So… 2020 was an “interesting” year to say the least wasn’t it?
When I wrote my goals for 2020 back in January, I definitely couldn’t have predicted how this year would turn out. Reading them back now, it feels like a different life.
I have always been very determined and in 2019, I crammed my year full of running, challenges and travel.
To be honest, I had high hopes for 2020. As it marked 10 years since my scoliosis surgery, I wanted to celebrate and build on my running achievements by running a marathon.
I had also planned to trek to Machu Picchu and raise thousands for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund. As someone who loves to push themselves and live life to the full, in many ways, 2020 has been a disappointing and rather boring year. However, it’s not all been doom and gloom. There have been some positives and it has been nice to step back and make time for myself, rather than living my life on full speed like usual.
I thought now would be a good time to reflect on my goals and achievements during this rather difficult year – and try and find some positives!
So, looking back at my 2020 goals, I didn’t achieve any of them. That makes me feel disappointed and rather sad, but none of it was within my control.
I may not have ran the Manchester Marathon, completed my trek to Machu Picchu or achieved my 100 parkrun goal. That doesn’t make me a failure. I can hopefully achieve those things and more once things get “back to normal” – whatever that is.
I have still achieved a few things that I am proud of this year including..
I spent January-March marathon training, which was a life altering experience in itself. Getting up at 4am to run 16 miles in the cold, dark and rain is certainly character building!
I learnt a lot about myself during this time, including how stubborn and determined I am. I also learnt a fair bit about running and strength training. I managed to build up my training to a 20 mile run, just before the marathon was cancelled.
At the time, I was absolutely devastated. Unless you have trained for a marathon, you don’t realise how much the training takes over and consumes your life. Whilst it was upsetting at the time, I am very proud that I was able to run 20 miles and I intend to train again (when the races are back on) and take what I learnt from the training to improve next time around.
Coed-Y-Brenin Half Marathon
It’s funny, I keep forgetting that I did this race. I think because it feels so long ago now, before the pandemic hit and life as we knew it changed.
I completed this race on the 18th January 2020 – 13 miles of running, up a mountain, in Wales in the icy cold.
I was really nervous before this race as I’d never done anything like it before. I was worried that I would slip and hurt myself on the icy trails. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone. But you know what? It was such an incredible experience. Amazing views and I really enjoyed running on the trails. It took me 3 hours as it was so hilly and one of the toughest races I’ve ever done but I was so proud to finish.
2.6 Challenge – 26 day run streak!
When we were in lockdown, I took part in the 2.6 challenge, running 2.6 miles everyday for 26 days. This was pretty tough, especially towards the end! But, I managed it and raised a few hundred towards my Machu Picchu trek for the Scoliosis Campaign Fund (which has now been moved to next October 2021). If you can spare some pennies, please do help me out and sponsor me – all money will go towards the Scoliosis Campaign Fund – helping those with scoliosis.
In July, I ran the Wilmslow half marathon “virtually” with two of my running friends. It was really tough as I hadn’t ran that kind of distance since before lockdown. But I managed it, and I got a cheeky medal too!
I had a few races planned over the summer that were cancelled / postponed – Wilmslow was the only one I decided to do “virtually.”
Over the summer, I signed up with a running coach for some much needed motivation and started heart rate training. This is where you focus on your heart rate when running, rather than pace. It helped me to “slow down” and enjoy running again. Slowing down and running in a lower HR zone can actually improve your running longer term.
Unfortunately though, I had to stop my training in October due to an injury (although looking back over the year and how much running I was doing it’s hardly surprising I got injured!)
The last few months have been hard for me as running helps me to cope with stress and anxiety, so not being able to run has been hard. BUT I am proud of what I achieved in the 14 weeks or so I was training and I learnt a lot, so I hope to be able to pick it up again soon. I have also started a new hobby – cycling – and been doing ALOT of strength work and yoga.
I know quite a few people that have become injured this year. I think a combination of more running, less strength training and home working has become a recipe for disaster!
Before I got injured though, I managed to run 753 miles for the year, which I’m pretty pleased with. I think I would have easily managed 1,000 had I not gotten injured.
I think for me, one of my biggest personal achievements this year is everything I have accomplished on this blog.
Things that I have been meaning to do for years I have finally had the time to do and it does feel good.
Namely, I created a blog strategy and finally have a bit of direction.
Most importantly, I’ve had the time to write. Something that I find therapeutic and calming. Plus, I managed to set up a YouTube channel – hello! It still needs a lot of work but it is a start.
More recently, while I have not been running, I have managed to complete a Photoshop course, which is something I’m proud of.
So whilst I may not have achieved the original goals I set out to achieve, I think I’ve still had a pretty productive year overall. 🙂
Thanks for reading and I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below! How have your goals and ambitions changed this year? What have you achieved that you are proud of? Have you got any positives that have come out of this year?