Happy New Year

Belated new year wishes to you all. It’s been a bit of a damp squib thus far, but after the year that was 2020 I don’t think we could ask for much else! Here’s hoping that with vaccines on the horizon for our most vulnerable, we may be able to celebrate as the year goes on.

Reflections of 2020

I’m trying to start the year with a renewed focus. It was tricky to stay motivated last year with all the planned races disappearing off the calendar one by one. On the upside, we did manage to fit in a couple of great holidays and Bruce compleated the munros.

The virtual London Marathon, sandwiched between, was a relatively impromptu affair but I’m very glad I did it. Having a goal definitely renewed my focus and energy.

Focus on 2021

Looking ahead, it’s unclear at present what the racing year holds. My current ‘big’ goal is the October London Marathon. Whether or not we’ll be in a position to have mass events by then remains to be seen, but training will be done regardless.

Short Term Goals

My short term goal is to develop consistency in training. I have a tendency to go through phases of being very focused versus taking my foot off the gas and coasting. I know that consistency is probably the biggest gain available right now so that’s the priority. Sadly the gyms are closed, the treadmill (which I generally dislike) not an option, so I’m getting runs in where and when I can.

Today saw me complete a very enjoyable 8 miles on Aberdeen beach, as pavements around town were a little icy for my liking. I have in the past shied away from the sand as I don’t like the wet feet associated with the water jumps, but today it felt perfect. Just what was needed!

Let’s see what the year brings! Surely it can only get better. If nothing else, Spring isn’t too far off the horizon now. Stay strong!

From the mountains to the sea

In complete contrast to New Year’s Day, today I found myself running at the sea (or Aberdeen beach if we want to be precise) with friends. One of Alan’s favourite runs, it tends to be one of my least favourite due to my dislike of getting my feet wet! However, on a chilly day like today the prom can offer sanctuary from the icy pavements and trails elsewhere.

Meeting Ali and Alan we set off from Footdee with the intention of running to the Bridge of Don and onwards for a couple of miles along the sand from Donmouth. For those of you that happily run in all conditions, you’re quite probably unaware that there was anything resembling ice at the beach today!

Once past the beachfront cafes, Ali took the cross country line, following the grassy bank, while I hugged the verge and hoped for the best. For once I was delighted to reach the safety of the sand, and better conditions are scarcely seen – there was hardly a breath of wind! Fingers crossed we get a Saturday like this soon for parkrun (not that I’m in PB shape right now but I do like to see others do well)!

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A very pleasant run ensued with Alan leaving us to watch in his wake as he found his stride and went into the zone. Ali and I continued in the ‘blether zone’ as per usual. Nothing passes the miles like a good gab and it’s amazing how much you can get through.

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Today we were blessed with the tide being sufficiently far out to limit the dookings of our feet. This is what upsets me most about beach running. I love the sound of the waves and the tranquility of the often deserted shores, but while others skip through without a care, I’m concerned about the miles to come and the potential blisters that always seem to follow these hazardous crossings! Any tips on how to prevent these would be appreciated! Surely I can’t be the only one that suffers in this way?

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A couple of miles along we turned and retraced our steps, this time having the pleasure of meeting Jane, a friend and fellow feartie of icy conditions, who was running repeatedly up and down the grassy area that starts Aberdeen parkrun. A welcome reprieve, we stopped to exchange New Year wishes and other pleasantries before carrying on to finish at Footdee, 10 miles in the bank.

A short onward drive landed us at the Tramsheds Cafe (Satrosphere) to enjoy a well earned bacon butty (toast for Ali), coffee, another coffee, and even more chat!

Normality resumes on Monday!