2018 in review – Learning to adapt

It has become traditional in recent years for me to review the running year just passed. Well, I don’t think that this year has been anything like as successful as the past two in running terms but I do still consider that there has been lots to celebrate and perhaps even more lots to look forward to for the year ahead.

So, perhaps the best thing to do is look at the year month by month and see what I can draw from it.

January – 2018 started well on New Year’s Day with an excellent run on the hills of Mont Millais. I also had a couple of runs on the trails of the island including two runs around Val de la Mare reservoir. I also had a long 10 mile run starting and finishing at the Radisson where we were staying one night.

February – early February saw a little illness giving rise to fairly few runs in the first half of the month. The remainder of February, however, saw some variety with a run along the South Downs way, around the Olympic Park for the first of two night-time races and visiting Southsea for parkrun

March – March started with a race in Jersey although I knew I wasn’t in particularly good form for it. However, it was all in preparation for what should have been the Reading Half Marathon but which was eventually called off for snow as I’ve moaned about at some length previously. In the week leading up to Reading we also took part in a second Chase The Moon run around the Olympic Park. We haven’t done one since but we really should because they were great fun.

April – the early part of this spell was perhaps more about preparation for the runs to come rather than being good runs in themselves. I had already resolved to take part in the Fleet Half Marathon at this stage and therefore part of this month was about building up the distance again. I had four races in back to back weekends starting with the run.je Harbour Run where I came up with a sub 25-minute run I’d never expected. Fleet came the following week and running with the two hour group led me to my second fastest ever half marathon and my first race in a gun time under 2 hours. I didn’t see that coming in advance but it was brilliant.

May – I had a barely sub 25 minute parkrun at the start of the month and the second weekend saw my third try at the Durrell Challenge. The good training I had done did not feature many hills so it was perhaps not surprising I didn’t do as well as I had in 2017 but I still enjoyed the event. On the day of the Royal Wedding, I’d avoided it with a record attempt and I’d put in a huge effort and enjoyed the run in the sun. That remains both my third fastest kilometre and mile ever.

June – this month was affected by illness and busy times arising from travel but it did feature my first ever run around Prospect Park in Reading which I now consider my local parkrun. It also featured a slightly mad College Hill repeats hill session which I somehow enjoyed.

July – summer saw even more variety, with random evening runs in Jersey around country roads and new routes in Reading. It also saw a little more niggling injury and a couple of long runs including Jersey parkruns.

August – this month saw me have some more determination for wanting to explore around Reading and one day I accidentally stumbled across the Reading festival site while it was being built. But what it also showed me was that running along the Thames Path is like a real haven of tranquility in the middle of a busy town and just represents everything that’s relaxing and good about running on one’s own. For the first time in Reading, I took part in parkrun after running to it making for an 8 mile run in total.

September – we visited Greece this month and managed fit in a few runs while we were there, but it’s probably fair to say that running was hardly a top priority at this time. I did do my first Prospect parkrun though.

October saw me start the month by pinging something in my foot when doing an interval session. I actually did more running in Reading than Jersey for the first time ever this month.

November – this month saw me take part in the Poppy Half Marathon and while it didn’t go as well as many other races I’ve taken part in I was still proud of it and enjoyed it nonetheless.

December – the end of the year saw some unusual runs including one up and down the runway at Jersey Airport, a location with which I’d become quite familiar over the previous months. I’d also taken in Woodley parkrun for the first time. I was supposed to have run every day but an ankle injury taken when running on Boxing Day put paid to that.

Runs by location in 2018

Jersey 113
Reading 46
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 2
Nea Moudania, Greece 2
Pangbourne 2
Southsea 1
Bramber 1
Fleet 1
Bexhill-on-Sea 1

January 2019 has already seen us running in Maidenhead and St Albans for the parkrun New Year’s Day double and my first group training run in Reading. By the end of the month we’ll also have run in Vienna so I think it’s fair to say the year ahead looks pretty exciting. I just hope I can keep training consistently to perhaps improve some of my times a bit more this year. That would be perfect.

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