11 January 2016

2015 - Getting Real About the Year I Had

Knsapsack 3hr - Driven and focused.
Picture this: A running kit set out ready for a runner that more often than not would have to pack it into a bag for a shorter lunchtime run at work or away in the drawer because the morning session was missed all together. Or a foot that was so painful for the first 15min of every day, that it was feared before bed at night and on top of this hopping out of the car and simply applying force to stand up was a challenge.

Perhaps though, the planned and carefully executed first four months of the year that had led me to the best running shape I’ve been in would have indicated that the first two sentences would have related to someone else, not me! But they didn’t, it was the battle I was facing for the vast majority of 2015 and at times I was keeping these feelings very close to my chest.

Numbers, goals, races and trends were the focus. I was over analysing my stats tracking forward to race specific goals for the year and according to these figures I was on for a good year. That didn’t happen and a combination of injury, illness, over reaching, stress management, over planning and a lack of accountability eventually took it’s toll and my year went opposite to the plan. DNFs, DNSs, missing PBs by massive amounts, a decreased training load, failed sessions and a drop in motivation/commitment was becoming the norm as well as a loss in the desire to race.

I struggled throughout the back end of the year with injury, that was no secret but I kept my feelings towards my running internal, fearing for some reason that if I spoke about it would be reality, that maybe if I ignored the feelings they’d go away. They did not.

Bathrust Half - celebrating numbers rather
than my actual performance
Throughout the year my coaching role at UP Coaching had expanded and I had been coaching client’s on a weekly basis in 2015. Brendan has been very supportive of me in this role and while I haven’t made as many training days or session’s as I’d like, my clients have been working well in their individual programs. I had a good year coaching, learning a great deal, and successfully assisting clients achieving goals while building my programming theory to suit a variety of runners from all walks of life. Coaching is and will continue to be a part of my running journey and at UP Coaching I believe I can continue to assist my clients as I am constantly reviewing my coaching principles and beliefs aiming to continue to grow as a coach.

Of late I have slowly but surely became more driven to run for fun as opposed to Strava, result sheets or training logs. The need for big numbers started to replace the need for key sessions and runs to either build me physically or satisfy me emotionally and spiritually. I refocused my thoughts to why I run and dropped the desire to have the highest log, fastest average pace or most climb in a week, that all is bullshit anyway.

Hounslow - the starting point for my refocus late in the year.
Numbers don’t resonate much with me anymore, they have their role to play but they do not dictate my running like they did. I am trying to be more intrinsic with my running and drive from within rather than from an external force. I do not want to look for praise or attention with my running, I simply want the desire to drive myself to the performance I am capable of and be satisfied with that. I want my running to be a positive outlet and constructive aspect of my life, fulfilling me by feeding my competitive nature as well as my natural instinct to explore.

TVT at Kosci NP - Favourite run
of the year.
Recently I have read books rather than journals, ran in places rather than races and put less thought into my running than over the last 18 months. wards the end of the year I had a chat with Brendan about my position as a coach and athlete. We had a good talk about the need for me to have someone looking over my running and I felt the need to separate my running and coaching to ensure both were reaching their potential and he was supportive of my feelings. I have been working with Dave, Ben and Tiger at RunCrew since late November and the focus is now 6 Foot, no thoughts required just run each session and rest then recover for the next, a perfect formula. I now have the accountability and placed the responsibility of my programming with someone else for the year ahead and I feel great about it in so many ways.

I was lucky to be supported by many great people in 2016, most importantly Kel my wife (who has had her own battles on top of putting up with mine), my boys Charley and Beau and our families. Without the support of these people I would have completely melted myself by the end of the year. I am also part of a genuine and for the most part honest community of people, runners who run for fun and enjoyment, competition and achievement and come from all different backgrounds each adding their own individualism to the mix. I also should mention Blair here as throughout the year when we had planned to train together he kept me honest and consistent  which is what I lacked from April on, he had a great year himself and deserved every result he achieved.

Colour Run Fun
Inov-8 Australia/Barefootinc. Hammer Nutrition, Mountain Sports and Sydney Trail Series have all been very supportive of me throughout 2015. I am fortunate the gear I use and races I compete in are willing to support me and I remain grateful for what they do for me as an ambassador of their product. I try to remain authentic and partial when looking at races and gear and will only ever present my view not someone else’s.

I look forward to another adventure filled year in 2016. Already we are 11 days down and I have been thinking long and hard about this blog, since very early in December in fact. I have started, stopped, rewritten, avoided writing and procrastinated in the process, ironic it seems as that’s what my running had done since April. I am clear of mind, realistic, full of belief and newly motivated for the next 12 months of my life and the balance of family, work and running.

I know this because my house is tidy, my kit are not staying laid out in the morning and the front door step has a little collection of Inov-8 kicks building up each week.
STS Kamay - trying but not succeeding but still happy. 
Snow drifts and clear trails at Winburndale Reserve
east of Bathurst.
Nambucca Heads - running for fun!
Mt Towac - summiting mid-race.
Hassans Walls - taking time out.

No comments:

Post a Comment