Finishing 2020 with positives

Race win & mileage target hit

Happy new year everyone. Many thanks to everyone who has visited my blog over the past year. It has been a hell of a year for everyone and one I don’t think anyone would care to repeat. I know I am glad to see the back of it. Taking from the classic Star Trek Voyager episode “The Year From Hell!” I think sums up the year perfectly. But not one to be a pessimist, what does not kill me can only make me stronger, right?

When I began the year I didn’t expect to either be diagnosed with cancer or have a damn heart attack but heck it’s just another chapter that is my rollercoaster of a life. Thankfully I have an awesome family that have been my rock this year. I don’t need to talk about either of those issues in more detail as I’ve covered it previously on my blog but will say hopefully both issues will be fixed in the months ahead. Let me now focus on my running.

When I began the year, my simple goal was to run again pain free after losing the last 7 months of 2019 to an injury to my right leg. Slowly but surely I increased the miles and day by day I began to progress and by time lockdown hit us in March I had gotten my parkrun time down to 18:35 (even though it was still early days in my cancer diagnosis and was still trying to get my head round it).  Lockdown hit and it was back to solo running.

Then come May, I appointed Jo Wilkinson as my coach and that relationship has blossomed over the past several months, despite trying several coaches in past. Jo was the first person to actually understand how I tick as a runner, she identified my weaknesses and over the summer we rebuilt me as a runner. The Podium 5K was perfect in that I executed the race plan and smashed the goals set and I thought I was turning a corner, only two weeks later to have a heart attack that pulled the rug from underneath me.

I honestly thought that was it, retirement. However, I am very stubborn and it meant I was back easy running by October, despite everyone saying I was crazy. But we did it right and kept it smart. It wasn’t till Mid-November did we re-introduce speedwork and even then it wasn’t balls to the wall type of running. I also embraced the social side of running and especially on my long runs it’s been fantastic to run with people again. With a new local running club now on my door step, it means I can really embrace the social side of running in 2021.

After I started running again after my heart attack my goal was to get to Xmas Eve and race the Santa Dash, I covered how that went last week but my secondary goal was to hit 3000KM for 2020, I achieved this on New Years Eve when my daughter and I ran the final 1.33KM to hit the goal. Getting to run with my daughter was amazing and finished off the year in style.

December wise my training carried on pretty much as normal with just a lighter load the week between Xmas and New Year. I’ve been doing my long runs on Saturday but what I have like is the flexibility in my running, so instead of being regimented Jo allows me to move days to suit my life. Going into 2021 I am going to try my long runs on a Friday, so it frees up the weekend a little but I’m hoping when parkrun starts back up I am aiming to hit my 100th parkrun. It would be awesome if I was able to do that while my daughter achieves her first one!

I did have some really good speed sessions and the week before Christmas I was again running a lot of my sessions back under 4:00/km pace. I also continued to also do extra runs with my daughter, the extra mile a day really helped be closed the gap to hit my mileage target for 2020.

Below is how December (my own sessions only) looked:

Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Miles
30/11 6K 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 mins off 60s 10K Fartlek Session 5K 18K 10K 86K
7/12 6K 6 x 3:30 off 90s 11K 6K Progression Run 5K 5K 19K 75K
14/12 6K 3 x 3, 2, 1 mins off 60s rec 11K Fartlek Session 5K 18 5K 82K
21/12 12K 5 x 2:30 off 60s 8K Sheffield Santa 5K Off 5K 19K 64k
28/12 6K 10K Fartlek Session 1.3K 5K Off 18K 60K

Here is my iconographic from Veloviewer of my 2020 stats:

So on to goals for 2021, well right now I am thinking about it but my main goal is to get my treatments done and hopefully see some racing again!

If you would like to know more about Jo, please check out her website

Remember you can follow my progress daily via social media and Strava

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