Hello 2018

This Runner Loves Purple - Hello 2018

It is that time of year again when I review how 2017 was for running, and then say hello 2018!  It still doesn’t fail to amaze me, how quickly time flies by!  Did I have fun, or is it that I’m just getting older?

2017 seems to have been a good year for me; a very good year!  You could say that 2017 was my year of the butterfly!  I went through some drastic changes, in both diet and exercise; in appearance and performance.  All for the better, I do believe.  Most of which is highlighted in my last post, My Running Story.

When I got serious about it, I finally lost about 35 pounds (16 kg) – going from size 14/16 to 8/10, with the Ketogenic Diet; In fact a little bit more if you include when I started the 5:2 diet before then.  Running everyday has also helped with the burning of calories, and has helped me to maintain my goal weight for 5 months now.  The combination of having less to carry around with me, and the extended energy and endurance from the ketones, has ensured that my running performance improved considerably.

How did I do in 2017:-

Running

I ran a total of 2135 km (1326.6 miles)!!! That’s nearly double the distance I ran over last year!  I am amazed!  I actually stuck to the 2017 km in 2017 this time, even exceeding that total too.

Running
December was the month with the most distance run.  This was whole heartedly due to the 150 miles in December challenge that I completed, for the race at your pace challenge!  It’s challenges like this that encourage you to keep moving.  This virtual running challenge gets you a medal and a compression shirt for completing it.

My average pace went from 7:11 min/km in December 2016 to 6:26 min/km in December 2017.  That is an improvement of 45 seconds.  But this average pace doesn’t reflect my race pace.  If I average my last 4 races of the year it works out at an average pace of 5:22 min/km!  That’s over a minute faster than my average pace!

The fastest parkrun of 2016 I ran was 33:05 and my fastest parkrun for 2017 was 26:51!  That’s a 7m 4s improvement!  Amazing!  That was all thanks to less weight to carry around and the energy I found from the Keto Diet.  I definitely surpassed my sub-30 minute 5K goal by a long shot.  The latter part of the year followed with PB’s for other race distances too:

  • 8K (5M) – 41:57
  • sub 1-hr 10K – 56:13
  • sub 2-hr Half Marathon – 1:57:20

I finally joined a running club too.  I am now a fully fledged, and affiliated, member of Stopsley Striders.  I am so glad I did, and wish it hadn’t taken me so long.  I only manage to go on Monday nights though but it’s a good fun social run.  It’s good to talk!  I think these social runs have also improved my running as it encourages you to be more disciplined. Also learning to talk and run has really helped improve my endurance too.

Races

In 2017 I ran in 26 races, which consisted of:-

  • 1 x 2 mile handicap race
  • 2 x Cross Country
  • 2 x 5Km
  • 2 x 5 miler
  • 6 x 10Km
  • 1 x 10 Miler
  • 1 x 20 Miler
  • 10 x Half Marathons
  • 1 x Full Marathon

I ran my 3rd Marathon at Brighton in a time of 5hr 50m 44s.  I was a little disappointed as it was 20 minutes longer than the predicted time I trained for.  I think it was due to the heat – as I had no injuries on the day.  I was pleased to have completed it though.

I did enter the London Marathon Ballot, but with my 3rd attempt, I still didn’t get in.  I then registered for Manchester Marathon which I am to run on 8th April 2017.   At the club, those who didn’t have an entry via the ballot got to go in a draw for the club places for London.  I only went and got picked!!!  I was so happy that I was lucky enough to be one of two chosen to compete.  Unfortunately the club was only given one place, instead of two.  Our two names were redrawn, and I wasn’t lucky this time round. 🙁  No London for me!  But there’s always Manchester… and next year!

As mentioned earlier I achieved many PBs!  The most memorable was the VirginSport 10K in Westminster.  Not only was it a beautifully warm summers day, to run round London, but it also was the first of the series of PBs to come!  It wasn’t sub 1-hr though, but it was memorable, because it was one of the first days where I reaped the benefits of the new lifestyle I had chosen.  I started in April, and VirginSport 10K was in July.  It was only about 2 minutes off my previous 10K but it just felt so different to run.  It filled me with so much confidence, which just set me up for the following races to come.  I just kept improving and improving, after each and every race.  In fact at parkrun I got a PB every week for 6 weeks after that!  That included my first sub-30 minute 5K.  The icing on the cake was running my local half, Love Luton Half Marathon, and finally breaking 2-hrs with a time of 1hr 57m 48s!!!  It is a hilly course and it has always been a challenge to me.  But to PB, with a 35 minute improvement off the previous year, and at Luton was like a dream come true! I was so overwhelmed and happy, ecstatic even!

Did I achieve my 2017 running goals?

# Goal Achieved?
1 Half Fanatic Level up  N
2 2017 km in 2017  Y
3 Lose 20 pounds  Y
4 5K time of 30 m 0 s  Y
5 Run a Rock ‘n’ Roll Race  Y
6 Run a European Race  Y

I managed to achieve all my goals, except one, and that includes the additional nice to haves.  The Half Fanatic Level up was the only goal I didn’t manage.  The next levels are quite difficult to attain and with finding out I have not got a job by the end of this month – I have decided to curb my races for this year for now.  They do cost a lot and the prices are only getting higher.  HF is a very american orientated club too, I even think I may not renew my membership with them when the current one runs out. 🙁

I was able to exceed running 2017km in the year, reaching 2134.5 km (1326.3 miles)!  I am happy about that as the previous couple of years I missed the target by a long way.  The run streak definitely helped.

I was able to lose 35 pounds, by the end of the year, and a little more as I type. 🙂

I surpassed my sub-30 min 5K goal.   Parkrun is at 26m 51s and the last 5K race at Victoria Park was 26m 12s!  I haven’t come close to that again since then though.

I was able to combine the last two by running a Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Lisbon Portugal!  In fact I also ran another R n R Half in Liverpool – which earned me an additional World Rocker medal.

My goals for next year – what else is there to do 😀 !!

  • I will run 2018 km in 2018
  • I will maintain my weight loss
  • I will run a 5K in 25 minutes
  • I will attempt to run a Ultra Marathon

As I only attempt one Marathon a year this can not really be a goal – but I would like to add the Marathon to the list of PBs from 2017.  At Manchester, I hope to run it in my predicted time of 4hr 25 mins – however I would be more than happy with 5 hrs!

What were your running achievements in 2017?  What do you want to achieve in 2018?

Happy New Year 2018!

Happy Running!

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