OK, so last year kind of went out with a feeble whimper, as evidenced by this blog. Some issues turned up and squashed a lot of things (like enthusiasm and motivation for a start), and winter has been cold and dark so far in more ways than one. What I have learned, though, is that these things do not magically resolve themselves, and happy endings don't just appear because you think you don't deserve any more crap. At some point you have to lend a helping hand to make good things happen - like going looking for them.
If I hesitate to make full-on resolutions, I can at least take stock. 2011 was a mixed year, some good times, but overshadowed in the end by things outside my control - including work trips, neverending colds, back pain, and finally a badly sprained ankle which has me laid off running for a week or two yet, to be followed by a slow comeback. Taking a long, hard look at what I did with the year, I could certainly have done better - both Waveneys were lacklustre, to say the least, and while my 5k time got better within the year, I'm a way off my best. The adventure race weekend was the real shining highlight, though, and if nothing else I am glad I did that. But compared to a year ago I'm less fit, more fat, and I sure as hell don't want to be sitting here next year thinking "could have done better" all over again. I need to train - even if I don't make the start line for whatever reason, time spent training is never wasted, right?
So I'm looking for a race to focus on. Nothing too big, but just the right amount of pressure to keep me motivated. No big trip abroad (i.e. flying) tied up with it, and nothing any longer than I've done before. Ironman 70.3 Ireland (Galway) is a contender, but I'm still checking out options closer to home like the Ely Monster middle distance. Another adventure race is massively tempting, although the only Questar weekenders are Exmoor or the South Downs - not quite as handy as one on my back doorstep in Thetford. A side adventure that's looking good is the ~120 mile overnight Dunwich Dynamo, and I hope I'll be up to running a selection of local races just for fun, but for my main focus I really want something multisport. I'll find out what my buddies are doing, but my main goal will be for me.
Hmm... time to sit down with a cuppa, a laptop, and the training bible, and have a good old think...
Happy New Year 2012! by Creativity103, on Flickr