Monday, 30 December 2013

2013: twelve months in twelve sentences

In 2013, I ran 1226 miles; I had my 40th birthday; completed two marathons and three half-marathons; I started a running club in my children's primary school; I learned to do chin-ups; I joined a gym for the first time in nearly a decade; I totally overhauled what I eat. It's been my best fitness year ever.

In January I was rather miserable and got poorly.

In February I started training for the Edinburgh Marathon, feeling daunted but quickly realised that I could regain my speed and increase confidence.

In March I passed my CYQ Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification! It took a lot of hard work and practice but I'm really proud to have held my own in a class of people half my age and feel so much more confident in my fitness knowledge and my own fitness.

In April I finished up my HNC in Fitness, Health and Exercise from Edinburgh College. I'd originally signed up for the HND - one more year's study - but the course was geared towards university applicants, so I took what I had and decided to work for a Personal Trainer qualification in January.

In May, I completed the Edinburgh Marathon in 4 hours and 12 seconds, and accordingly developed a monkey for my back about getting a sub-4-hour marathon.

In June became a coaching client of Angie Spencer at Marathon Training Academy and learned the value of having a coach and mentor and exactly how that can make me a better runner. 

In July I took a month off running to see if I could cure the plantar fasciitis which I'd suffered from since May. It didn't work but I did enjoy working out in the gym instead, including the lovely Elite in Broadstairs and the glorious Fitness First in Brighton.

In August I had one of my favourite, most transformative runs, 8 miles up and down the Royal Mile with Vicki Weitz, when I realised for the first time that running need not be solitary and need not be non-stop.

In August (also) I started a few new college courses: CYQ's Exercise to Music qualification via Edinburgh College at Granton; Applied Nutrition, and Pre- and Post-Natal Fitness, both at Edinburgh College at Milton Road (same institution, a few miles apart but a world of difference!)

In September, I completed the Loch Ness Marathon in 4 hours 7 minutes and learned how much fun running a marathon can be, especially when the scenery is beautiful, the race is well-organised and there's a bit of tourism involved.

In October I switched to a No Sugar, No Grains diet and loved it, and I'm still thriving on it, delighted to no longer be a slave to sugar and to instead have long-lasting, fat-fuelled energy.

In December, I managed to do 40 chin-ups in one week before straining a pec and having to take the rest of the month off, but also managed to run 40 miles in the week of my birthday, including a brilliant 22-miler on my actual birthday.

If you'd like to see some of what I plan for 2014, nip over to my fortyfest blog, for some forthcoming fitness fun. There will be more too, as I study for my PT qualification and set up as a PT - can't wait!!

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