The end of a year is always a good time to reflect. It’s a time to consider the good and the bad of what’s gone before so we can focus on what’s yet to come. It’s a time to think about goals for the upcoming year so we have something to aim for in the year ahead.
This time last year, my EnduranceDaddy blog did not exist. It was not even a figment of my imagination. In December 2015, I’d never run a marathon or written a blog. I’d only done one season of triathlon and never gone longer than Olympic distance in a triathlon event. EnduranceDaddy came about so that I could aim for some stretching goals and raise some money for a good cause whilst preserving that which is really important to me – being a caring husband to my wife and a good daddy to my kids. The question of whether I achieved what I set out to achieve this year may be up for debate, but through the power of WordPress, Garmin Connect and JustGiving.com, let’s start out with some facts on what has been achieved this year.
I’ve been reviewing my blog entries from 2016 and the range of activities I’ve been involved in has been quite diverse. I’ve done two Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series Marathons and the Brighton Marathon; the Holkham Outlaw Half and Fritton Olympic distance Triathlons; the second ever Run Norwich 10k and the 30th Round Norfolk Relay. I’ve raced other dads at my daughter’s school sports day and paced my daughter and my nephew through a few Park Runs. I even managed to get a nice little ski trip in, go on a couple of “mini adventures”, kayak marshal at Norwich Triathlon and complete an England Athletics Run Leaders course. All in all a pretty good year on the activity front. The swim and bike stats are probably way down compared with many of my Tri-Anglia clubmates, but they reflect the lack of swimming and biking I’ve done since July (i.e. I’ve not done any!). It’s also fair to say that I have not always worn my Garmin for swimming, so the numbers may be a bit light on the swims anyway.
I’m proud to have doubled the fundraising target I set myself at the beginning of the year and whilst my blog doesn’t have the readership of The Sun or the Daily Telegraph, I’m pretty happy to have anyone reading my reports, let alone people in 24 countries! I’ve had some really nice feedback from people on the blog too. Thank you for all your comments.
In reviewing my blog entries for this year, a few themes have emerged.
- I’ve not trained properly for some key events and have been hit hard as a result
- Bonking (not the pleasurable variety!) and cramp have been a regular feature over the year
- Some of my race reports sound like I lack confidence, which is a bit daft because I’ve got a good bit of race experience behind me now
- I’ve made a few stupid mistakes (like forgetting timing chips and relay batons!)
- I had a great result in Brighton, but Holkham, CTS Suffolk and CTS Dorset were a bit disappointing
- My favourite running experiences have generally been trail running focussed
- I’m really rather self critical (although I’m trying not to be)
Clearly what I need to do is learn a few lessons. Do the training to boost my potential for race day and polish up on my nutrition strategies to avoid the dreaded mid race bonk. Be more proud of my achievements but be sure to put the effort in up front to maximise chance of success. (That’s the hard bit you know.)
So as for Goals for 2017, it’s time to commit to something. In 2017 I want to:
- Run more than 1000 miles over the year
- Break 45 mins for a 10k
- Break 21 mins for a 5k
- Complete CTS Exmoor marathon in April in a faster than average time
- Update my blog site and “do more” with it than write about training and race reports
- Carry out another charity challenge and raise more money than this year. Make it a big one!!
So that’s it. My last post for 2016. If you are reading this and have read any of my other blogs this year, THANK YOU. It’s a great feeling when the stats page on WordPress shows me that people are reading my work. If you sponsored me or donated to my cause this year, THANK YOU. Your generosity will certainly have saved lives. East Anglian Air Ambulance is a great charity doing great work. Hopefully you will consider sponsoring me again once I announce the details of my 2017 charity challenge.
Happy New Year