My Highlights of 2015

Wow what a year it has been!

I have blogged about a lot of this before so I apoligise for repeating myself but here are my highlights of 2015.

I entered the year as a one time marathon runner, I had 2 marathons lined up for 2015: Edinburgh in May; Berlin in September; I thought I was nuts with just the 2 lined up.

I was starting out the year as ukrunchat team captain for Jantastic. I was getting people signed up to the ukrunchat team and writing a blog a week for 3 months of the challenge. It was fabulous seeing everyone set targets & work hard to achieve them- it was a great way to start the year.

In February I was signed up to the London Winter Run & I had seen quite a few ukrunchat people were also signed up so I organised a big meet up. We met before & then after we all went for lunch. It was brilliant to meet some fabulous people and actually see people in real life when we’d been chatting on line for so long. It made the race day extra special and was the start to a lot of good friendships.

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In late February I did a half marathon and shortly after that I got an injury. I made my first trip to an osteopath as my knee was in a lot of pain. It turned out it was an ITB issue. I had won a prize from MarathonTalk that was a place in the North London Half plus entry to the Mo Farah press conference afterwards. Any other run around that time I would have dropped out of but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to run through Wembley Stadium and then meet Mo! I did the run- the first half was my fastest ever 10k- I was super excited about running through Wembley and it was such a rush running down Wembley Way & then into the stadium. That was only the half way mark & after that I struggled as I was in pain but I knew I had to get back for the press conference so I got myself back just in time to grab my bag & go to the press conference. Mo did a Q&A session and then did photos. He’s a lovely guy and it was very exciting getting my picture taken with him.

After that I had 2 weeks of rest & treatment from my Osteo who magically fixed me just in time for the 1st Ukrunchat weekend in Anglesey. My gosh- what a fun weekend that was! It was fabulous spending a weekend running & drinking with some fabulous people.

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Edinburgh was to be my 2nd marathon. I managed to get in the training despite it being a bit delayed from my ITB issues but luckily the marathon was at the end of May. I had a great time in Edinburgh as I was visiting a friend too. It was quite cold & we had a weather warning of heavy rain but luckily the rain stayed away. I don’t like cold & heavy rain together. The 1st chunk of the marathon I felt great and was feeling really strong….that was until the 17 mile point where you turn around & head back along the coast. The strong wind was in our faces the rest of the way which made it pretty tough going. It really helped having my friend & her parents supporting me no the route. I was very happy to finish and get a PB (4:30 – I had done London in 4:45 in 2014).

Shortly after Edinburgh I had some foot problems and my Osteo once again fixed me. It was suspected Plantar Fasciitis but was actually bruising on the inside of the heal. It was fixed within 2 weeks.

In June I went to the second #ukrunchat weekend in Eastbourne.  It was a great weekend with a fabulous bunch of people.  Running and learning a lot about running from the various workshops we did.

In July I did the Great Newham Run. There was quite a crownd from ukrunchat doing that one too so we met up before; then after to watvh the family races & then a few of us went for a drink. Whilst watching the family races we saw Paula Radcliffe running with the kids and running back & forth around the track to help various children across the finish line. It was awesome. This was made even more awesome when we were at the pub after & spotted Paula- It was quite exciting to meet her & a couple of us got our pictures taken with her.

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In August I did the Spitfire Scramble as a part of Ukrunchat Team Red. Spitfire is a 24hr relay: 1 person from each team is running on the 5.9 mile multi-terrain course. There were 7 people on Team Red & 8 people on Team Blue. We had a super fun weekend camping and hanging out between running & trying to fit in a bit of sleep. Over the 24 hours I did 4 laps; the run at around 2am was surprisingly my favourite. I loved running with my head torch for the 1st time; although it was also my slowest. I didn’t want the weekend to end; but it finished with some friends picking me up & us opening some Prosecco to celebrate my birthday.

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I had such a fabulous time in Berlin. I went out there on my own which I was a bit nervous about as at both of my previous marathons I had had people at the finish line to meet me so I wasn’t sure how it would be without the support. I needn’t have worried.

There was a large group of ukrunchat people going so we had a DM group on twitter to discuss the race, plan some meet ups & discuss our Maranoia in the race build up. I spent most of my time in Berlin with the ukrunchat gang and we had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the marathon- the weather was perfect and the support was great. It’s such a friendly city. After the marathon lots of us met up for drinks, which turned into a bit of a party. It’s so much fun meeting up with people you hardly know ut who are all so like minded & fun. We had a brilliant time and celebrated getting over that finish line. I would highly recommend Berlin Marathon.

 

When I returned from Berlin it was time to face the reality of Bristol-Bath in 4 weeks time. I really felt some post-marathon blues after Berlin so the 1st couple of weeks I hardly ran. When it got to the half way point between the 2 marathons I went out & did a 20 mile run to prove to myself that I’d be able to do it. I was super excited about Bristol-Bath too as I was going down there with Helen & Natasha and we were making a girly weekend of it. We had an Air BnB booked the night before & after the marthon plus a spa day for on the way home. We had so much fun. We all went into the marathon with reservations but we all smashed it & got PBs! Even with some crazy hills on the route. The spa day was perfect. It was fabulous weekend with 2 lovely ladies.

 

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I can’t quite remember when but at some point during the year a group of us agreed to do a 32 mile run together. Running Adventures do a group run and we loved the idea of getting through it together which would be very different to the usual race atmosphere. I was terribly nervous in the build up to the run but I really enjoyed it. There were 7 of us on the run, it was hard work at times but we did it! It was amazing to have completed that distance- and we got through it together. I was so proud of all of us for running that far and was happy to call myself an ultra runner. It will be very different running that far in an organised event but I look forward to finding out how that goes at Canalathon at the end of March.

 

For the 1st time I have check ed Nike Plus for my total running miles for the year & here are the ones for previous years:

2011: 46.7

2012: 299.6

2013: 326.2

2014: 432.2

Today I have just hit over 1000 for 2015 to bring this years total to 1002.6!

Over the year I have become more & more involved with ukrunchat. I would like to say a massive thank you to Jeff & Joe for creating something so special & for giving me the opportunity to be involved– it really is a privilege. The online community is so supportive & inspirational and I love being a part of it. Running wouldn’t have become such a massive part of my life without ukrunchat; and I wouldn’t have met all the amazing friends I have made this year without it.

I would also like to say a massive thank you to all of the #ukrunchat community- your support is invaluable.  I look forward to seeing you in 2016.

Next year I am currently signed up to Brighton Marathon- after all the excitement of last year (& the fact I broke twitter that day) how could I resist!?

I have signed up for Canalathon 50k at the end of March with a half in Jan & a full marathon at the start of March to prepare for that.

I am very excited to be doing the inaugural Nepal Marathon in November 2016. It is going to be an incredible experience volunteering in the local community & running a marathon in such an amazing place.

The Shrewbury Half is going to be massive fun as so many of the ukrunchat community will be there which will make it pretty special.

 

I am signing up for Race to the Stones 2016- I have been thinking about it for a looooooong time but have finally decided it has to be done. It’s a challenge that scares me but one of my favourite quotes is “If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough”.

 

Thanks for reading everyone x

Happy New Year!

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