It's that time of the year again. A time to reflect on the past 12 months and see how I can improve on things in 2016.
This year I've clocked up the most miles ever in a year, 3000 miles. A nice round number and although I was tempted to go out today for a run, I decided I've earned the day off.
I'm finishing the year on a high, not only have I ran more than I ever thought I could but I had a really good training session on Tuesday morning. 6x 1 mile rep in the Meadows.
The mile reps
It was a Edinburgh AC training session but only a handful of us could make it.
I took the bus up and did a couple of miles warm up, it was windy but dry. After 3 miles it was time to get the session underway.
The first lap 5:39 felt tough, I wasn't sure if I had gone out too hard. Garry, our coach, instantly gave encouragement. "Just another 5 of them". Ooft! This was going to be a challenge.
We had between 2:30 and 3 minutes recovery between each rep but it felt like seconds!
The second rep, 5:36, came as a surprise. It felt slower. Mentally I just had to make it half way. After that I was on countdown mode.
Third rep, 5:35, I finished this and the first and only thing I said was, "it's hurting now" and this is when The Beast took hold, he sat on my back and whispered in my ear, "You can't continue running at this pace, you need to stop!". The forth rep and I could hear him speaking to me loud and clear. I really wanted to stop and it took all my strength to keep one foot moving in front of the other. I felt slow, I felt annoyed that I had lost my pace but I kept on pushing and when I crossed the line in 5:34 I was even more suprised!
Now there were only two reps to go but could I keep my legs moving? The lactic was really building up in my legs and I was struggling but I managed the 5th in 5:36 and now with more more to go, I just had to give it my all to make sure I didn't finish on a poor rep, a final 5:36 was a good way to end it.
4: 5:345: 5:36
The past 12 months
I haven't spent as much time blogging about my running as I would have liked and I think I said the same thing this time last year.
I do enjoy writing down my thoughts but I need to make time to get on here more often and just type. Even if it's just a short message.
Looking back at my races over the year, I've had some great races and some not so great. A highlight was Grangemouth with a new 10k PB (35:39). I had hoped to get a new half marathon PB during the year but my lack of consistant long runs put an end to that. Barry Buddon half was a low point for me and not getting a PB at Glasgow stung a little.
I didn't run a marathon this year and I don't plan on running one next year either. I've really enjoyed this year, racing shorter distances which has also allowed me to recovery quicker.
I joined the team of ambassadors for ashmei and that has been great. I've met some inspirational people and I look forward to meeting other ambassadors in 2016. If you fancy applying to join me and the others, pop over to ashmei's website and fill in the application form - closing date isn't until February.
Getting the chance to work with Geebz photography again. I first met him when he took our wedding photos but he wanted to get some action shots to try out a new lens. The final results were brilliant!
Heading up in to the Pentlands for the first time was great and I'm looking forward to getting up there more in 2016. Hopefully without getting lost and also getting a day when it's clear and dry!
I don't think I've ever taken so many photos while out running either, looking back over my year on instagram I get a real good feeling about 2016. More running, more photos (selfies!), more blogs, more food!
I really enjoyed being the jogScotland mascot for Portobello parkrun as well. It was brilliant fun although very warm and that was on a cold day!
Looking to 2016
I'm really going to try and nail the half marathon with a new PB. I'm going to focus more on my key sessions, not miss the long run on a Sunday and learn how to race.
After the session on Tuesday, I felt that is how my legs should feel after a race, not just a hard training session. So on that note, I've got a race tomorrow, just 4 miles along the Portobello promanade but I'm going to give it a good go. If my legs aren't screaming, if The Beast isn't on my back, I need to push harder!
I wish you all a very happy new year when it arrives and I look forward to seeing you all at some point.