What happened in 2016?

2016 started off pretty awesome but quickly got swallowed up in the busiest year of work I’ve ever had, the stress of trying to sell my flat and buy another, James moving to the US, Brexit. But notwithstanding all the stresses, it was a pretty good year for me fitness-wise with two new official PBs at the marathon and the 5km.

Over the past twelve months I have travelled to 8 countries (including Spain four times!), visited 26 different places, taken a ridiculous number of flights (26 in total – 8 more than last year…). I’ve raced 7 times, covered roughly 2,373km in training (about 1000km less than last year which I think is due to more running and less cycling!), clocked up 372 hours in training (just 5 less than last year). I swam 31 times (less than half last year), my longest run was 26.2 miles (twice!) and my longest cycle was 100km around the Isle of Wight. Eight weeks had training hours of 10 or more, one more than last year – generally due to weeks involving long hikes or lots of cycles.

My best friend got married and I was a bridesmaid at her wedding, I sold a flat and bought a house with my boyfriend, a week after we moved house my boyfriend moved to the US to work, and we both bought a hella lot of furniture. After the UK voted for Brexit I worked consistently harder than I’ve ever done before – but at the very least it was interesting!

January: I began 2017 in a hot tub in Mexico with my best friends, from there beginning a solo travel trip that would take me through Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia, finally to meet up with my mum for a 4-day hike through the Colombian mountains.

Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia
February saw me return from Colombia, run my first half marathon (off road) and ramp up the training for Brighton Marathon.

In March I had a raucous weekend in Brighton for Charlotte’s hen do, followed by a long weekend skiing in Les Gets, France, and lots of tartiflette. I finished up the month visiting James’ parents at their house in Andalucia in the south of Spain, for a long weekend of hiking, red wine and jamón.

Brighton, Les Gets, France, Andalucia
By April my main travels for the year were over and instead we stayed in London for Charlotte and Jack’s wonderful wedding, followed by another trip down to Brighton. This visit involved significantly less alcohol and significantly more running as I ran with my mum for her first ever marathon.

Wedding, Brighton Marathon, running
May saw beautiful weather in the UK and the beginning of stress as we began the arduous process of selling our flat. We did take a cheeky little weekend trip to Madrid though… So nice to return somewhere you know so well!

Madrid, London, running, cycling
Into June, and running gave way to triathlon. I headed up to Leeds for their inaugural triathlon, incredibly badly organised and despite being really strong on the bike nausea hit me as I started the run. I ended up walking most of it and vomiting just after I crossed the finish line!

Leeds triathlon, wedding, pro triathlete, Brexit
July was ridiculously hot for the UK and I that heat we moved into our ideal home and I started marathon training for the second time. I had a few completely blissful days off work, dealing only with the stress of actually moving, which was nothing compared to the stress of wondering if it would ever happen!

Brixton, running, ultra marathon training
In August James moved to the US, to a small town called South Bend outside of Chicago. I ran my first ever sub-25min 5km, tried my hand at trapezing, and flew to Mallorca to visit my sister and spend a weekend sailing and swimming. I spent the long August bank holiday with my family, cycling round the Isle of Wight – keeping myself very busy after James left!

Sailing, Mallorca, Isle of Wight, cycling, trapeze, park run
I went out to see him in September and we spent two days in Chicago and two in South Bend. I also competed in a sprint distance relay triathlon and had my best run of the year – 20 solo miles along the North Downs Way.

South Bend, Chicago, trapeze, sprint distance triathlon
In October I finished training for Dublin marathon, with lots of lovely autumnal runs through an orange London and beautiful cycles in Richmond Park. The marathon itself was a huge success, great fun and I managed an almost 17 minute PB!

By way of recovery, in November went out with my mum to visit my sister in Mallorca, where we went on a short hike that ended up lasting seven hours and involving some pretty treacherous clambering after we got lost! The rest of the month dragged on as I began ultra marathon training and waited for James to come home.

Finally – December, in which I went on my first yoga retreat and ran my first sub-2 hour half marathon, as well as eating at lots of restaurants with James! I had some lovely runs over Christmas with my mum and finished up the year with my best friends at my dad’s house with walks on the beach and a delicious meal.

Well that’s it – it wasn’t a fantastic year but it wasn’t a horrendous one either. Personally, the best and worst times of the year all involved moving house, but the absolute worst I felt on one particular morning was waking up on the morning of 24 June to know that the UK was going to leave the EU. Just an awful, awful feeling and I have to say that my fears are not allayed by anything that’s happened since (we haven’t actually left the EU yet and won’t for at least two years).  That one will continue to play itself out – meanwhile I now live in a house I love and have big plans for, although James is in the US that’s merely an excuse for lots of trips state-side, I have an exciting year of work coming up and lots of big adventurous plans from an ultra marathon to climbing the three peaks – 2017 should be fun!!!


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