I am currently gearing up for a raucous New Year’s Eve here in Houston. I’m planning on whipping up some cinnamon spiced pancakes, courtesy of Chef John’s dulcet voice. Or plain spaghetti. It depends on how settled my stomach is later… I’m also planning on competing with my family during a few pre-recorded episodes of Jeopardy. And then? In bed by 10. It’s going to be wild, you guys.
So why am I going to be snuggling up with my kindle before the bells? Well, because apparently I thought it would be an awesome idea to run a marathon on New Year’s Day during my Christmas visit home. Obviously.
And so, with no parties to attend, no hair and make-up to do, and really no obligations other than ‘don’t break my own foot’, I find myself with plenty of time to reflect on 2013. You guys are probably way ahead of me. And you’re right. It’s another ‘YEAR IN REVIEW’ post!
I kicked off the year with the Lumphanan Detox 10k, and was all set to run a 6 mile cross country race, until totally shitty weather cancelled it. And a bunch of other races. The weather continued to be crap-tastic while I began my training for Paris marathon. On one run a week (my long run). Thankfully I had terrific company.
I celebrated the fact the there was still a ‘2’ at the beginning of my age on my birthday, and froze my metaphorical nuts off at the Forfar multi-terrain half marathon, after an energetic, but rather ill-advised game of football (soccer) Friday after school during ‘health week’. I continued long runs in shitty weather with good company.
I ran the Smokies 10 mile ladies race and won a fish in the raffle. I also managed 50 push-ups in a row after the finish. I felt like a god. I also ran the Inverness half marathon, improving my time from last year, and continued to freeze off my metaphorical balls during the Garioch half marathon, which was a plethora of mini disasters. Weather status: still shit.
I ran Paris marathon without walking, and managed to blag a PB on limited training. I was on top of the world. I ran the Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon a week later. I wanted to kill myself. I took a couple of weeks off running, then put myself through a 15 mile trail race with Ronnie. The day before this trail race, I bashed my nail in a door and it hurt. A lot. A few months later the new nail underneath pushed the original nail off, but it grew out in a kind of deformed way, since it was restricted. The last few millimetres of deformed nail have still to grow out.
May involved the Loch Leven half marathon, and a couple of shorter races (a 5k and a 10k). May also involved a lot of time out on my road bike, since the weather, for the first time in practically a decade, was not that shit! Sadly, May is also when my grandfather lost his battle with stomach cancer. I also survived a week long school trip, complete with 10 hour bus ride there and back, with 40 school kids to London. We only lost one kid, and it was for less than 20 minutes, so I’d say it was a success. We also ran into Bradley Cooper at the premier for The Hangover [insert a number here]. Teenage girls went ape-shit.
I was supposed to do a 40 mile bike challenge, but it was cancelled due to low sign up numbers. I was supposed to qualify as a spin instructor, but the course was cancelled due to low sign up numbers. I was annoyed a bit. The Isle of Skye half marathon and the freakishly excellent weather made up for that.
Light on races – July saw me run the Dundee half marathon. As it was the school holidays, it also saw a few momentous journeys with Ian out on the road bikes, and a few trips into the Scottish munros. The weather remained glorious. I remained happy.
August was when I finally told people I had signed up for the Loch Ness marathon again (but keep my top secret plan top secret). It was also the month that saw a group of us tackle the BRG challenge and its bitch of a 17% incline. Ian even joined me for a kilted 5k in August which saw Perth, Scotland gain the world record for greatest number of kilted runners. We went sightseeing without changing.
September was Ian’s [age withheld] birthday, and my second attempt at the Crathes half marathon. I ran sub 2 despite cycling there (and back) with Ronnie, and carrying a loaded rucksack. What most people didn’t know was that this was in preparation for the Loch Ness marathon, during which I felt it would be a terrific idea to pull a sled with stuffed huskies the entire way to the finish line because I got pissed off with an internet meme.
Life is all about ups and downs. While September was an outstanding month, October was a kick in the teeth. Running was sparse, I put in a lacklustre (and illness-ridden) performance at the Aviemore half marathon (but got to watch Danielle finish her first half marathon), and had my first DNS of the year, skipping the Culloden 17.46k for a day in bed catching up on much needed rest. I made a pretty stellar banana loaf though.
I signed up for the Highland Fling, a 53 mile ultramarathon, which takes place at the end of April, 2014. This was what I needed to get me out of the door and logging some miles (even though I had another marathon to train for first!). I ran a brutal and hilly 10 miler as a recovery run (because I hadn’t bothered checking the elevation profile beforehand), and enjoyed a casual and scenic Glen Clova half marathon with Susan and Ronnie for chat along the way. I also hit 1,000 miles for the year.
After battling through the hectic last few weeks of school before the Christmas break, I hopped on a plane (after delays and panic-attack-inducing turbulence), arriving in Houston for Christmas with my family. The day after I arrived I got to run a half marathon with my friend Nikki, her first since the birth of her adorable baby boy, dressed as Santa. And then we enjoyed a 10:30 am beer. Because why not?
My grandmother was visiting from Australia, and my uncle came over with his fiancé from California. It was the first time in my entire life that all of my (living) immediate family was in the same place for Christmas. I drank an entire bottle of Prosecco to myself and had to take an afternoon nap. It was a good day.
After Christmas, my parents, my brother, and I drove (ten freaking hours) to my dad’s farm in Arkansas in the Ozarks. We spent a few days relaxing, walking, attempting to fish (an unsuccessful venture), practicing driving (I recently got my learner’s permit), quad-biking….. all sorts. It was a nice way to taper for a marathon, to be honest. We also had a bald eagle fly right over us as we were packing up the car to leave. Nature. It’s cool.
Unfortunately, on the farm I lived on Tostitos and salsa con queso, and for the past few days I have been experiencing some rather violent episodes of stomach clenching diarrhea (you’re welcome for that image). Call me crazy, but I’m beginning to suspect there may be a correlation between these two things. Let’s hope it’s gone by tomorrow, or it’ll be the porta loo I’ll be running for tomorrow, not the finish line, during my first race of 2014.
Have a happy New Year!