As I mentioned in my previous post, my first year of running taught me that I work best when I have a goal to aim for otherwise I just drift and procrastinate. So going into 2019 I decided that at the start of the year I would give myself some goals to work towards.
It quickly turned out that my 5K goal of sub 23:00 was perhaps not exactly a stretching target, when I ran 23:57 on New Years Day at Strathclyde parkrun. That’s was quickly followed up with 22:53 and 22:41 on the 5th and 12th of January respectively. I think I did maybe 1 more parkrun in 2019 so didn’t lower my PB any further.
My goal of completing a marathon was a complete and utter disaster. I’d entered the Edinburgh marathon which was the last Sunday in May. The training was a real mess, I struggled to complete sessions and generally my body was not coping with the volume of training either. Eventually I abandoned all hope of a decent time and just hoped I could somehow get myself to the finish line. Unfortunately come the day of the marathon I made it through 4 pretty uneventful miles before I injured my foot. Every time my foot made contact with the ground I was in agony, I made it to about 10 miles before deciding that I was just risking doing some serious damage.
About the only positive thing to come out of the Edinburgh training block was the Haweswater Half Marathon. It was a race that I really enjoyed with beautiful scenery. It was however windy and freezing cold something that was reinforced by the snow falling as I was driving the 15 miles or so back to my parents. I wasn’t trying to hit a particular time largely because, despite the official description saying the course was undulating, it was extremely hilly compared to what I was used to. Somehow despite suffering with some calf issues in the last 3 or 4 miles I managed to creep under 2 hours finishing in 1:59:03.
In September I ran the Great North Run. My training started really well and the disaster of the Edinburgh training block seemed so far away. however about 2/3 of the way through the training I just hit a wall and really struggled from then on. Going into the day I was massively under prepared, yet despite a poor performance it was possibly my most enjoyable race. The weather was glorious sunshine and despite shivering whilst waiting for the Metro after parking up, I really struggled with the heat throughout the run. I also really under estimated how hilly the course is given that it is net downhill. But all that being said it was so enjoyable the atmosphere from the crowds and fellow runners was brilliant. There were spectators on every bit of the course and the ones handing out ice pops were especially welcome. The beer handed out between mile 10 and 11 by the Newcastle Hash House Harriers club was strangely the thing that picked me up and got me to manage to finish somewhat strongly. I have entered the race again in 2020 and am determined to do better and be better prepared this year.
Looking back on my goals for 2019 some of them were obviously a bit too stretching. I didn’t run any 10k races in 2019 so obviously couldn’t hit that target. If 2019 has taught me anything it’s that I’m still relatively new to running and that I need to be careful not to do too much too soon. I was obviously not physically or mentally ready for a marathon and a such if I do ever do one it will only be when I am capable of it.