Memories...and Milestones (Pt 1)

Memories...and Milestones (Pt 1)

Throughout the last month or so, I’ve been reflecting on the last year and setting some goals for 2017 which is only around the corner (how did that happen?!).

Picture courtesy of our amazing photographer Jordanna Marston.

Picture courtesy of our amazing photographer Jordanna Marston.

Of course, we can all agree that 2016 has been memorable for all the wrong reasons for UK and US politics and iconic British losses. However, thinking about the positives, from a personal perspective it’s been pretty damn great.  The most obvious milestone for me was getting married to my high school sweetheart (hehe) – we couldn’t have asked for a better day partying with our friends and family, and I celebrated my 30th birthday only a few days later with my husband on our beautiful honeymoon. I was also honoured to be maid of honour for my sister and her husband, become Godmother for my gorgeous niece and celebrate her first birthday on Christmas day. You could say it’s been a pretty special year for our family and I’m so grateful for that.

Honeymooning with this babe.

Honeymooning with this babe.

Yet when I think about my year in fitness, it’s harder to drum up the same immediate positive thoughts and my mind goes straight to my marathon fail. In a bid to find some smaller milestones to celebrate, I’ve been leafing back through my 2016 diary and things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Looking fresh in the 'before' shot...

Looking fresh in the 'before' shot...

At the very beginning of the year, I ran my first ever trail race with my friend Sally. Despite being in the middle of marathon training and having run more than double the 10km in training the weekend before, I very unpleasantly surprised at how hard it was (trails = hard)! I managed to keep up with Sally (or she hung back with me!), who’s used to running with her husband, and we came in at a very proud 1:06 - about 15 minutes quicker than we thought we would.

And a bit knackered in the 'after' shot.

And a bit knackered in the 'after' shot.

We love a #nomakeupselfie me and Sam do

We love a #nomakeupselfie me and Sam do

Of course, April was the month I dropped out of a marathon just shy of 19 miles. After running on a niggling, growing injury for miles, I wasn’t willing to properly injure myself that close to my wedding for the sake of finishing. At the time I felt pretty rotten about it but I can look back at the positives: I trained for four months between four and six times a week, which took incredible dedication, especially when I had to cut short multiple 30th birthday night outs so I could get up the next day to run anything between 12-22 miles; I also trained with my dear friends Megan and Sam and continued to cement bonds with those two amazing ladies (looking back on a 20 odd mile run with Sam,  it’s a strong friendship that can make those hours pass quickly and with ease); and actually I should still be proud of the achievement – I ran more than the 19 miles in my training many times and running that distance on the day was still an achievement anyway. I am a big believer in the setbacks making you a stronger person in the long run.

Megan and I after a particularly wet run in the Spring. Mascara lines and all.

Megan and I after a particularly wet run in the Spring. Mascara lines and all.

In September I launched my own blog, The Larns! Although a difficult decision for me and my friend Vikki to stop working on our previous blog, I couldn’t be happier with everything we achieved together and the lessons I learned from that experience.  ‘Going solo’ was a big step for me especially getting over what everyone thought about me doing it (some previous musings on this here) and I really appreciate the support from those around me, and the readership from those of you I don’t know! This has all lead to some blogs for the Huffington Post, which I kick myself about when I see published!

Mucking around on Regent's Canal with Vikki.

Mucking around on Regent's Canal with Vikki.

Working out with Elle at The Third Space.

Working out with Elle at The Third Space.

After joining the blogging world and meeting my friend Elle, I joined her winter run club for a few weeks and was stoked to be asked to lead a few sessions. That’s something I’ve never done before which was a great experience and an opportunity to meet new friends. Thanks to Bex and Sam for coming along and supporting – you’re the best.

When I look back at what I’ve just written, that’s not too shabby! Here’s to 2017 and my next blog post will be looking to some more solid goals, even more shared experiences and #goodvibesonly.  

What achievements are you most proud of this year?

Final Winter Run Club of 2016. Aka Blue Steel night.

Final Winter Run Club of 2016. Aka Blue Steel night.

Memories...and Milestones (Pt 2)

Memories...and Milestones (Pt 2)

Couch to Marathon

Couch to Marathon