2016 in review…where I have been and what is to come

I guess it’s time to do an end of year round up sort of blog post.

How different do I look in a year? Wow! (this is without adding in a photo of my new haircut too!)

But first, this is what has been happening whilst I have been away and not blogging.

I completed the Great North Run on September 11th. I travelled up on a coach and got talking to some fellow runners, who I walked to the start with the next day. I also met David the night before the race and we went for food together, well that was after we had found each other. I realised that my explanation of where I was, was somewhat lacking! The race itself was hopefully going to be a good one for me, however, it didn’t end up that way. I lined up in my pen with a lovely lady and we were chatting all the time. Once we finally started moving and eventually running, I started off running with her, but it was much faster than my target pace, so I let her carry on and got into my stride. I was feeling good to start with but at around 3ish miles something didn’t feel quite right in my hamstring. As us runners do my first thought was “run it off”, so I tried to carry on running. It didn’t help, in fact it started to get tighter. My next plan was to stretch it out. So I stopped and stretched my hamstring on the kerb and then started to run again. My plan was to try and run/walk to the end if I wasn’t able to run the whole thing. But it soon became obvious that running wasn’t really an option. I almost gave up at 6 miles and text my friend. She sent me a voice message from my Goddaughter who told me to “do it Kimi” and “going” (I think she meant keep going). The strength from this and my friend telling me she loved me no matter what time it took me to finish and talking to people along the way as I was walking/trying to run a little, kept me going and I made it to the finish. My slowest half marathon time. But I’m proud I kept going and even though I couldn’t walk without pain, I had the biggest smile on my face.

My next race after that was the Birmingham half in October. With it being only a month after the GNR I wasn’t expecting big things, but added into the mix was hip pain. I should’ve gone to a physio. But I’m stubborn and I wanted to do the Birmingham half as my lovely friend Steph was coming for the weekend and it would’ve been awful to say I couldn’t run. It was a rainy morning and quite cold to start with, so up until bag drop both myself and Steph had on god knows how many layers (see photo!). We both had our individual plans and were going to keep in touch by text if we were struggling and to let each other know when we had finished. I made it to roughly 6 miles before my hip began to really hurt. I then slowed to walk/run. My aim was just to finish as enjoy myself. I found myself walk/running by a guy dressed up as a storm trooper. He was telling me that he used to run much quicker, but injured himself and now ran in fancy dress. It was so refreshing to hear. I got to the awful incline bit and by that point my legs were like jelly. I actually thought I wasn’t going to get up it. But I did and I got to the finish. Just before the finish there was a lady who seemed to be struggling. I stopped to see if she needed any help or anything but she said she was ok and for me to go on. Times aren’t always what matter. After we had finished and retrieved our bags, we went to meet Charly, Steve and Kirk for a drink, which then ended up with food in Wagamamma’s. I can honestly say that we had the best time. I am very lucky to have made some wonderful friends because of running.

I promised that I would book myself a physio appointment to get my hip sorted. The physio I have been seeing is brilliant. She is a runner herself and so realises what us runners are like. She did an assessment and established that the issue was the little bugger of a tfl in my left side. The physio said that when I get tired I have a weak core which the in turn makes me lose form in my running, which then makes my tfl have to do more work. Making it ouchie. The physio told me to do sets of lunges and to incorporate these into a warm up before a run. I also had a series of 3 sessions of dry needling. I was allowed to still do my exercise classes but had to stop running until the pain in my hip was less. From then on I could do run/walk intervals to build back up to running 5k and beyond.

After the physio sessions, the pain in my hip feels better and is almost gone. And then I went and missed the step at the dentist and sprained my ankle. Go on you can laugh! I can no longer hide my clumsiness, it is making its break for freedom.

Good news… hip feels good, ankle feels good, I had running kit for Christmas and I can finally try it out! And I went for a run/walk! Woop woop! 2.30 min run/1 min walk. I did a total of 2.06 miles with my friend. I felt good, hip didn’t hurt and I bloody loved being back out there. Here is to being sensible, not overdoing things too quickly and to a healthy 2017.

With that said, here is my end of year round up and my goals for next year…

So this year (with possibly one run left) I have completed a total of 259.25 miles. Not a huge total by any means. But I’m happy with that, considering I didn’t ever want to run again after Silverstone in March, and in fact didn’t run for a good few weeks after that and also missing quite a few weeks of running with my hip injury.

I looked on Garmin connect to do some comparison with 2015 and the difference is clear to see. 2015 was only half a year of running, but many of my runs were a combination of run/walk and also many shorter distances. What is clear to see is a difference in average speed and cadence from 2015 to 2016. Here’s hoping that I can make more progress in 2017.

  2015 2016
Count: 78 Activities 53 Activities
Distance: 175.47 mi 259.27 mi
Time: 41:47:35 h:m:s 56:24:30 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 3,456 ft 6,245 ft
Avg Speed: 4.2 mph 4.6 mph
Avg Run Cadence: 79 spm 84 spm
Calories: 21,048 C 32,435 C

My goals for 2017:

  1. Be less clumsy (unlikely!)
  2. Listen to my body especially if I feel pain anywhere like I did with my hip.
  3. Run and exercise with a smile
  4. Continue with my strength training – kettlercise and one other strength class.
  5. To complete a whole kettlercise session with the 8kg without having to stop.
  6. To do 3/4 laps in the Endure24 team event I’m doing as part of team #halfpints
  7. To strengthen my core
  8. To build back up to 5k/10k/half marathon distance (if I choose) slowly.
  9. To continue with pilates and challenge myself with some of the advanced exercises.
  10. To be able to do full push ups
  11. To drop at least 1 if not 2 more dress sizes.

These may not seem like huge goals, but this year has taught me that sometimes pushing too much can mean that you don’t listen to yourself when you need to rest, or see a physio. I also don’t want to get to the point where I am constantly PB chasing. In the busy world we live in, with work and other commitments, I don’t want to add to the pressure of trying to get endless PB’s and instead go the other way and resent running. I want to have fun, challenge myself in different ways, become stronger, both physically and mentally.

 

Enjoy your running and exercising, keep smiling and have the most wonderful 2017.

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