New year’s resolutions

Even though the beginning of a new calendar year shouldn’t mean anything, I do like making new year’s resolutions. And yes, it’s beyond twelfth night but better late than never…

  1. Read more!

Last year I read 14 books, which is disappointing. I used to read voraciously

  1. Run more!

In 2016 I ran 1,203 km (747 miles), despite spraining my ankle twice and losing all motivation. This year I’d like to run more than that, though I’m not too fussed about the actual distance. To kick it off, I’m going to run every day in January, like I did last year.

  1. Run better!

I didn’t improve on any of my PBs in 2016, so they’re still as follows: 5k 25:52, 10k 57:01, half marathon 2:05:13, marathon 5:08:00. I’d like to improve on at least one of these.

  1. Work more sensible hours!

I get paid to work 9-5, yet I’m frequently in the office at 7pm. It’s not good for me, and makes me more stressed as I keep piling work up on myself. I’ve only got 8 full weeks left at work, and I’m going to try to keep to 9-5.30 (being realistic – I’m never going to be able to leave at 5 as although working late is discouraged out loud, culturally, it’s very difficult to leave on time). Once I start my new job in China, I’m going to try to keep to my hours, though I hear that can be difficult as teachers are often pressured to work longer hours than they get paid for.

  1. Study Chinese more!

I’m doing HSK2 next month and by the end of the year would like to have done HSK3 as well as improving my spoken Chinese, and confidence using it.

  1. Don’t be so hard on myself!

It’s been mentioned by a few people that maybe I’m a little hard on myself. So I’m going to try to be a bit nicer to myself, maybe like myself a bit more. I’m not really sure how to do this without sacrificing standards, but I’ll give it a go.

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January Runstreak

1st – 5km. Southwark Parkrun, feeling the effects of a cold.
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2nd – 1.9km. My parents house to the other end of the village and back.
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3rd – 1.8km. We had a 2nd xmas as we’d missed xmas thanks to Dad being in hospital. What with terrible weather, xmas food and a trip to hospital to see Dad I only managed a quick jaunt at the end of the day.
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4th – 8.8km. A muddy run through the woods behind the golf course and across a field. Twisted my ankle in exactly the same place as when I ran this route last year.
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5th – 1.7km. I had to pack for a few days away and only had time for a mile, but enjoyed wearing shorts and tshirt in the bracing cold. I didn’t take a picture so here’s one from the hospital later on.
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6th – 2.1km. First day at work! I went for a run around the block after dinner, mmm pasta belly. No pictures but here’s a black cat in the dark I saw earlier on.
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7th – 2.1km. Another jaunt around the block, followed by some chocolate brussel sprouts.
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8th – 1.7km. Left it really late as I had to go to the hospital after work to see Dad, but eventually went out 11pm. Frost on the ground and my feet hurt from the cold.
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9th – 6.7km. A loop from the hospital, making the most of streetlights in the city. Here’s another hospital sunset.
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10th – 3km. Moved house and really didn’t want to go for a run after all that but gotta get these things done.
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11th – 4.7km. Ran home from work.
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12th – 1.7km. I worked out a loop but it turned out to be slightly less than a mile so I had to run past my house, which was rubbish. Sporting some insect bites, which are insanely itchy.
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13th – 1.7km. Planned another mile loop, which was also slightly too short. It was rainy and I was wearing the tights I’d had on all day, which have bows on them. Classy.
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14th – 5km. Ran home from work, feeling pretty wheezy.

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15th – 5.4km. I ran to work and as a Friday treat went to Waitrose to get a free coffee. I burnt my tongue on the coffee on the way back to the office and then when I was getting changed at the office I spilled the coffee all over the cubicle. All over the walls, the floor… It smelled of coffee all day. Sorry, work. 20160115_085924.jpg
16th – 6km. Brockwell parkrun. The start was insanely busy and the path is only narrow, so the first 400m is basically at walking speed. Then it gets hilly. Yay!

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17th – 3.3km. The south circular! I really know how to treat myself! Went to Ikea earlier in the day. img_20160117_141101.jpg
18th – 4km. Ran around the perimeter of the park and up a road that I used to really fear as being “too steep” but is actually fine. And I just spent 8 months living in the flatlands!!20160118_201045.jpg
19th – 6.1km. Had a bit of a bad day at work so added a loop along the river to my commute home. This helped a lot. Running is so good for my brain. 20160122_191355.jpg
20th – 7.5km. Ran home from my work away day. A day filled with snacks. My insides protested and I spent 20 mins in the loos at McDonald’s.

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21st – 2.1km. Around the block, at night. The neighbours must think I’m a weirdo.
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22nd – 1.9km. I went to meet a friend at the tube station and ran there. Luckily we have been friends for years so she is used to me doing antisocial things.
23rd – 7.2km. Brockwell parkrun again. Those hills are not my friend. Jogged home slowly afterwards. This mug says “I love Herne Hill”, which is how I feel right now.20160123_120914.jpg
24th – 5.1km. It was still light but not quite light enough for the park, so I did a loop that involved crossing four A roads. Got shouted at about religion by one man and another man high fived me. This is a parakeet that I saw earlier in the day. 20160124_145535.png
25th – 4.5km. I stayed really late at work so by the time I got home I didn’t have much time as I had other things to do. But this run felt great and I was glad I made the effort. Got cut up by a British Cycling driver.

