Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014 – a year review & what lies ahead

“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”
― Yvonne Woon, Dead Beautiful

2013 for me has been quite a decent running year of improvement…… at times anyway. Also a change in club circumstances.

January brought the continuation of marathon training in prep for Blackpool marathon in April.  High hopes for a good Tigger Tor fell race were scuppered when bad weather meant the use of the shorter course. To say it was cold during the race is an understatement with ice forming INSIDE my shoes at one point.

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February was a month of no races but a few long runs and the long awaited start of the Hillsborough parkrun that i set up, the 4th in Sheffield at that time.

March contained the first result of marathon training at the South Yorkshire half marathon with me not only the breaking of the 1hr 25 barrier but smashing it with a 1:23.36 result. Unfortunately this was, with 2 weeks till Blackpool,  followed swiftly by a stinking cold. I made the decision to stop till it had gone.

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April brought the big day, all was fine till the latter stages when the lack of training caught up and I limped to 3:06.52. A PB but I consoled myself with a GFA time for VLM 2014……. or so i thought. The london organizers later decided to lower the times. Ballot again.

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May was the Sheffield Half where I allowed negative thoughts in and could only manage 1:23.56. Not a PB but a personal course record.

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June and a long standing PB did come later in the month over 5k in 18:15 by a second but on a hillier hillsborough than hallam course. I also PB’d over 10K at Owston ferry, smashing 1min 28 off in 37.14.

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Hillsborough parkrun PB

July brought another 10K PB…. well on paper anyway at Brinsworth 10k. 36.58 but it is a notorious short course. July also brought a return to fell racing with Thurnscoe chase on a Saturday followed the next day by Broomhead chase. A case of tale of 2 races, Thurnscoe I was too dehydrated and in 4th had to stop to recover halfway losing 13 places. The next day went better with a strong pace and good strong climbing.

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Brinsworth 10k

August and September was all about training for the Redbull steeplechase in October.

October then was the Redbull Steeplechase, a well paced run meant I achieved the desired top 30 position at the 3rd and final cutoff. Being described as one of the elite felt good and this is probably now my favourite race. This was followed by a week in Lanzarote and at the end of the month the Worksop half marathon. Yet again I smashed it with a 1:23.04 PB. So close to sub 1:23.00 but with such a strong headwind it was an excellent result.

November meant a return to x-country running. First came SY XC #2 at Graves park where my legs felt heavy from the off then 2 week later I ran in the British masters relay where I found it a little short at just under 2miles. The following it was SY XC #3 at Campsall in Doncaster, a proper x-country course. This was the first time I felt a little fatigued and a possible sign of things to come.

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Graves park xc

December started with the Percy Pud 10k. Race morning I didnt feel up for the race so just used the race as a quick training run. Positive is I ‘jogged’ around in 37.50. Last year if you had said I would run a sub 38min 10k so easily I would have been ecstatic. 7 days later it was the final SY XC at Penistone. I wanted a good run but a farcical morning meant arriving late and playing chase. Still a good run but not what I wanted. One final race was the Sheffield open x-country where my lazy Christmas meant over usual weight and undertrained that it was never going to be a good run, strangely I have won a second place team prize.

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Percy pud
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Penistone xc

Well that sows up 2013. Lowest milage year in 4 but my best year yet performance wise.

Now, what does 2014 bring?

Well, a continuation of x-country running with the Yorkshires on Jan 4th and the nationals on Feb 22nd.

There’s the Brass monkey half where I wanted to run around 80min but my lazy Xmas might have curtailed that. Still going to try.

Obviously there are my 2, yes 2 spring marathons at Blackpool on Apr 6th & White Peak on May 17th. I will be running these for Huntingtons disease. Donate on my justgiving page. may run the SY 1/2 on March 17th again in the build up to these.

I wouldnt mind another run at Owston ferry 10k but that depends in recovering from White Peak.

Later in the year will be all about the Redbull Steeplechase with not only getting top 30 as a aim but a top 15 or 20 finish hopefully.

Happy new year and bye for now.

“I don’t care too much what happened in the past. I prefer to focus on what is coming next and I am really looking forward to it.”
Sebastian Vettel

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