Looking back on 2016 it has been a great year for my running and hiking. More miles covered, more consistent training, and more adventures than last year. I think it is only the start of something though. I’ve already got ambitions to do more, and push myself further in 2017. Yesterday I finished off the year with one of my toughest runs to date. 15 miles along the Pennine Way between Standedge and Hebden Bridge, battling boggy and rocky terrain in low cloud. Not the longest of tuns and nowhere near the fastest but a true test of determination and strength.
I’m a bit of a lover of the statistics. An end of the year review of my Strava data tells me I have run 630.5 miles this year, and done a total of 737.4 miles when hiking is added. That’s 300 more miles compared to last year. However I’m not going to write about numbers. Running is more than that. Instead I’m going to reflect on my favourite things from 2016.
Highlight number 1: Joining a running club
I had tried clubs before and never got on with them but this year I started running with a local group and love it. Being a Greenfield Greyhound has changed my outlook on running, encouraged me to push harder and further, and allowed me to run routes that I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing on my own. I feel a part of the local community and have some awesome running friends.
Highlight number 2: Running a marathon
I never thought I’d be able to run a marathon. But I did and I loved it. It was tough, both physically and mentally, and left me suffering injuries that took a while to get over. But it was a wonderful experience and even if I do more marathons, I will always be proud of that first marathon medal.
Highlight number 3: Going off-road
2016 has been the year of off-road running. I’d done some off-road running previously, however last Christmas I got trail shoes as a present, and this year I’ve focused on improving my off-road technique. I have challenged myself to some tough, long off-road runs, done night time off-road running, and entered a 10k race.
Although I could ignore the numbers although so I found an awesome website called VeloViewer which will generate an infographic using Strava data. It shows I’ve only had a couple of weeks this year in which I’ve not logged anything on Strava. One week after my marathon where I had a rest, and a week in October after I fell over and couldn’t walk properly.