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26th – 2.1km. I set the alarm for early but snoozed it, resulting in a can’t-be-bothered late night run. Didn’t take a photo and can’t think of anything to say about this run so there’s no photo at all.
27th – 5.2km. Ran home from work. My calves felt really tight and I had a pain in/near my groin so when I got home I whipped the old foam roller out and treated myself to a spot of agony.img_20160127_201933.jpg
28th – 1.7km. Had a curry for dinner and then some biscuits, and was feeling all warm and cosy until I remembered I hadn’t run yet. Luckily there was no sign of the curry on the run.

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29th – 5.1km. Ran to work. Not that cold but very windy and a bit rainy. Turns out the work showers are pretty good and no one noticed me sneaking through the office in running gear to get my towel.20160129_133933.jpg
30th – 1.8km. The latest I’ve left it – nearly half 11! Just a trip around the block listening to a podcast about the Honey War. Wearing normal clothes + trainers.20160201_090129.png
31st – 13.6km. I think I have a trapped nerve in my shoulder/upper back as it’s super painful when I run. I don’t know any stretches that can reach it. Might go and get a massage and stop being so tense allthefuckingtime. Still, 31 days means January runstreak is done!20160131_140736.jpg

Total for the month – 130.5km. Not a huge amount but what with moving house, new job, sick parent and a cold at the start of the month, it could have been worse.

The question is, do I continue with the runstreak or not? Knowing that I have to run every day means I can’t make excuses not to, which is good – I’ve never regretted a run, even when it’s been late and I haven’t felt like it. It’s been great for getting to know my new neighbourhood, too! But on the other hand, there were a lot of days when I just did a mile around the block and this doesn’t really do anything other than create a lot more laundry. I’m not sure what a happy medium would be. Also, my shoulder/neck/upper back is quite sore so it might be good to give it a break for a few days. I just don’t know – I read about people doing streaks months or years long and I think it would be nice to do something I could be a bit proud of (it would be novel, at least, as I’m rarely proud of myself) but then I wonder whether setting myself a goal is dangerous as if/when I break the streak I’ll be really hard on myself.

Whether I decide to continue or not, I’m glad that I did this month as it’s made me enjoy running a bit more than I normally would. Yay, running!

New Year’s Resolutions 2016

2016 already, huh?

Let’s recap my 2015 resolutions and see how I did:

  1. Achieve the following running goals:
    • 5k: sub 25mins – nope
    • 10k: sub 50mins – nope
    • Half marathon: sub 2hrs – nope
  2. Do at least 20 parkruns, ideally seeing an improvement over the year – nope, I managed 12, with fairly consistent times
  3. Compete in at least 3 triathlons – yes! Three completed: sprint, olympic and half ironman
  4. Keep all 10 toenails intact – yes! It was a close run thing and my feet are terribly ugly but all toenails are present and correct
  5. More cycle touring! More adventures! – certainly lots of adventures but unfortunately no cycle touring
  6. Try something new – maybe orienteering? – I tried lots of new things (new job, new city, new boyfriend) and some of them worked out but some of them didn’t… those that didn’t, I fixed and tried something else new, meaning another new job starting soon!
  7. After totally nailing quite a few moves in swing dancing last year (I’m now quite happy with my swingout) I want to go social dancing more and then not be shy when I get there! – I gave this a go (even going social dancing the day of a half marathon) but once I moved city I found it hard to go at all as I was always working
  8. Be bold, be brave! – at times, I think I probably was

I’ve been thinking about my 2016 goals, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to the below – you may notice some similarities with last year…

[NB. I know that new year’s resolutions are a bit silly, and that making resolutions at this time of year doesn’t make them any more effective. And I know that setting myself arbitrary goals isn’t necessarily the path to happiness (from experience, I know I use (failure to achieve) these goals as a stick to beat myself with). And of course I know that every year throws up a load of stuff you can’t predict in the first few days of the year. So this is more a general framework for the year than anything too tangible.]

  1. Do more running (at least 5 half marathons and maybe a marathon), faster times obvs.
  2. 20 parkruns.
  3. At least three triathlons.
  4. Ride my TT bike instead of being scared of it.
  5. Go cycle touring!
  6. Move in with my boyfriend (OMG PROPER ADULT TIME).
  7. See my friends and family more instead of hiding away when things are tough.
  8. Would like to lose some weight/be a bit more toned.
  9. Be bolder, be braver…

New Year’s Resolutions 2015

Although 2014 didn’t always feel great, I actually did quite a lot.

  1. Ran my first (and to-date, only) marathon.
  2. Took up cyclocross and came 3rd in the summer league.
  3. Learnt to snowboard, resulting in my only unplanned trip to hospital.
  4. Cut all my hair off.
  5. Beat my 5k and 10k times from 2013.
  6. Ran 1,099.4km.
  7. Cycled 7,293.6 km, including a week across Germany and the Netherlands on my own.
  8. Went to see the Giro d’Italia in Northern Ireland and the Tour de France in Yorkshire.
  9. Watched my brother, the Iron Lamb, take part in Ironman Austria, where he achieved his sub-11 hour goal.
  10. Took part in my first triathlon.
  11. I also met Chris Hoy. I may not have mentioned that to everyone I know. Here is a photo of me and the Hoy as proof:

Every year I make resolutions, with varying levels of success. Here are some for 2015:

  1. Achieve the following running goals:
    • 5k: sub 25mins
    • 10k: sub 50mins
    • Half marathon: sub 2hrs
  2. Do at least 20 parkruns, ideally seeing an improvement over the year.
  3. Compete in at least 3 triathlons.
  4. Keep all 10 toenails intact.
  5. More cycle touring! More adventures!
  6. Try something new – maybe orienteering?
  7. After totally nailing quite a few moves in swing dancing last year (I’m now quite happy with my swingout) I want to go social dancing more and then not be shy when I get there!
  8. Be bold, be brave!