A differing year in that I achieved more than I hoped with the running but running took second stage to dog walking. I ran less than 900 miles but walked more than 1250 miles with Lola. With the least mileage since I started running I achieved the most, something I need to be wary of but something that gives me hope that I can enjoy the walking without it hindering my running too much.
2014 started off with wet weather and storms. I struggled managing to run and walk the dog up to 3 times a day. But with it being winter and having a new dog, the enjoyment lay with walking - who would of thought that a couple of years back.
After a magical ski tour trip in march the mileage started to pick up and I even managed two ultra training runs in one week. This got me race ready for May in which I had 2 races in successive weeks, The Apocalypse, a 50 mile circuit in the Longmynd in Shropshire, a hot day, a tough course and new friends made. The next weekend saw me tackle the Weald 50km challenge. I had wanted to stay with 2 friends in their first ultra but lost them and the course route when a few of us took the wrong signs. Additional miles in your training runs are all bonus's we told ourselves.
I managed just the 3 runs in June. One of these was my first 100 mile Ultra over the entire South Downs Way. An amazing experience and event. An immense satisfaction that can only be felt once you have achieved something that only a short while back you were incapable off.
July bought fabulous weather and a break from running. We nicely timed a 3 day kayak down the river Wye with dog in tow and a new adventure - fast packing with my dog. 3 days in north Wales, including a 2 day 30mile circuit of snowdonia, a very special weekend for me.
More magical months, August took me overseas to take on an Ultra. The UTMB CCC 100km race around Mt Blanc. Initially I wasn't impressed with all the crowds, the razzmatazz. Once finished though, it felt wonderful and it felt good to get caught up in the atmosphere and all the fanfair. I look forward to more overseas Ultra fests but, I will enjoy the solitude of quieter races as well.
Since that run I have not even run 100kms to this date, the mileage has disappeared, first through an extended rest, a first family holiday to cornwall, enjoying some micro adventures and getting back into mountain biking and here. Then there was injuries, a bad back, setting up my boxing bag!! took me out for november and my achilles and PF sore and so rest was foremost before any junk miles. But we did manage one last trip up to North Wales where we hiked new places and Lola played in her first snows.
But now it's 2015 and time to look forward with planning. First up is a 100km overseas race in Majorca around the corner in April. I didn't get into Western States and I hold my breath into getting into the UTMB. Waiting for entry into these brings it's own set of problems in that most Ultras nowadays seem to get filled very fast and so hoping to work back from one of these 'A' races and take in some local ultras I now feel that I may miss out. Something I will need to look further into as I did love completing the Ultra races this year, they are filled with inspiring people both supporting and racing. But if I do miss out then I am ready to take on my own challenges, plenty of micros in the pipeline, more Mtn biking including a Cambrian traverse and more great days out fast packing with the dog.
It's gonna be another busy year.
Running : 893miles, 190hrs in 80 runs.
(Ran 6 Ultras with a total of 309miles)
Dog Walking : 1250miles, 700hrs.
Bike : 136 miles - very poor.
Other training/sports ie. climbing, skiing etc - 90hours