I’ve always hated New Year, in fact you can call me Scrooge. The big hype and all the cliche of it all. Bah!. However, this time round I’m craving the first day of January.
I’m ready to start afresh.
I’m ready for a new chapter.
It feels odd going into 2018 with a bare racing calendar. Strangely the last two years, I started the year with an injury. On both occasions I was back running within a matter of days and straight into a marathon build up, so nothing too major.
With this injury, its different.
It’s now been 10 weeks since I last ran. Although I have made progress being let loose on the static bike, being back running still feels like a million miles away. I haven’t spoken a lot about my injury. I plan to talk about it more over the next few weeks. Being injured is hard. That FOMO. The loss of identity and the loss of freedom that I feel from running. Perhaps selfishly, I have withdrawn myself from the running environment, jealous of seeing everyone else training, racing and improving. It wasn’t until recently that I braved volunteering at parkrun and today at The Gut Buster.
I felt a lot better for it and its good to surround myself back in the running community.
My fibula stress fracture hasn’t been textbook. 5 weeks non weight bearing and a further 3 weeks in the boot. Multiple appointments with different health care professionals to ensure everything is addressed. There’s been many cross training faux pas, particularly in the swimming pool (tumble turns, god help me!). My strength and conditioning of arm day, everyday has resulted in my deltoids being bigger than my quads.
It would be easy to dwell on this injury, but I can’t let it cloud my achievements on what has ultimately been a great year. I am so grateful for the valuable experiences, incredible opportunities and inspiring people that I’ve had around me.
The London Marathon has to be one of the best days of my life. I gave it everything and it opened a lot of doors for me - joining Saucony, signing with Forte Sports Management and earning my first England vest.
I travelled to some great places. Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin and Toronto, meeting some great people along the way. I finally kicked the diet coke habit. I’ve learnt to like Coffee (thank’s to Tish Jones’s influence!) I’ve found a passion for writing. Learnt heaps in my job. So many good things have come out of this year.
However, you have to take the good with the bad. And yes, my England debut was a bitter disappointment. But the experience taught me a lot about myself and opened my eyes to some changes I’ll be making over the next year.
Aside my running, I am also having a career change. I’m leaving the wonderful Community Respiratory and AIR team at St Mary’s, Paddington. A job I love. I’ll be continuing my passion for respiratory medicine, but part time and closer to home. I’ll be facing the new challenge of starting a job in musculoskeletal physiotherapy - which has become quite alien to me. I allowed myself to deskill when I specialised in respiratory, so it will be a great opportunity to get my hand back in.
With no athletic performance related goals set for the new year, my focus is more on health.
Better sleep. Improved nutrition - particularly post workout replenishment. Less stress and focusing on letting go. Not obsessing over trivial numbers, like weekly mileage but better focus on quality and tracking markers of well being. Emphasis on recovery is training and showing as much discipline to rest as I do to running.
But most of all, becoming more patient. And with patience, I’ll be back on the racing scene again, stronger than before.
Thanks to everyone that’s supported me through 2017, the good and the bad parts.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018.
Happy New Year!
"It feels odd going into 2018 with a bare racing calendar"