Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Barons 2014

For me 2014 was the year of the comeback after only starting back in November 2013. I had done nothing for 8 months but drink, be lazy and generally feel sorry for myself after being injured with torn medial meniscus in my left knee. I remember the paarlauf in the December of 2013 were I died a death letting my team mates down and the first parkrun were I ran flat out for a time of 27.52. I knew the task of coming back wasn't going to be as easy as I first thought.

However just to be back running was a massive bonus and I vowed to just enjoy 2014 because even though I have always been a lazy runner, training wise, I had missed running immensely. In 2014 I also had to contend with running the London marathon. I'd had to defer 2013 through injury and could not defer for a second year so decided I would "get round" because it was London. Any other marathon I would have just not done it. Maybe doing London was foolhardy but do it I would.

In February I went to Malta for the week on Davos tours were I had entered the half marathon. I jogged round in 2.06 something and ran the race keeping my heart rate under 150 for as long as I could. I even managed a flourish in the final mile running just over 8 minutes for it. The week after I did my first club race because a lot of the Burnden runners had been on the Malta trip and I had thus promised to be there. A promise was a promise even though I ran the race after having 6 pints the night before.

By the time April came round and it was London marathon time I had got my Pennington Flash parkrun time down to a more respectable, for me, 25 dead. My knee was aching the day before the marathon and on the morning of the race so I was wondering whether doing it was a good idea. Anyway I hadn't come all this way to watch so I decided it was going to be done. Again I ran keeping my heart rate under 150 for as long as possible and managed to get to half way in about 2.10. Also to my own amazement I managed to keep running, well jogging, non-stop until about 19 miles. From then on it was jog, walk but mostly jog until the finish. Looking at my watch in the final few miles I knew I had a chance of under 4.30 so this spurred me on to jog more than walk. I crossed the line in 4.29.16 and was made up. My knee was felt fine but I grabbed my kit bag and promptly sat in the gardens in the sun with some snap pack ice on it just in case.

The London marathon really kick started my progress because my knee whilst still giving me some grief I knew could withstand a marathon effort. I then decided I should run more club races to see where I was at with regards where I was prior to injury. I also entered the North Cheshire 5k series in which I'd done before injury and ran 22.50 at Dunham Massey at the beginning of June. My first time under 23 for 5k since my comeback and was happy with that because it was not a million miles away from my PB of 21.40. At the end of July I ran 22.36 at one of the Sale 5k's which was to be my best time for the year.

In September I raced my first 10k in 2 1/2 years having entered it some months prior to the event. To my surprise I had a decent run, for me, and ran 49.02. Of late I have been running consistently under 24 at Penny Flash parkrun and beating Bacon Mon who has been giving me some needle for most of the year when he has been beating me so it's been nice to return the favour.

In December it was the annual paarlauf again and I was determind to make up for last years very poor effort. I was a fitter than the 12 months previous. This determination was cemented even more when I was one of the last ones to be picked for a team! The thought they obviously have not seen me run short distances before and I will show them sprung to mind. Anyway as fate would have it I was running the last 400m leg for my team and in the lead with a 30 or so metre lead on the second team which happened to be Dave Sloan chasing me down. I just thought run hard but not too hard just in case it went down to a sprint finish. I was going to puke if I had to get the win. Anyway I crossed the line first and didn't let the team down which more than made up for last year.

Other highlights included winning a trophy for 3rd place in the first division road champs which I never would have dreamt of doing at the beginning of the year. I also did one or 2 fell races which I enjoyed and back doing cross country. Also having been training on my own for most of the year I thought it was time to up the game and train at the track and efforts on Wednesday on a regular basis. Cheers to Dave Sloan and Shaun Moran for running the sessions and to the fellows A&Ters for the laughs and pain endured together. All in all I ran 65 races during the year, if you include parkruns, and managed to run exactly 1000 miles which is quite an achievement for a lazy git like me!

In 2015 I'd like to have a crack at my 5k PB of 21.40 and my 10k PB of 46.17. Also perhaps do more fell races, get out on my road bike a bit more and run at least 1250 miles. Hell maybe I'll even learn to swim and show everyone how not to do a triathon as well as how not to run.

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