2021: A New Dawn

Over the years, the goals and the aspirations change. Looking back over the last few years since I started writing about my running, I began each year I with specific challenges and clear things I wanted to achieve. Whilst I’m no less determined and still very aspirational, it’s all become one big continuous obsession. Something needs to change…

Love a sign. At the highest point of the island


I wrote recently that the more I run, the more injured I become, the less I run (as a result), the more I think about running, the more I want to run and the more scheming and plotting I do. It’s a viscous cycle. It’s what has led to the carnage of a year that 2021 is shaping up to be. Here’s how it stands as of the beginning of January with all uncertainty for how it will go already…

23-JanuaryHurtwood Double50km
24-JanuaryHurtwood Double50km
21-FebruaryNorth Downs Ridge50km
28-FebruarySt Peters Way Ultra70km
27-MarchHardmoors 5588km
30-MayEdinburgh Marathon42km
5-JuneMaverick Exmoor50km
19-JuneCamino Lea Valley50km
9-JulyVal D’Aran by UTMB 164km
7-AugustStranda Fjord100km
14-AugustSVP5050km
18-SeptemberChilterns Wonderland85km
TBC-October13 Valleys100km
16-OctoberCapadoccia Ultra Trail120km
4-DecemberCheviot Goat80km
The 2021 plan before the world disrupts it or I add more!

So what do I want out of 2021? What are my aims and aspirations from this ram packed year? Well…

50 official marathons

I was hoping to reach this milestone last year but the latest Lockdown has postponed it from happening. To be clear, this would be 50 official (registered) events of 42kms or longer. So those 100 milers I’ve completed would only count as one event in this tally and those casual ultras I often do also do not count. I’m only a few events away from the 50th and currently have an average of about 70km per event. Its an arbitrary goal that is utterly irrelevant really. It will happen though.

Consistency

I want to be more consistent. I actually really dislike inconsistency in most parts of my life. But I am the contradiction in that I am not practicing what I preach. My running is greedy and anything but consistent at the moment. I want to reintroduce some structure to help me consistently manage the impact on my body and also be more sustainable with my passion. How can I possibly keep running if I don’t prepare and look after myself properly? I’ve even made a training plan for 2021. Yep, I know, me with a training plan!!

Respect

I need to be more respectful of running. It is not easy and it needs to be approached in the right way. In the list of events for the year there is a clear, standout monstrosity in 2021 – the UTMB Val D’Aran. This is a 100 mile event with over 10,000m of elevation traversing the Pyrenees. Whilst I’m confident I could bosh out a 100 miler when I want (it would neither be pretty nor do my body any favours mind!), a mountainous 100 miler is a different beast. I need to respect this challenge (as well as the ‘lesser’ beasts coming my way). This is why there is a training plan!

Be (slightly) less Obsessive

I’ve nothing to prove to anyone here, but I often defend my position that I’m enjoying the running while I can, whilst I have no other responsibilities or commitments. I do need to realign my passion for running and ensure it is not an obsession though. I intend to dedicate and invest that quality time elsewhere in my life and show myself that I can provide equality throughout my own life.

2021 once more brings an exiting opportunity and I’m pleased to be continuing in my Ambassador role as part of the Xmiles and Squirrels Nut Butter teams for 2021. The continued support from these brands is greatly appreciated.