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Archive for January, 2018

2017…

 

Like a neighbour who discovers your well-stocked garden shed, these annual reviews seem to come around quicker and quicker.

 

Frankfurt2017

 

 

2017 was subdued, and yet somehow on course for my biggest ever year, mileage wise, until October, when a knee injury cut me off at the, well, at the place just above the shins.

 

Early year highlights were hard to come by. London was disappointing again (third 2:43 in row…), but I did manage a decent long stage at the National 12-stage champs in April. 28:19, which won’t mean much to anyone unfamiliar with the race, but probably represents something in the mid-32 10k range I would estimate.

 

Summer and early track season was quite good fun, although I came away with slim pickings in the PB department. A 15:52 for 5000m, just 1 second slower than my best, was probably the pick of the bunch.

 

Late in the track season I ran what I think has turned out to be my best run of the year. A 10,000m race at Midlands Counties Champs. My training buddy and club mate Dan had run 31:56 the week before and generously offered to pace me around for a 32-high if I could manage it. My outright 10k PB (set on the roads) stands at 32:44 so that was a distant goal should the stars align, but my official track 10,000m PB of 33:16 was the main target for the day.

 

I put my faith in Dan’s hands (and legs) and tagged along behind him paying attention to nothing besides not letting him get away. I don’t have many splits as a result, other than halfway in 16:28. The sub33 was on! Just. I think the splits were fairly even, and we were steadily catching people as the laps wore on. We caught and passed a few good runners but Dan waved me past them before I could get daunted. The last few kilometres got tough and I slipped off the pace. We managed to pick it up and get under 33 with a fast last 2 laps and ended with 32:49.

I was over the moon. 32:49 on the track, a negative split, and a top 10 national ranking in the V40 to boot. I was so grateful to Dan, and even at the time suspected this would be my running highlight of the year, mentioning as much.

 

36851534096_5a25b2c73b_oThereafter followed more training in anticipation of toeing the start line at Birmingham’s first marathon for many years. A training highlight en route included winning Wolverhampton Marathon (again with Dan alongside) in a genuine training run for Birmingham. I never expected 1st and 2nd but that’s how it panned out.

 

 

 

And that marathon win was to be the last throes of 2017 as it happened.

A week later I raced the Midlands 6-stage road relays and picked up tendonitis in my left knee which ruled me out for the remainder of the year.

Tendonitis is not normally such a long lasting injury, however I had made the decision to run Frankfurt Marathon with Phil many months previous and we had both booked flights, hotels etc., so even though it was only a week or 2 since I got injured, and I should have been nowhere near a pair of running trainers, I figured I would start with Phil anyway and at least get to enjoy some of the run alongside my longest serving running partner (friend / like an older brother etc.) of all time (maybe even all of it on a good day?). The knee had other ideas unfortunately and was hurting from the first few minutes in. I survived until just short of 10 miles when the agony had reduced my running to a painful shuffle. I explained the situation to Phil, he understood immediately and encouraged me to make the right decision. He then floated off into the distance and I proceeded to DNF for the first time in 25 years of running. It stung, but not as much as I feared it would, which in part is because deep down I knew the choice was out of my hands. And had probably been made before I even started.

 

Late December I was able to start jogging again and (touch wood) the knee seems to be ok.

 

Right then.

I usually start these reviews with the numbers, but this time I’ll end with them.

 

2,792 miles for the year. Weekly average of 53.5.

 

Which makes 2017 my third biggest year, behind 2011 (3,178 miles) and 2013 (3,016 miles).

 

As always, thanks to my friends, family, and running partners. *categories not mutually exclusive.

Finally, a big shout out to the legendary crew at TMR. We have something special here boys, let’s enjoy it, appreciate it, and take things even further next year!

Roll on 2018.

 

 

 

 

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