, so getting a place is important. I won’t ever be happy till I break 3 hours. Now if I can run 77 for HM and 1:57 for 30k I know I can do it at the marathon. I know what went wrong in the past and 2019 I’m working to put things in place so when I get a place at a marathon I want I’ll be ready. I also want to run a new distance. For example I’ve never done a 20 mile race. There is a few distances I’d like to have a crack at.
I want to run at Disney in Paris. It’s on my bucket list. As a family we love Disney and want to run all the races that they hold over a weekend in September. This year my daughter starts high school so I don’t want her missing school for it, so it’s one for the future, as is racing abroad. Personally I prefer races I don’t know people. I hate racing locally as there are too many people I know and truth be told can’t stand and I can’t be arsed to be fake and be nice. I end up being wound up before the race even gets underway. One thing you will notice is I will be more honest in my views. For most of the year I’ve held back and/or bit my tongue to fit in but I gain nothing from doing it. You’ve been warned.