2016 has been a topsy turvy year in the world. But from a personal perspective its been pretty damn marvellous. 

I know I harp on about it, but the London Marathon has changed my life. 

Straight after London I had so much motivation and was impatient to race again. I formally teamed up with a new coach, Rob whilst still training at Brunel University. I raced a few early PB’s off the marathon adrenaline before falling flat mid season and ultimately having a disappointing track season. I was physically exhausted with niggling illnesses and injuries, but mostly I was mentally fatigued. I drastically needed a change, not only in my running life. 

I wanted to give more to running. I wanted to fully commit myself to training and to all that comes with pushing your body to becoming the best athlete possible. I knew that I couldn’t do that in the environment and the situation I was currently in. 

Things have a funny way of working out. I knew I wanted to be able to train with Rob and his training group back in Reading and the only way this would be feasible would be to move back to my home town. I had also reached a point where I needed a change in my career. 

Low and behold the solution - a job , the perfect job at St Mary’s in Paddington. Not only was it easily commutable, a job I felt passionate about, but it would allow me to commit more to being an athlete. No weekends, no on calls. Ideal. 

I studied hard. I got the job. I moved out of my flat in Harrow, sadly parting with my flatmate Charlotte. And I was back at my parents home in Twyford by September. 

Mentally, Monday 19th September would be the day I became “an athlete”. The day I started my new job, started thinking, behaving, eating and training like an athlete. I would be regularly training with the Rob Squad, getting into a new regime and breaking my old one. It was as simple as that.  From that day on, I have changed a lot about myself and my life for the better. 

I had a bit of a rocky start with my first elite race at the Cardiff Half Marathon. Mainly due to lack of preparation from not a great build up, I had a bad run. But it added fuel to the fire in my motivation. I became fitter, much fitter, helped greatly by my new training group and by gaining support from Castle Royle to get stronger in the gym. From the Great South Run, through to the Euro Trials, I have gotten myself into the best shape of my life with consistent blocks of 80-95 mile weeks. Despite writing this with my swollen “cankle” from a mishap with a bosu ball and med ball, I go into my marathon build up with confidence. With some consistency, self belief and the supportive network I have around me, I hope 2017 will be another exciting journey towards not only one, but two marathons. 

My new year resolutions  

  • Sleep better and sleep more. 
  • Patience and listening. 
  • Continue expanding my cooking repertoire. 
  • Be more adventurous in finding new running routes. 
  • Give back. 
  • Cut down on Diet Coke (I hear you all laugh) 
  • Spin everything into a positive. 
  • Write more. 
  • Get back to learning more German for Berlin. 

Happy New Year!