2017 seemed such a simple collection of tasks when I set my goals for the year. Having sworn off marathons for a few years it was my target to get faster over the shorter distances and aim to set some personal bests along the way. I looked back on a year of marathon running and I was excited to get moving quicker.
Injury and “recovery”
Within days of compiling my review, however, I was at an emergency appointment with an osteopath in Stokesley. I was in searing pain from my hip for most of my waking hours and the initial diagnosis was SI Joint Dysfunction. Heat, ice, stretching and rolling all seemed to help a bit, but for the opening few months of the year, I just felt like my glass hip might throw a wobbler at any moment.
Goals for 2017
So at the beginning of the year, not quite fully aware of the doom that lay ahead, I set myself some targets and set out to find races that aligned to help meet them.
In chronological order, here are the races I did. I’ll link to the race report below too (if I wrote one) for more detail:
Paddock Wood Half Marathon – 2nd April
The hip had well and truly scuppered any training in the lead up to this race and I did not turn up at the start line expecting any miracles but I had been running fairly pain-free in recent weeks. I owe much of my success here to the runner in front of me who basically worked like a metronome and paced me through some super steady miles. A great way to start the PB hunt.
SOAR Summer Mile – 21st July
Training for this race was a whole new ball-game, and pretty exciting. Making use of the grass track at my wife’s work meant that I could fit in two track sessions a week and the rest of the training fit in quite well with general life as I obviously wasn’t having to run masses of miles. A particular favourite was two balls-out 400m reps in the midday Menorcan heat! Wowsers! It worked better than I could ever have hoped!
Southern Athletics League – 19th August
parkrun efforts came and went throughout the year; the best came in an all-out assault in Middlesbrough which was ultimately crippled by a horrible snotty face full of grottiness. I missed wiping the slate clean by a measly eight seconds!! My second ever track race was three times as long as the first and with three times fewer competitors; just when I thought athletics was alive and kicking, the Southern Athletics League seemed to suggest very much otherwise. It was a fab race though and I really hope to compete in more track league races in summer 2018.
Cabbage Patch 10 – 15th October
I only ran this distance once before and it was the race that put the final nail in the proverbial coffin of my knee. In reality, I think that this made the 10-mile distance perhaps the easiest PB to beat. A steady race with just a few mid-run wobbles resulted in a finish time I could only have dreamt of.
Putney 10km – 3rd December
Barns Green was the true target for this distance as I had been sold it as a fast course. Turns out that the hill at about 8.5 km put paid to that ambition; I missed the PB by FOUR seconds!! So I had to go again. I found what appeared to be a flat course in a late-season race and basically crossed my fingers that everything would work out in the end.
|Previous Best||2017 Time|
|1 Mile||– : – : –||5 : 40 . 90|
|5km||19 : 26||19 : 18 . 4|
|10km||40 : 57||40 : 43 *|
|10 Mile||89 : 51||69 : 17|
|Half Marathon||1 : 46 : 20||1 : 36 : 23|
If you’re a visual person, Strava just created my 2017 End of Year Review:
Hard to believe in a year of all that PB setting that anything could be seen as a failure, but as it transpired there were a few things that I am not entirely happy with. In reality, I only fully achieved two of my five targets; the mile time came in surprisingly far below my six-minute target time, and the 10 mile edged under my publicised 70-minute goal.
My 5km pace didn’t improve as much as I might have hoped for, but this in part was likely because I ran so much of the race on my own. With a few more people around I might have been spurred on enough to shave a few more seconds. Not breaking 19 made the sub-40 10km a significant challenge; not one I could overcome. I was also tantalisingly close to my arbitrary target of 1:35 in the half but I suppose I should write that off to injury and illness. Sadly, I am not that philosophical though.
I don’t want to leave the post at a low point though: 2017 was also the year that this happened:
Due date is January – so running in 2018 might take a bit of a back seat, but it can’t be much worse surely than the start of 2017 injury!
*The power of 10 website doesn’t classify this as a 10km PB, instead it calls itself ‘Near as Dammit’ as it is not officially credited for the distance: I don’t care, I am taking it as a PB!