10 things about running I have learnt in 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, here are some thoughts that I didn’t know at the start of the year.

  • When I am grumbling about something, I run faster. I run most weeks with my friends Alice, Sarah and Andy. Usually it’s all very sociable but if I start ranting about something, I am told that I speed up considerably. This can be about work, politics or sport, but one of my quickest rants was apparently about Bake Off Creme de la Creme programme. No one could keep up. Need to find a way to channel this during events…
  • If you are doing your first ultra, it’s best not to fall down some plastic stairs at a swimming pool a couple of days before. It was all ok in the end but I did smash my knee. It was not great for my confidence as I sat at home with a pack of frozen peas on my leg for the afternoon, but it did make me remember that finishing was the only aim.
  • On that note, I definitely learnt that, through the ultra and two trail marathons, running cross-country and not worrying about time is liberating and wholly enjoyable. It’s very different from road marathons. It’s harder in some ways but, without some of the pressures, it’s very good fun and there are some great medals/coasters on offer. Will do more.
  • I have said this before but volunteering at junior parkrun counts towards your parkrun 25 volunteer t-shirt and is also brilliant. Whatever your week has been like, how can you not enjoy helping? I am looking forward to the boy making his debut in 2018 and hope to still continue volunteering as well too. Volunteering at the main Saturday parkrun is also good but I knew this before 2017.
  • A good running rucksack opens up a world of new runs – fitting in extra runs here and there and/or combining chores/trips with a quick extra route has been great. I have got the Ultimate Direction fastpack and the exterior pockets for the shoes are a great idea.
  • In October, I found that a step counter got me walking out and about a lot more as part of a team mileage challenge for work. And in December, the Run Up To Christmas virtual challenge has been terrifically inspirational to get my mileage up. It is particularly great that it has raised money for Mind too.
  • I started this blog this year and it has been fun. I accept that the blog is probably more for me than anyone else and it’s hard to find time, but it also leads to some lovely connections with the running community locally and far away.
  • Speaking of running communities, I have got more involved this year and have got a lot more back. Thank you to Matt from runr, Carl, Sophie, Rachel B and so many more.
  • The Forest of Dean Autumn half has a very nice medal.
  • If you can’t run an event you have signed up for and trained for, it is a bit annoying but it’s not a big deal. Maybe I will sign up for Birmingham again, maybe I won’t…there are plenty more events.