2018 has been a big, big year….not only have my my personal bests come right down, my love for the sport has grown even more….however this year hasn’t been without its setbacks.
January kicked off in an awesome way with some of the most consistent training I have ever put in, last winter through to March this year was pretty much all 40+ mile weeks which is where I tend to find my sweet spot is. That consistent training which started back in the last week of November 2017 led me to have a fantastic run at the Lliswerry 8, smashing the sub 6 minute mile pacing barrier by clocking a 47:20 over 8 miles…that’s 5:55 pace!
From there I thought “this was going to be my year”….until March came around and the “Newport Half Marathon”, the race I had been training for over the past 16 weeks was cancelled due to bad weather. This was rearranged for 2 weeks later and subsequently cancelled again due to bad weather. In a vein attempt to not let my fitness go to waste I attempted my own half marathon on our local industrial estate but to no avail, injury struck at mile 7 with an excruciating pain in my right glute.
This injury forced me to take a step back, possibly a sign from my body that enough was enough. The previous 16 weeks were the most intense training I had done and this injury inadvertently allowed me to fully absorb all the training so when I came back onto the racing scene in May, I smashed my Half Marathon PB of 1.27.34 and came in at 1:24 at Hereford Half Marathon. This was also the month of the OMM Marathon Lite event in my home area, the forest of dean!
The OMM event didn’t go to plan, even though we came in 7th place, I was racing in 2nd place until mile 15 but a recent surge of hot weather after a bitterly cold winter took it out of me and on the day. Other races this month were the spring mile, a one mile track race where I recorded a 5:20 mile and the fountain five, a five mile trail race in our local area….I can’t remember where I came and my time but I know I twisted my ankle and that put me out of action for a week or so!
From there we headed into the summer months and took our 10k PB down to 36:41 at the summer speedway 10k, followed by the gloucester 10k a month later. The gloucester event didn’t go quite as well as the summer speedway but never the less we still came in a respectable 37:51.
Fast forward to August and we came up against the severn bridge half marathon, arguably my best race of the year. All of that winter and summer (very hot) training had well and truly bedded in as we came across the line in 1:20:48…this was way above and beyond anything I expected as the course isn’t particularly flat but on the day my body just responded well and I rolled with it!
However, it was at this stage where the downturn of the season came, stitch after stitch plagued race results…the swindon half marathon in september started this all off in style! We were flying at sub 80 minute pace and the worst stitch I had ever had ground me to a halt…I had never walked in a road half marathon but theres always a first time for everything! From there we managed to get ourselves through the forest of dean autumn half in 1:23:51 and the severn bridge night race & newent 9 events to round off the year, however it was not the finish I was hoping for!
I am pleased to say that we have got ourselves through the stitch issues (major muscle knots) and are now back to training 40+ mile weeks and I am feeling fresher than ever. I cannot wait to tackle 2019 and give it my best shot!