That’s pretty much it for 2019 then, and it’s been a really good year, although the way it turned out wasn’t how I would have thought it would this time 12 months ago. Back then my target race was the Brighton Marathon, and I had nothing planned beyond that. Somehow I then ended up running another 4 marathons! It all started with being offered a club place in the London Marathon, which was only 2 weeks after Brighton, but I decided to give it a go anyway. Then I entered Beachy Head, one I’d wanted to do for ages, and then spotted the New Forest Marathon and liked the look of that one too. Finally having completed the Great South Run in October I quite liked the idea of a return trip so the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon got added to the list.
Add in another 10 races and it’s been quite a busy year all in all. In fact until I got all my medals out today for some photos I hadn’t realised it I had run that many races. Total mileage for the year has been 1,155 miles, with a total training time of 206 hours, which works out (if I’ve done my maths correctly) at an average of 22.2 miles and just under 4 hours per week.
It’s been a really good fun year that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, so here are a few of my personal highlights:
- Brighton Marathon – for once it all came together on race day. Conditions were good, my pacing was spot on and I felt strong until almost the end, only really feeling the pace in the last mile by which time it was job done anyway. I finished in 4:07 and even managed a negative split of 2:05/2:02 along the way.
- Beachy Head Marathon – just an amazing race. A succession of brutal climbs culminating in the Seven Sisters, but you were rewarded with some stunning scenery when you reached the top of the climbs. Incredibly tough but a totally unique experience and I’ve already signed up for 2020.
- Parkrun number 100 – I finally made it to the century mark this year. Onwards to 250 and the next t-shirt now.
- Benfleet 15 – a cold but perfectly clear January morning, the legendary mud wasn’t there this year, but the the big climbs at the end were. I still loved my first experience of this race and it’s another one I’ll be revisiting in 2020.
- Double run Saturday – a trip down to Cornwall earlier in the year to stay with my Dad, which gave me the opportunity to run the Mount Edgcumbe parkrun in the morning followed by the Looe 10 miles in the afternoon. Mount Edgcumbe is the 4th hilliest parkrun in the country and the climbs in the Looe race were something else! Probably my slowest 10 miler ever but certainly amongst the most memorable.
I’ve been lucky this year with injury and illness. Going to the gym regularly along with making sure I get enough recovery between races and hard sessions has helped me stay injury-free, and although I missed 3 weeks with a persistent cough during the summer overall I can’t have any complaints about how this year has gone.
I’m almost there with my 2020 plans, just a couple of things to finalise and that will be the subject of my next blog post early next month. In the meantime I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year!