2019: Further, Higher

I’m not quite sure what happened here. My 2018 ‘12 month challenge‘ was phenomenal. I suppose I didn’t really think about it too much when planning other than greedily picking the races. As a collective, as a challenge I never gave it a second thought. I didn’t contemplate what doing them all would feel like or how I’d emerge the other side. Now I have a sense of that and it has been one heck of a journey. I’ve summed this up in a two part series you can read here – Part 1 Part 2

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2018 went by in a blur!

The places I visited, the people I met, friendships formed and accomplishments achieved all inspired me as I continued to grow both as a runner and, more importantly, as a person. Through running I’ve learnt a lot about myself. I’m starting to understand myself more in terms of what motivates me, what works for me and what doesn’t.

Shortly after completing the Berlin Marathon in September I started to ask myself,  ‘what next?’. Where do I go from here? This resulted in a stream of conscious notes being formed and this post asking for some help. I received some incredible advice and insight from the running community. Admittedly I’ve ignored probably all of that though. Sorry. I’ve also ignored my own advice. Seems to be what I do best.

I’ve gone ahead and started planning, started turning words into actions. Admittedly I’m already replicating some of the mistakes I made in 2018, but I’m aware and ready to embrace them.

So no ‘challenge’ as such this year, but here is how my plans, my 2019, is shaping up. My intentions, to go further, to go faster, to go higher. The next version of Dai will emerge in 2019. A challenge in itself!

  • January – Country to Capital (70km)
  • February – Transgrancanaria (128km)
  • April – Sciachee Trail (47km)
  • April – MIUT (115km)
  • June – Lavaredo Ultra Trail (120 km)
  • June – Luxembourg Marathon – (41km)
  • June – Sameons (33km)
  • August – SVP100 (100km)
  • August – Matterhorn Sky Race (49km)
  • August – TDS (140km)
  • October – Lemkowyna (150km)
  • December – Montane Cheviot Goat (80km)

I am also hoping to follow up with a few others too, although thankfully I wasn’t successful in getting a place in the Western States 100 – I’m really not ready for that sort of challenge just yet! And I was too slow in clicking the buttons to get a place Eiger101 (next year!).

Anyway, immediately the challenge is there. Four of those races are longer and have greater elevation gain than I’ve ever experienced before (and that could easily rise to 5 or 6 races before I’m finished). They all involve travel and logistics (which stressed me so much this year!). I can’t wait to put myself up against them. Me vs the trails. Man against mountain. Let’s see how this unfolds!

Other than that, my intention to run with others will continue. I’ve already a number of ‘Runwithdai‘ runs lined up for the new year and am hoping to reach out by doing more group runs.

I’m not setting any goals for these races and I won’t be competing or pushing for times. As with the CCC I will be going there to complete them. To survive. To finish with a smile on my face and energy to enjoy and savour the moment. 2019 will push me way beyond my comfort zone. A place I’m starting to enjoy living in.

I will be setting myself some goals and objectives though. First up, looking after myself better. Ensuring I start to incorporate more regular strength and conditioning and stretching into my routine. I need to be ready for the challenges ahead. ‘Just running’ will no longer be sufficient for these challenges!

So watch this space!