2014 on the run

So here it is, my End of Year Reflection on this year’s running! I’m using the same format that I used in 2013 and 2012. I got it from Theodora’s blog, but a few weeks ago I saw Angela use it, crediting Miss Zippy. So I have no idea who came up with it, but it’s a great way of thinking things through.

It’s been quite an odd year as regards running. It started with me nailing two PRs – a 10k in February and a half-marathon in March. This period was obviously awesome, and I followed it in April with a fantastic race on Angel Island, which I loved. But then, running scaled down dramatically to support the Husband on his Ironman journey. I struggled to get back into my groove. I over-trained and exhausted my legs, but have finished the year by falling back in love with running and training, whilst I try out my own peculiar version of 80/20 and pushing it for a birthday PR come February. So it’s been quite the roller-coaster of a year.

Here are the highlights.

Best Race Experience

Ironically, it wasn’t my race. My best race experience, hands down, was the Husband’s Ironman in July. It was like being at the Olympic Games, from the scale of the operation! Utterly brilliant, from start to finish. So many tears.

I burst with pride for Ironballz
I burst with pride for Ironballz

If I had to pick my OWN best race experience, it would be Ragnar Napa. Not because of the seamless race organization (ahem) but because of the awesome time I had with twelve awesome people. I was buzzing on Ragnar adrenaline long after the sleep deprivation had gone!

Van 1 Rich, me, Sabrina, Matt, Marjorie, Amanda
Six of the best

An Honourable Mention goes out to my other relay, the MUCH better organized Wild West Relay. Napa pipped it to the post because there was oxygen available!

Representing the UK in the middle of nowhere!
Representing the UK in the middle of nowhere!

Most Inspiring Runner

Without being soppy, it would be all of you – my online and real-life running friends. For your achievements, your tenacity, your dedication, your PRs and your disasters.

If I had to pick a ‘famous’ runner, it would probably be UK runner Jo Pavey who, in 2014 won bronze at the 10k at the Commonwealth Games and then won gold at the European Championships. The gold came  just 10 months after giving birth to her second child and when Jo herself was heading towards her 41st birthday. She has come so close to winning significant medals in the past but never quite made it and yet somehow, this was her year. For this girl, turning 40 in a few weeks, I find this incredibly inspiring. It makes me want to run harder and to see what my 40s have in store! Watch this little video as she goes for gold.

My Best Run

Without a shadow of a doubt, it was THIS run in Vancouver, the week before Ironman. The Husband and I ran round Stanley Park, me pushing the Dude in the stroller. Somehow, that 6 mile stroller-run was effortless, like gliding. The route was beautiful and I just ran and ran for over an hour with my heart singing! And then we got brunch!

me stroller stanley park vancouver

Best New Gear

I do love my Garmin 220. It does everything I need it to do and I love using it. I’m also quite smitten with my new Hokas, but the Garmin wins.



Best Running Advice

I’ve quoted this several times but my best advice this year came from Sara, who I interviewed in Running the World: Sweden.

I’ve come to the conclusion that running a 10k race 30 second faster, or so, won’t make me happier. But running in beautiful places will. That’s quite an insight which has completely changed the way I run, and made it more fun and more meaningful.

I love chasing PRs, I get a lot of pleasure from both the training and the achievement, but I need to remember what Sara says to keep me taking pleasure in running.

Most Exciting Moment

This is embarrassing but somehow getting into the UK’s TrailRunner magazine would be it.

Magazine Me

It’s not been a bad year for a girl, has it!

12 Comments Add yours

  1. padraigjapan says:

    You also complied some amazing running reports from around the world. I enjoyed every one of them.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you so much – I loved doing them. I stopped because I was really struggling to find good contacts to interview, I just couldn’t get people to reply to my enquiring emails, especially from South America. If you know any international runners, I’d be so grateful if you’d put feelers out to them. I’m going to try and get a load worked up over the Christmas holidays in preparation for the NY but I’m not sure how it’ll go. But I’m so glad you enjoyed them.

  2. Paulette says:

    Wow you are in a magazine! And it’s an awesome photo. 🙂 I really want to go volunteer for an Ironman sometime, it looks amazing.

  3. Bean says:

    Such an amazing year!!! I am so happy I got to be part of it! I think 2015 is going to be amazing for you as well with PRs, lots of adventure and school!!!! WHoooo!!!!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yippeeee 😉 So glad I got to see you twice.

  4. Angela says:

    Great year!!

    (Also, I know exactly where you are in the pic of Stanley Park!)

    1. Cathryn says:

      That’s such a great running route, isn’t it!

  5. Looks like you had a wonderful running year. It was fun following your adventures and I do agree your Ironman family adventure had to be one of my favorites of the year. I’ve never known someone who has run one so to read about all the training and all your adventures during it was inspiring and also filled my eyes with tears of joy when he finished! I know 2015 will be a wonderful adventure too!

    1. Cathryn says:

      You’re so sweet, thank you so much. We were really touched at how people got excited about his achievement, it made it extra special!

  6. Jen says:

    Great year recap! Glad to be a part of it, even if our runs didn’t make the highlight reel. 😉

    1. Cathryn says:

      Our runs are always a highlight, lady! x

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