As is becoming customary, its time for a quick look back at 2009. I’m writing this on Boxing Day (26th December) as I’m not planning on any more running this year - in fact I’ve not run at all this month! (more on that later).
Injury once again reared its ugly head. Running may be great for fitness but it really can hurt at times! Aside from avoiding injury as much as possible, the main aim for 2009 was my first Ironman triathlon - a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a (short!) 112 mile bike ride, topped off by a 26.2 mile marathon run. Easy huh!
Prior to this I had an entry into April’s London Marathon to prepare for. Towards the end of January I was getting some ITB grief which turned into general knee pain in my left leg. This made my marathon training tougher as I wasn’t able to do anywhere near as much training as I had wanted to. I just about squeezed in three runs of over 20 miles and as I lined up on the start line with over 35,500 other runners at the end of April I just had to get on with it. I finished in a time of 3 hours 19 minutes and 46 seconds - a time that I was very happy with - especially for my first marathon - although I know I can run quicker and a sub 3 hour time is in me (somewhere). My London Marathon report can be found elsewhere on this site.
I recovered from London pretty quickly - which was just as well as I had to train for the Ironman in mid-July. In addition to plenty of running, I was also putting lots of time in on my bike, with a number of 80-100 mile bike rides from the start of May. My swimming was coming along as well and from an exercise point of view all was good. My priority was on multi-discipline rather than just running, and I think partly because of this I just missed out on going sub-40 minutes at the Bognor Regis 10k in May (my favourite race).
During the spring, Saturday mornings mostly consisted of a lake swim followed by a 5k parkrun event - and occasionally a long bike ride afterwards. At the start of June I won my first parkrun race (and running race at that) - with an 18:25 run at Bedfont parkrun.
A couple of weeks later I finished in under 5 hours at the Bala middle distance triathlon in Wales which I was chuffed to bits with - the race was tough but fun - tough during the race but fun once I’d finished!
July was Ironman time and I had a suberb race, clocking 10 hours 37 overall and a 3:46 marathon (after the swim and bike). On our return from Zurich I wrote a very lengthy report about it all.
During the Autumn I was back concentrating more on parkrun 5k racing (i.e., races that last minutes and not over 10 hours!) and at the start of October got a new personal best (first one in 2 years) of 17 minutes 53. I’ve not yet dipped again under 18 minutes - because of injury and other races taking priority.
As we moved into the Winter cross country season this was something that I was really looking forward to - challenging running which could only make me stronger - or break me! As I write this now I’m not sure what it’s done - it was fantastic with my fitness but I’m a little broken at present (read the Epsom 10 report for more background).
At the end of November I decided to take a few weeks off of running - to try and sort out my left foot. Right now I’m going to give it a few more days before attempting an easy run - and that will be on soft grass as much as possible.
After all the words above its time for a few facts and figures…
My total mileage for 2009 was 1311 (compared with 1028 and 1320 in 2008 and 2007 respectively). This is only 11 months running as I’m not running in December. My average weekly mileage was 25.1 miles (although based on the first 11 months it was 27.6 which is more accurate). The increase in my mileage this year has to be related to my two marathons (at the London Marathon and Ironman Switzerland) - those long runs really add up. I’d love to be lots more though - as that’s what I need to get quicker.
Event wise I did the following:
- 40 parkrun (5km) running races (although not all of them racing)
- 4 Apr: Ranelagh Harriers Baker Cup Handicap
- 26 Apr: London Marathon - 3:19 (very pleased)
- 17 May: Bognor Regis 10k - 40:24 (weather wasn’t ideal)
- 25 Jun: Thames Turbo Aquathlon - 8th overall
- 14 Jun: Bala Middle Distance Triathlon (4:51:58)
- 7 Jul: Ironman Switzerland
- 5 Sep: Ranelagh Harriers Thomas Cup
- 3 Oct: Ranelagh Harriers Page Cup
- 10 Oct: Surrey League Cross Country
- 18 Oct: Cabbage Patch 10 (new 10 mile PB of 1:02:22)
- 24 Oct: Ranelagh Harriers ‘mob match’ against SLH
- 14 Nov: Surrey League Cross Country
- 21 Nov: Ranelagh Harriers ‘mob match’ against TH&H
- 28 Nov: Epsom 10 (the run that knackered my foot!)
Looking ahead to 2010 my main race plans are a 20 mile race in March (which is looking more and more unlikely by the day and won’t be treated as a race) and an Ironman distance race in July. I also have to put in the Bognor Regis 10k (in May) and the Bala triathlon in June. Right now, those are my only plans for 2010.
Other things I’d like to do are…. run the Dorking 10 mile race in June and get a 10k PB. I wouldn’t mind running a half marathon at some point - the last half marathon I did was in Barbados in December 2008 - maybe that’s a idea….
So, if you want to see how I get on, there’s only one thing to do - and that’s stay tune to this site. Thanks for reading, whoever you are and wherever you are…