2012 – A Year in Review

2012 has been by and far one of the most challenging and rewarding years in my running life so far. I never for one minute thought I would’ve done half the things I’ve done when I was trudging along Blackpool on February 26th feeling utterly destroyed. But sometimes you have to destroy yourself to rebuild yourself and the things I’ve done and learnt since that moment have been a revelation to my burgeoning running career.

I can actually call it a career now instead of a hobby. This thing has taken over my life this year and I’m acutely aware of the selfish nature that my running schedule has taken this year and I’m grateful to my wife and son for putting up with it. The thing with my wife is that she totally gets me and she totally understands that when I get an idea and when I get the bit between my teeth then I have to see it through to the end otherwise I’ll be constantly thinking about it. I have this sort of nervous energy where I get an idea of things I want to do and plough straight into it without thinking of the consequences of others. I know this about myself and I’ve acknowledged this fact and believe me it is something that I know I need to work on and I try, I really do, but at the end of the day I am the living epitome of an Aquarian and you can’t change the stars right?

Below: Blackpool Half Marathon in February = BODY DESTROYED

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So I really want to use this post as a way to acknowledge the people who helped me get to maximum fitness throughout the year so without further ado:

My wife and Son
Without their support I doubt very much I’d do half the things I do. There have been occasions where I felt like giving up or uneasy about runs and my wife calms me down and talks me through it while reminding me of all the things I need to take with me. Whereas my son just says good luck and those two words from him and a smile just make everything ok.

My parents and my brother

Not being able to drive is a pain in the neck so most of the time I’m relying on other people getting me to local runs and none more so than my father.  My aim for 2013 is to at least try and get my provisional license and get some driving lessons so I can ease up on asking for lifts. Their words of support and encouragement have helped me achieve more than I thought I could.

Below: Lancaster Three Bridges in April = The Comeback Trail

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Stu Windsor

The things Stu has taught me have served me well and honestly if I hadn’t have had him as a personal trainer then there is no way I could’ve finished half the races in the times I did. He completely changed my running and training style and made me fitter, faster and stronger. Hopefully, with his help, I can step it to another level in 2013.

My Osteopath

My osteopath has repaired me and sent me back out to destroy my body again and then repaired me again. I honestly can’t thank her enough.

Andrew Graham

Andrew is always willing to offer support and a helping hand. He completed a marathon this year at Chester and is the driving force behind DH Runners and Carlisle Park Run which I am looking forward to helping him with in January (it’s taken a lot of meetings to set up but 19th January can’t come quick enough). Andrew and his family were there in February at Blackpool where my body broke down and I can’t thank them enough for their support at the finish. I’m looking forward to being a part of DH Runners and gaining more support from being part of a running group. (https://www.facebook.com/DhRunners) (https://www.facebook.com/carlisleparkrun)

All the people who turned up and supported my races

You know who you are and the drinks, jelly babies and words of support helped me get to the end of all my runs. The surprise appearances at races by friends was uplifting and greatly appreciated.

Below: Strong finish at The Great North 10k in Gateshead in July

GATESHEAD

Families Against Neuroblastoma.

I couldn’t have picked a better charity to support this year and in turn their support has been great. I’m looking forward to doing great things for them again in 2013 and raising much needed money for this charity. (https://www.facebook.com/FamiliesAgainstNeuroblastoma)

All the people who sponsored me this year

Seriously, your money will be put to great use by Families Against Neuroblastoma and your support is appreciated.

Graze

I found Graze products in April and contacted them in August saying that their products had been brilliant for my training and had been a part of the reason I’d lost so much weight. They were really appreciative and supportive of all the things I’m doing. (www.graze.com)

Below: Running away from Zombies in November

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Deep Heat

Deep Heat gets me through my longs runs. A dab on the calves before a race does wonders for me. (http://www.deep-heat.co.uk/)

All the chefs in all the hotels I stayed in this year before a run (Except the Gateshead Swallow Hotel)

Seriously, your breakfasts were brilliant.

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I’ve absolutely loved my running journey this year. Granted it didn’t start off very well but it ended brilliantly. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, I’m recovering from niggles quicker than ever and I’m confident that come 2013 I can complete my first Marathon. With the help of Park Runs as a training tool and the support of a running group I’m pretty sure that next year will be a great one. First run up will be The Carlisle Resolution 10k on the 20th January (The day after the inaugural Carlisle Park Run) and then we’ll take it from there. But this year, I’ve ran with zombies, I’ve ran through water, I’ve been a Total Warrior, I’ve crossed borders, I’ve crossed countries and I’ve smashed 10ks, 10 milers and Half Marathons and I’ve even walked 50km and I can honestly say I’m well and truly pleased with myself.

Have a great Christmas and a prosperous new year.

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