2015 – a year in running

So, 2015. The year I set myself the challenge of running at least 5km every day, aiming to hit 2,015km for the year. Also the year I joined Bristol and West Athletic Club and actually did some track sessions, and long run training with people instead of doing all of my runs on my own (excluding races).

January – the year started with a parkrun double: Chipping Sodbury followed by Pomphrey Hill, and continued with daily 5kms (even after gym classes, which were exceptionally hard going), fitting in my first long run with the Long Ashton group at the earliest opportunity and the third race in the 2014/15 Skyline Series. 226.33km run.

February – my first cross-country run for the club and the fourth of the 2014/15 Skyline Series races accounted for the fast stuff while I continued to dip my toe into Monday evening sessions with the club, but sticking to the social run rather than those energetic track sessions. All of it was building up as training for the Bath Half marathon. 193.21km run (419.54km).

March – started with a half marathon pb at the Bath Half where I was beaten over the line by Russell bloody Howard, and continued with my first of many track sessions at WISE. It also included a spot of tourism at a short Barnsley parkrun where I came in first lady. 226.54km run (646.08km).

April – a quiet month with mostly minimum distance runs and a rather hilly Frenchay 10k race which I got talked into running the day before after parkrun. It also saw the first week in which I did track sessions at both Whithall and Wise (something I hope to do more of in 2016). I set my first official (non parkrun) 5k time at Aztec West, taking a minute off my previous best over that distance. 206.94km run (853.02km).

May – race season started to kick off in earnest with the first of the TACH races (hillier than I was expecting), the first Self-Transcendence race (exceptionally friendly and good distribution of medals), the second of the Aztec West series (another 5k pb), ending with the Bristol 10k and another pb. I also ran my 100th parkrun, qualifying for a new black -shirt. 246.89km run (1,099.91km).

June – the races just kept coming in June sometimes with two in one week such as with the Burrington Blaster and the Bradley Stoke 10k (where I came in 2nd lady) or the second in the Self-Transcendence series and the Chew Valley 10k. I also took on a leg of the Cotswold Way relay as part of the winning ladies team for Bristol and West. It finished with the 3rd of the Aztec West series races. 254.47km run (1,354.38km).

July – daily runs had to be fitted around a week-long residential school as part of my OU degree, but there was still time to fit in some more races (Dundry Thunder, Self-Transcedence race 3, the Towpath Mobmatch with a new 10k pb, Self-Transcendence relay with ice-cream, the fourth Aztec West 5k race with another pb, and the Purdown Pursuit). 232.35km run (1,586.73km).

August – marathon training began, but as the mileage increased (and I had to work out how to switch my Garmin into miles from km) I still managed to fit in a 5km race for the club as part of the Avon Road relay, picking up a medal for 3rd ladies team. There were also a couple of very early starts required in order to travel for the start of the Ashes tests at Trent Bridge (yes I was there) and the Oval. 317.63km run (1,904.36km).

September – the peak in my monthly mileage for the year and marathon training really kicked in. I still managed to set a new half marathon pb (not running flat out, so there is still room for improvement) at the Bristol half, as well as taking part in the Uphill to Wells relay and racing the first Weston Prom race of the winter series and the Mells Scenic 7 where Jim Plunkett-Cole (who spearheaded the 365 challenge) ran his 1,000th day of at least 10km. 421.52km run (2,325.88km).

October – marathon, marathon, marathon, and the small matter of the final exam of my OU degree. Before M day though there was time for another cross-country race for the club, the second Weston Prom race, and a virtual 5k race (the day before the big one, maybe not the best timing). But the 25th saw me undertake my longest run ever, with the hope of getting under 4 hours. I surprised everyone (myself especially) by coming home in a London marathon qualifying good-for-age time of 3:41:21 for my first ever marathon. 334.72km run (2,660.60km).

November – time to rest and recover after the Big One, but I still launched myself into the Sodbury Slog (once may well be enough for that race) and was back up to speed at the third of the Weston Prom races. With nothing specific to train for, boredom with running every day was starting to become an issue. I staved it off a little by working my way through the Welcome to Night Vale podcasts. 255.61km run (2,916.21km).

December – my challenge was re-energised by the Marcothon challenge, which many of my new running friends were taking part in. Seeing as how I was going to be running every day anyway, I figured I would join them. Races included another cross-country outing at Blaise Castle, the Weston Christmas Cracker whilst dressed as a Christmas pudding, the fourth of the Weston prom series (with a new pb), and being throughly outclassed at the South West Athletics cross country championships (the things I do for my club). 223.39km (3,139.60km).

Total distance run (per Garmin, Strava has it as slightly less and with 482 runs listed I am not about to go hunt it down) – 3,139.60km.

PBs set in the year:

  • 2 miles – 13:36
  • 5km – 20:51
  • 10km – 43:37 (not recognised, officially 44:42)
  • Half marathon – 1:42:45
  • Marathon – 3:40:21

Here’s to an even faster 2016 when I can make use of those elusive rest days to train hard and race harder.

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