And so it is December 31 – the calendar year is ending and time to review the year in running.
January – ran the Turakina 27km road race for the second time. I was badly undone by the sun the previous year so estimated a generous time for the handicapper. It turned out to be great conditions and I ran well and had to be disqualified as I had exceeded the tolerance from the handicap. No worries – had a blast. 2hours & 23mins
Also ran 4 of the 7 Manawatu Striders 7km series. Ran hard on two, medium on one and very easily on the other. I ran to the start from home so by the time I had run the race and returned home it made a solid 13 kms.
February – After the 7km series I was ready for the Roy Lamberton Half Marathon. This is a fairly flat course with a hill just before halfway. You climb the hill – and it is quite meaty – then about 400 metres later you turn and descend and then its time to head for home. I had a good day – took it easy for the first 8kms then sped up a little. 1hour & 43mins
March – I love this half marathon – it is the Bush Half and starts in Pahiatua, travels over a hill then winds its way through the Wairarapa country side returning over the hill to finish. I ran a 1hour 40mins and wondered if I had saved enough for the following weekend. The Levin Joggers and Walkers put on a superb event every year late March early April. I have managed 4 marathons there and this year earned my fourth finishers medal – one for each of my four children. The Great Forest Events are off road through forest and while there have been a couple of changes to the course it is always an awesome day. Managed a 3hour 57mins time.
April and the Moa Harrier club cross country season got underway. I ran most weekends with my best place being a third on handicap at Whitelocks farm.
May and the harrier season continued. Ran the Levin Double Dipper for the first time. 17km of off road running with some nice views of the Horowhenua. Loved the big hill but forced it too hard on the down hills and injured my left foot. Took a while to come right and eventually led to getting some orthotics. They are proving their worth and I can feel my feet feeling better. The day after the Double Dipper I ran the Feilding to Palmerston Run which is a 22km run. Caught the bus out, ran the run then ran home. Good marathon training !
June and a Queen’s Birthday ritual trip to Silverstream for the Aurora Handicap Marathon. Still waiting on the official certificate but a pretty good day and one of my two best runs of the year. Started off well and was at the half in 1hour & 39mins. The second half is a bit hillier than the first and I was tiring but also knew that the day was mine if I wanted it to be. I noticed that my GPS was out with the course markers and I was looking at running longer than 42.195kms. My finishing time was 3.33 which was 2 minutes outside my PB but my GPS said 43kms+ at the finish. About a km long ! Not so sure as the GPS does fluctuate sometimes. More importantly it showed me I could start off fast and maintain it. Only managed one harrier event during June and then when the road season began I only ran 1 event there as well. I needed to alter my training as I had a 12 hour run on my calendar.
July saw a return to some mileage and I planned out my next few months. I needed to run long and train myself to eat on the run. I completed my first solo running of the Halcombe road relay course – 29kms. It was a very cold day and I found it very tough.
August – It was a repeat of March with a half followed a week later by a full marathon. The Palmerston North Half was a nice event and a finishing time of 1hour & 40mins. I ran the Hawkes Bay marathon in 4hours & 5mins. A pretty good result and a much needed long run. The hills on this course are on the second half so it is a good strength builder.
September – a time to rest and train and prepare. I did one long weekend – 40km Saturday and then 25km on the track on the Sunday. I also was getting long every weekend 3 hour plus runs.
October – I blogged it in full here. I learned that I have much determination and that my planning and preparation were adequate but could be improved. I will go back in 2008 and run there again.
November – Had a rest then helped out on the Feilding marathon. Travelled to Foxton and completed the Coley St School half in 1hour & 37mins. Ran fast but tired neared the end. I now set my sights on the Wanganui Three Bridges Marathon in early December.
December – To finish the year a tired athlete turned up in Wanganui to run a marathon on Dec 8th. What was I thinking ? The half went by in 1.49 and then I managed a finish in 4hours & 8mins.
There it is. Five half marathons, four full marathons, a 12 hour 81km epic and numerous other events ! My biggest ever year !
Looking back I am very pleased with what I have achieved. I also changed jobs in April and began travelling to Marton daily – 44kms each way. A superb running year and I am extremely grateful for my opportunities.
Many thanks to my wife Louise for her support and encouragement.
I will blog shortly with my planned events for 2008.