Looking back on 2010, its been a very mixed year, I’ve ran faster, further and higher than ever before, but I’ve also ran fewer races and suffered more injuries than in previous years.
The highpoint of the year of course had to be the Himalayan adventure, travelling to India, spending a week with an outstanding group of atheletes (and some of the friendliest people you’d ever wish to meet), running over 100 miles in spectacular scenery, experiencing high altitude for the first time and seeing the sunrise slowly illuminate 4 of the 5 highest peaks in the world….words really can’t do it justice.
Running in the Himalayas was a dream come true, even if my journey to those breathtaking heights was a rather serendipitous one, starting with a crazy idea in an Egyptian desert, that turned into a race entry for a race that never happened and ending with a leap of faith, transferring the race fee to a bank in India with little more than a promise that someone would meet me at an airport in Bagdogra, northern India.
It was actually my wife Lucinda, that found the Himalayan race on the internet in the end. She also gave me the push I needed to enter it, for which I am eternally grateful. I have never really wanted to take on the challenge of Everest itself for all kinds of reason, but at the same time I’ve always liked the idea of exploring the foothill of the Himalayas and seeing the people of Nepal. To that end the trip was all I could have ever wished it to be, and due to the kindness and generosity of our friends and family we also raised £2700 for two very good causes.
Training to run in India has meant that for the first time in 30 years of running I’ve been training regularly. I’m still not terribly good at coming up with training plans, or sticking to them, but I was at least I’ve been getting out 3-4 times a week and learning to push myself harder in training.
Most of my training in 2010 was just me and my ipod, but I also enjoyed some training runs with friends this year. It is always a pleasure to run with the likes of Phil Green, Will Horsley and Mark Allison, and I really appreciated the company and route advice of Martin Walsh again this year in the lakes, as did I appreciate the conversations with Iryna Kennedy in India, it was also fantastic to run with people like Dougie Nisbet and Andrew Callcott and not forgetting the motivation of the online community where I had great support from runners like Desiree, Mab13, Billn and Ultrarailchick. I should also really thank all of the organisers, marshalls and supported that made all of these runs possible, especially with the extreme weather that this year has brought.
During the Haltwhistle marathon I learned a very different kind of lesson. Learning what a torn hamstring feels like, at the time I thought it was cramp (never having torn a hamstring before) but in the morning when I got up barely able to walk and with a black strip the length of my thigh I soon realised just what I’d done (after a quick search on the internet that is!). It however didn’t stop me shuffling around the rest of the course eventually coming in, in tenth place – my highest placing in a race to date.
In one way or another 2010 has given me plenty to write about and while I might have started the blog simply to support my fundraising for the Eve Appeal, its something that I really enjoyed doing and its grown from there. I’ve been writing a tech column for the local paper for a couple of years and have a couple of tech blogs, but this blog is far more personal and its been amazing to share my feelings with you on a whole range of subjects, and having just entered the Lakeland 100 for 2011, I should have plenty of new material to blog about in 2011.
So all that remains is for me to say a huge thank you for your help in making 2010 such a great year, and to wish you a happy and injury free years running in 2011!