Three steps forward with Two steps back!

Well it's come to that time of the year with just hours remaining until the end of 2011 that I reflect (briefly) on the a year that was both full of so many memories. Although it has not been a year to remember in a positive light regarding races / achievements I take away a lot of other positives that I did not expect to have.

What I am talking about here is mainly concerning the support I have experienced from other runners I have met / talked to (both in the virtual and real world) and the experiences I had outside racing events (some well out of my comfort zone). These are things that for me helped get me through a tough year menatlly due to the lack of racing (mainly because I had a serious lack of funds to support it). This in turn allowed me to changed my approach to my training before settling not so much on a structure but gaining a greater understanding of the physical preparation required to give me the mental preparation needed before key events.

On the whole the stats below don't tell the whole story but within the numbers lie some amazing memories. There were times where I had enormous joy in my running, runs that brought me to the edge of madness, runs that terrified me to my bones and runs where I was in the zone.

If I had to pick one highlight this year it would have to be back in April when I visited the Lake District to recce Leg 3 of the Bob Graham Round. Running in the fells is a spiritual experience (at least for me) and one I cherish every time I get the opportunuty to go up there. I am not a very religious individual however when I am in those mountains I cannot help feel that although I am often terrified (suffer from fear of heights) I also feel a sense of calm and belonging there. That sounds crazy but I cannot explain it any other way.

It was while I was traversing a gully full of snow / ice 800m up on the mountain Bowfell (before summiting it) with 20 meters of visibility that I recognised the fact that I was so far out of my comfort zone that although it was exhilarating I simply was not ready for the challenge. Coming down that steep mountain through thick clag was eye opening to say the least yet when I descended into the Langdale valley I felt a sense of achievement even though I didn't show the challenge enough respect last year it has set me off on the path to develop the craft to tackle it one day (support runner first). I managed 17 miles, 9 summits out of the 15 planned and 5,500 feet of climb.

In 2012 I am intent on being healthier, race more and get back out into the mountains whether it be the Lake District or other great places (details of which will be released over the next few weeks).

1831 miles ran  - 442 more than 2010.
254 runs - 84 more than 2010
50 miles - Longest Run
35.2 miles - average weekly mileage
7.2 miles - average per run
228.6 miles - highest monthly total (September)
77.6 miles - lowest monthly total (December)

Thank you all for taking an interest in the blog and with that I wish you all a fantastic year ahead and hope that you have some great memories of the year that is about to pass.

Roll on 2012!

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