Hope you had a good Christmas? We did - we started off the holidays with a Santa run and have been charging through the weeks ever since. And almost before I realised it - in the brief breather between Christmas, boxing day, Felix's birthday (December 27th) - and New Year - it's the 31st!
2010 was the year that did not go as planned. Har dee har har I hear you laughing - life's like that - and I knew that, but I don't think I really knew it. So 2010 came along to make that point to me. You all know that at the very last moment I found myself unable to travel to Boston to run the marathon there. It was an enormous disappointment which to some extent overshadowed my feelings about running for a long time afterwards. You may also have gathered, through my frequent cryptic references, that 2010 has also been a very challenging year for me on a personal and emotional level.
Yet, as I lie in bed thinking about everything that has happened in this past year, I feel that both experiences, unpleasant as they were at the time, have been instrumental in pushing forward personal growth and development. I joked about it at the time, but failing to get to that starting line in Hopkinton really did force me to surrender to the universe. I am not always in charge. And I was able to use that experience when things got rough on personal level - where in the past I have always tried to "fix" things and problems, I realised this summer that sometimes you must let things be as they are with people as well. Actions have consequences and instead of always trying to undo them or change them, sometimes you just need to let things unfold as they will. Oh big stuff, I know, and hardly stuff I'm done figuring out. But I do feel happier with where I stand, and stronger for battling through it.
And my running? This has not been a year of PRs or medals. My Boston training cycle was mixed - I was exhausted for a lot of it. I abandoned my training for the Nottingham marathon due to exhaustion presumed to be the result of anemia. I ran very few races. But it has been a year where my training, however unsuccessful at times, has proved a mainstay and an anchor. Having something to do, a goal to achieve, however unrealistic at times, has helped me through. And on. And in the course of this year, I also discovered how much I enjoyed biking and swimming. My progress in both areas is slow - I am still taking swimming lessons and my bike has not been out for a month due to the diabolical weather - but I have signed up for the London triathlon next summer and will be out there training for that AND my London to Paris bikeride as soon as I have finished Boston.
And let's just talk about Boston for a minute. Training for Boston is going well. I have said it before and I will bore you with it again - I love having a coach. She tells me what to do - I do it. When I panic - which I did earlier this week because I was worried I wasn't exhausted enough by my training - I email her and ask her whether I should panic and she emails me straight back and tells me no, I'm fine, I'm building a base and some speed, and the long runs are ahead of me, and then I stop panicking because, you know, she's got a plan for me! She knows what she's doing - I just need to continue doing it. And the logistics for Boston have fallen into place as well. I didn't want to blog about it any earlier for fear that my kids might read this and realise what that dastardly Santa had in store for them but our big Christmas present this year was that on April 5th, we will all fly out to Orlando for 10 days (with ALL that entails, including, I hope, some running with my Florida peeps) and then on the Friday before the marathon we will fly up to Boston and squeeze into one room at the Lenox Hotel together and my kids and husband will be able to cheer me on in the race - how cool is that? They would have been unable to join me this year, so this definitely makes running it in 2011 extra special..
There is so much to look forward to in 2011. Not just the races and the trip with my family, but I am also turning 40 and am looking forward to it. It's a milestone and I'm so happy to be heading there in good health and spirits and with so much good fortune in my life. I'm not sure yet how to celebrate it - any suggestions welcome. If you can include some travel and a race, all the better!
And last but not least - you all have made 2010 for me. You, my blogging buddies, are real people and real friends. Your comments, views and insights have been invaluable. I was lucky enough to meet some of you this year and hope to meet many more next year - either in Boston, Florida or maybe here?
Merry new 2011. May it bring you ALL you hope for. And come run with me.