Sunday, 8 January 2017

2017 - The Road Ahead

So after the first week of 2017 is done I am minded to what the next few months will offer up. In reality it will be a lot of hard work and probably repeated tests of will power. I'm ready for that, but with every year there comes the unexpected. It will be those moments that need to be pushed through.

2016 feels like it was a bit of a rubbish year. Truth is that on reflection the first half was pretty epic. I used SDW50 as a training run and gained a 50mile PB. I went on to complete the GUCR in hot conditions and then from there training really slipped. I took a rest and lifted my foot of the gas. But certain behaviours that I told myself were because I was "recovering" fell in to being bad habits. I was eating rubbish food and flippantly consuming whatever sweet substances were available at work. My training became a case of incredibly hit and miss. I knew that whilst I was ticking of mileage, I was missing sessions and not giving strength work the full attention it needed. I began to drift back and settle my weight at the top of end of my too high average. I had not kicked in from GUCR. Training for and completing Grand Union Canal Race had shown me what a runner I had the potential to be. The reality of course being that to achieve those level you have to commit to training, to diet and transform your way of life in to a much healthier one. Where the Grand Union Canal was concerned I had certainly transformed my training, but even then my diet was poor. I had not started that race at a weight that would allow me to achieve a speedy time.

At the end of 2016 I came to realise that work was overtaking life. I was leaving for work at 7am and not returning until 7pm. I was sometimes not seeing my children at all during the day. Politics at work was taking over many of my thoughts and my team were becoming busier and busier, but with no personal benefit to them or my emotional and physical well being. I came to accept that this could not continue. It was time to make some changes. What came next I could not have hoped for much better. I got a possible contract in Huntingdon (15min from home.) This would cut my daily commute down by 2.5hours. It involved a pay cut, but as a family the improvement in quality of life was too good to resist. So I handed my notice in to my current contractor and have been mentally preparing for my new job. I shall be returning to an element of my job that I love and only 0.5mile from my gym; I will be able to resume a purposeful lunch time routine. Since starting this preparation I have been reflecting and realising the impact of long and hefty commutes. This year I had crashed my car due to fatigue and that was the start of me reviewing my position. I always thought the commute was a good way to wind down, the truth being it was winding me up and exhausting me. So as of 16th January I shall be undertaking a new contract and pushing my business forwards. Life is too short to unnecessarily lower ones quality of life. My whole family are excited for the new contract and my children are delighted that I won't be working "where all the traffic is." No more calls to family to say I'm stuck in traffic and will miss bedtime. No more work issues overtaking my time to train. Onwards and Upwards.

So with distractions being removed I have a number of blogs half finished that I shall crack on with. This includes GUCR and Beachy Head Marathon. I will finish them for personal posterity and they will I hope still be of interest to some.

Pressing on this year I have started the year weighing 14st13.1 and my target, through healthy eating and regular training, is 12st. I want to do everything I can to improve my health, well-being and my running in turn. This last week has been one of the most consistent training weeks I have had in months and probably best week since GUCR. I shall blog about more frequently about interesting moments in my training and progress. I am revisiting the Centurion Grandslam this year. After a narrow miss in 2015 (DNF at NDW100 at 75miles) I have had pleasure this year of sweeping final leg of TP100  and A100. Seeing other runners complete their lifetime goals was a huge privilege.  I am glad I didn't finish Grandslam in 2015. I was scraping through races and I don't believe would have deserved a giant buckle. This year will be different. I will work my arse off and every finish will be deserved. So focus now turns to TP100 and a sub 24 attempt.... it's going to be a fun ride.

Happy New Year Everyone.