It's New Year again, a time for fun and merriment, but also renewal and reflection.
Just before leaving for Nos Galan, I thought I'd put down some thoughts...
Let's reflect on what happened in 2013. How much of it did you plan at the beginning of the year? If you're anything like me, 50% of my running year was planned by the end of January, the rest kinda just happened. I believe that you should have some fundamental goals, truths and rules, but leave room for new experiences and for "stuff to happen".
While the memories are still fresh, think about each month through the year and jot down the highlights. Some of mine are listed below - not meant in a self-absorbed, showy sort of way - just as an example of how much you can come up with when you think about it.
As for Running Goals, mine were fairly simple, and most were achieved. Those that I achieved included getting running again, run Cardiff Half without major injury, getting a mention in the parkrun newsletter and to share some of what goes on inside a Runner's mind (well, this Runner's mind anyway).
In addition to achieving all of that, I ran at the Olympic Stadium, met Brian Blessed, done the Great North Run and starred in a Relay team called "The Nigel Sandwich". I have met some of the kindest, most lovely people that I have ever known, mainly through a tremendous Running Club, but also through parkrun and the Gym. I've run parkrun dressed from the night before, and been asked "was that really wine you were drinking?" afterwards. I've taken on running partners, lost running partners and made a running partner sick (quite literally). Running has had me meeting new people, and catching up with old friends. I've learned to stretch properly, and to listen to my body a bit more.
I have benefited from excellent training and support with both Lliswerry, and their hardcore cousins, the NEWTS. I've been on the track, flying up hills and scurrying through the woods. I've enjoyed a variety of races through the Club Championships - from a 10K in my home town to a race where I was up over my knees in mud. I've represented the Club at Cross Country and run up the back of the Ski slope at Pontypool, celebrating my sprint finish only to realise that my close victory was against someone in their late sixties. My thoughts were - Respect, I want to be like that in twenty years.
It's time to set some goals for the incoming year - tell yourself, but tell others too if you can. Get someone to hold you to your word, you'll have far more chance of meeting those goals.
I will publicly declare a few of my Running goals:
I will run three Half Marathons, at least one of which will be sub 1:45
I will beat my parkrun PB at Newport (didn't quite manage this in 2013)
I will run through the night in the Thunder Run (though I may delegate one of them to my twin brother!)
I want to learn how to do weights properly
Oh, and I'm going to learn how to do a handstand
May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who's helped me in 2013, everyone that I've had fun with, anyone I may have helped and everyone that has put up with me (including my nearest and dearest, my family!)
Here's wishing you all a tremendous New Year - lets do it all again, with knobs on!