2018 – The Year That Was

2018 – All the medals

Happy New Year everyone. Another year has gone by, but before looking forward to 2018 I thought I’d take a quick look back at 2018, before it disappears from view. Back at the start of the year I set myself some targets, so let’s see how I got on.

Sub 45 minute 10k – 👍 I nailed this one back in May, with a 44:10 in Ashford. I’d targeted this Friday evening race as I knew the course (4 laps) was almost flat, and conditions on the night were almost perfect. I also ran almost even splits, which made me think I needed to return later in the year to try out Ashford Parkrun, which used the some park. More of that later……

Sub 1hr 15 for 10 miles – 👎 One of the ones that got away. I ended up doing three 10 milers over the course of the year. The first one at Canterbury was never about a time, so I was hoping for a serious tilt at the time at Folkestone on Good Friday. Unfortunately conditions were against me on the coastal out and back seafront course with a strong headwind on the way out, which put paid to my hopes. I clocked 1:15:56 and on reflection if I’d pushed a little bit harder on the first 5 miles I might have gone sub 1:15 given how fast I came back, but it’s always tricky to judge how much to push into the wind without over-doing it. That left me one more chance in early December at Thanet. I always knew this was very weather-dependent, given it was another out and back coastal run, and once again I didn’t get lucky with the reverse of Folkestone and a headwind on the way back which put paid to my hopes. I’ll be back at Canterbury in a few weeks, so I’ll give it a go and see what happens.

Enjoying the tailwind at the Folkestone 10!

Sub 1 hr 45 for a half-marathon – 👍 This was the first one I hit at Tunbridge Wells back in February. It was somewhat unexpected as this is a challenging course with a couple of tough climbs, but I was delighted with a 1:44:33, and that gave me the confidence to go for it a few weeks later at the fast flat Paddock Wood half, where I ended up with a 1:39:32!

Sub 4 hour marathon – 👎 This one was my main target for the year, at Bournemouth in October, but it wasn’t to be. I’ve been ill once this year, unfortunately it was 3 weeks before the race when I went down with a cough and a cold. The cold went pretty quickly but I just couldn’t shake the cough which left me feeling lethargic and jaded, so my taper just didn’t happen and so it didn’t quite happen on the day either with a 4:22 in the end. I hit my target pace for a sub 4 for the first 14 miles, but I could feel it wasn’t in the legs and the last 12 miles weren’t much fun! Frustrating after my training had gone so well, but I still finished and I enjoyed the weekend away, so I’m not too down about it.

Bournemouth – the aftermath

More strength and conditioning work – 👍 A cautious thumbs up for this one, I did quite well for the first half of the year, but then it tailed off a little the longer the year went on. It’ll still be a focus for 2019, and now I have joined a gym that is literally 2 minutes walk from my desk at work I really have no excuses!

Volunteer regularly at Parkrun – 👍 Rather like the target above one that went well for the first few months but again not so much later in the year. I always enjoy volunteering, so I’ll be back on this for 2019, starting on January 19th when my running club is doing a takeover for Maidstone Parkrun.

This wasn’t an instruction!

Blog more regularly – 👎 Looking back I actually did more posts than I thought I had, but maybe not as frequently as I’d hoped. I won’t make any rash promises for 2019 at this stage, but I’d still like to spend more time on this.

I’ll finish this post up with the target I didn’t set, breaking my Parkrun PB, which I hadn’t really considered as a possibility until around 4.5k into a Maidstone Parkrun in April when I realised a PB was on! I’d set out that day with the intention of going sub-23, but to my surprise I ended up with a 21:29 which was 15 seconds of my PB which dates back to 2015. As I mentioned earlier I wanted to try Ashford Parkrun given how flat the course was, so on a perfect morning for running back in mid- November I took a trip over there and shaved another 2 seconds off my PB. It was hard and it hurt, but definitely worth it!

That was 2018 then. I’m still thinking about my 2019 targets and goals, and that will be the subject of my next post, which I will hopefully write sooner rather than later!

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