2015 – In Review (or at least as much of it as I can remember!)

My memory of the first part of the year is a little vague, so much has happened, but I will do my best to write some appropriate commentary 🙂

January – no races, so just trying to build up my fitness and keep myself going over the winter months.

February – wonderful trip to Falkirk for the Scottish Fetch Mile which meant some track fun and then a tourist run around the Kelpies which was totally amazing.

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Kelpies – Amazing 🙂
March – I was disappointed not to get a PB at the Arbroath Smokies Ladies 10m race, however the week later at Inverness Half Marathon I got my first PB of the year of 3:18:53.  My previous best set in 2011 was 3:33:46, so I’d managed to knock around 15 minutes off, so I was well chuffed with that.

April – not much to say other than the mileage started increasing this month.

May – busy month with Dunecht Dash 5k, Baker Hughes 10k and EMF Half Marathon.  Was mainly just building up fitness and mileage, but managed to set another Half Marathon PB in Edinburgh with my time of 3:12:54, so that knocked a further 6 minutes off 🙂

June – just a couple of races, namely Eddie’s 10k at Aberdeen Beach organised by Metro Running Club and the Peterhead Half Marathon at the end of the month.  Despite the weather being rotten for the journey up and back from Peterhead, it was blistering hot during the race.  Struggled but I got round and had some lovely sunburn at the end of it!

Peterhead sunburn
Hmm, now where did I put the aftersun?

July – just Dundee Half Marathon for me during this month, but I was starting to up the mileage as part of my marathon training.

August – was a very busy month with Dyce Half Marathon, again organised by Metro Running Club, the BRG Coastal Challenge and the Fare Challenge 5k.  Note to self.  If a race has challenge in the name, that’s exactly what it is!

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I think I was delirious by this point.
September – this was the month of traveling 🙂  Off down to Newcastle for the Great North Run and then at the end of the month off up to Inverness for the Loch Ness Marathon.  Neither race went my way and I was quite disappointed, but everything was about to change.

October – no races this month, but this is really the month that has changed my life.  I finally got my asthma sorted out to the stage of it now being very well controlled, however I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  I have battled with my weight for a long time, but I won’t lie, when the diagnosis was confirmed at first I was devastated.  Since I struggled to shift the weight despite being active, I was put on medication to help.  I’ve been stringent in logging what I’m eating through the MyFitnessPal app and just reducing my Carbohydrate intake and I can now hand on heart say that quite possibly the diagnosis has saved my life.  The weight started to come off almost immediately.  The end of the month saw one of my proudest moments as our jogscotland group (jogscotland Hazlehead) won the Group of the Year award at the Scottish Athletics and jogscotland Awards in Glasgow.  We even got into the local news and everything 🙂

Official photo of winners
Official photo 🙂

November – another shot at 5k, 10k and half marathon in the shape of Aberdeen parkrun (at the beach), Peterhead 10k and Fraserburgh Half Marathon.  This is where I really noticed the difference as the results amazed me.  Three races and 3 PBs 🙂  5k PB reduced to 36:30 from 36:59 (29 seconds off), 10k PB reduced to 1:19:11 from 1:20:43 (over 1.5 minutes off).  The biggest achievement of the month was Fraserburgh Half.  Previously this had been the only time I DNF’d a race.  Well my PB is now 2:58:53 which knocks a further 14 minutes off my time from Edinburgh making a total of 34 minutes or so off my time this year.

December – have only really done the Wildhearts Santa Run, which is a 5k fun run and the Aberdeen Fetch Mile this month, and would it surprise you if I tell you that I managed to knock 43 seconds off my mile PB which now stands at 10:03.  Previous best set in 2011 was 10:46.  This netted me the Improvers Trophy 🙂

Fetch Mile Trophy
First (and probably only ever) running trophy 🙂

It is also the month I hit my 700 miles for the year target.  I had to do an extra little run close to home, but can’t think of a nicer place to have done it.

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700 mile spot 🙂
More importantly, I’m pleased to report that my blood sugar readings are now much better and I have lost around 12 pounds in weight, which I credit for my increased ‘speed’.

My medal haul is looking very healthy:

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Bling – and lots of it.
Overall it has been a really tough year, but by turning something negative round into an opportunity, I have achieved more that I could have imagined at the start of the year.

So what does 2016 have in store I hear you ask (well, that is if you haven’t got bored of my gushing yet!)

Well I’m having another crack at a marathon, this time Manchester in April (since I didn’t get in to that there London one).  My partner in crime is Ann (Abz1903) who is extremely patient with me and is going to ‘haul my ass round if need be’ so I can get more of a decent marathon time.

There is also a possibility of marathon number 4, but I haven’t quite decided that yet.  I have however done something really nuts and I will be lining up in September for Glenmore 24 hour race.  I’ve not completely lost my mind, I will only be doing the 12 hour race, but an ultra is on my bucket list.

The one thing about having your life turned upside down is that I’m no longer sure what I’m capable of running wise, so I intend to try lots of things and just see where that takes me.  I’m also aiming to keep shedding the weight as I know this will really help my running which could open up a whole new set of possibilities.

The future is bright, the future is orange 😉

js kit back
jogscotland Hazlehead orange!
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