Monday, 2 January 2012

A brief recap

Well, a Happy New Year to you! A new year, eh .... sneeky, very sneeky, creeping up on me like that. But I guess it as good a time as any to take stock of the year that has just gone and to contemplate the year ahead.

2011 was a good year in the grand scheme of things. There were several highlights for me....

We finally finished her conversion and enjoyed two good trips away in her, doing some fantastic running and biking as we went. We explored some wonderful areas both of France and the UK and I spent more time with family than I have done over the past 4 years which was just wonderful. This year should involve more of the same as we celebrate mum's 75th and my sister's 50th birthdays in August, not to mention Andy's 40th in February. I can see Sadie clocking up many more miles in 2012!

We spent three quarters of 2011 'over the other side' in the Pays d'Olmes area of the Ariege which is a fantastic area for trail running, mountain and road biking. As a result, my fitness improved enormously and I completed 5 trail races, 2 of which saw me on the podium, much to my amazement. I clocked up over 800kms of running over the year and managed to stay injury-free thanks to a concerted stretching regime which has prevented my old muscles from completely seizing up following exertion. This getting older malarkey is hard work! But I am carrying the momentum forward into 2012 with the aim of completing my first ultra by the end of the year. For the uninformed, an ultra is technically a distance over marathon distance (42kms) although 50kms is more generally accepted as being the marker. My first challenge this year will be the Trail des Citadelles 40km/2100m+ race on the 8 April - ouch! I have got a fewer shorter races on the calendar before then which should provide me with the training that I need.

After being on the market for 18 months, we finally accepted an offer on the house in the autumn which means we can start planning the next stage of our life. This obviously involves finding a new home! We have pretty strict criteria that we need to satisfy if we are to settle permanently in our new home and with the current depressed state of the market we have not yet found 'the one'. But we are visiting two potential properties further West along the chain this week, so who knows, one of those could be 'it'!

I don't 'do' resolutions as such. I do however have hopes and aspirations for the year ahead. I hope to carry on getting fitter and stronger and remain injury free. I am looking forward to gradually increasing the distance that I am able to run and to exploring the myriad tracks, paths and trails of the Pyrenees along the way, photographing the beauty as I go. I am looking forward to meeting my running targets and to seeing Andy meet his cycling targets too, although anybody who has the Etape du Tour in the Pyrenees with 197kms and 5000m of ascent on his agenda may be a tad bonkers!!! I am looking forward to creating a lovely new home and I am looking forward to seeing more of family and friends. 2012 will be a good year. I can feel it in me bones! Bonne Année!

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