Ah, January… the month where the majority of us start off with fresh hopes, dreams and goals. Granted, this January was always going to be slightly different given the global pandemic that is still affecting most of us. With that being said, I still think that it’s important to try and focus on the things that we can actually control.
I’m not going to beat around the bush… 2020 was the worst year of my life. I lost my younger brother to suicide, spent March until August on furlough before finding myself out of work, then I also left my marital home to move from the West to East Midlands.
Still, I was hoping that the more positive end to the year could continue on into 2021. The key thing was going to be trying to find some consistency. Consistency and routine were definitely things that went out of the window last year. Even though I started a new job towards the end of November, and moved house early December, I still hadn’t really gotten into a routine for 2020.
I did say that I wasn’t setting myself any real goals this year. My main reasoning ties back in to the global pandemic. The uncertainty of whether events will be able to take place this year can make it hard to set goals. The remainder is down to the fact that I didn’t want to put too much undue pressure on myself. I know that I can be my own worst critic and I’m working on cutting myself some slack. My ethos tends to be “all or nothing”. I struggle to find the happy medium!
As I mentioned above, one of the key things for me was going to be consistency. In my defence, I managed to start clocking up some miles again. Most of the runs were only 3 or 4 miles, but I was getting in more runs per week.
I also managed to complete my longest run since October 4th. Yup, 7 miles turned out to be my longest run for months. That’s actually crazy to think. What used to be my “after work” treadmill distance turned into my longest run. Not wanting to push my luck, I opted to walk the remaining 1.5 mile home!
So, usually, the National Running Show takes place around the end of January (it fell on my birthday weekend last year). Unfortunately, with lockdown, it wasn’t able to take place this year. I was a little disappointed and not really looking forward to a lockdown birthday. It was also the first birthday since losing my brother, so I knew it would be an emotional one. Luckily, I live with an awesome friend who made a chocolate and cherry cake! So yeah, the weekend turned out to be much better than expected.
Although there was no National Running Show this year, I still managed to get myself some new running shoes. I do have a few pairs in rotation at the minute, but I’ll be switching things up next month. My Pegasus 35 Premiums are currently at 626.5 miles so I’ll be retiring them soon. I figured I’d give the Pegasus 37s a go as I’ve had the 34s, 35s and 36s (although I haven’t put many miles on the 36s). The other pair I purchased are the Pegasus Trail 2. I have a dedicated pair of trail shoes in the Adidas Galaxy, but I am yet to use them. Running around here is a mixture of pavement and also some light trails. The Pegasus Trail 2 are meant to be aimed more at road runners who occasionally go off-road, so we’ll see how I get on with those!
Oh, and then I also got an email on my birthday telling me that I was a Guinness World Record title holder. Ok, ok… so are 37,000 other people who took part in the Virtual London Marathon 2020, but hey, I’m still taking some credit!
My mileage for January was definitely a lot lower than I would have liked. The weather certainly didn’t help matters as we had a few snow days that put a stop to my running. I definitely missed my treadmill on those days! Ideally, I want to be running at least 20 miles per week, at the absolute minimum.
I found myself struggling a bit with my pacing. My newfound home is closer to the Peak District and you can definitely tell by the number of hills! No matter which direction I opt to run, there is at least one killer hill. You’d think that the hills would slow my average pace down, but I tend to be running faster on average so far. A lot of this is down to the fact that I used to run most of my miles on my treadmill. I no longer have such simple control over my pace, and it really shows.
Moving house also meant no home gym, and with gyms still closed this meant no real strength training. Sure, I’ve done a few push ups now and then, but it’s been months since I lifted a weight. I know that there are bodyweight exercises available, however they can’t compare with the feeling of lifting a heavy weight. With no indication of the gyms being able to reopen anytime soon, I’ll have to come up with some kind of bodyweight routine. Hopefully I can stick to at least one or two sessions per week.
Food… Ok, so this definitely took a back seat last year. I stopped tracking what I was eating. My takeaway expenditure increased dramatically! I’m definitely not drinking enough water. Oh, and I found a liking for spiced rum! The joys of Christmas… Still, I was trying not to be hard on myself on this one. Moving house and starting a new job were both still taking time to adjust to. I hadn’t completely thrown caution to the wind. I was trying to keep my “grazing” under control, and stuck with my trusted overnight protein oats.
This follows on from the above… Weight. I opted not to bring my bathroom scales with me as ignorance is bliss! I have now invested in another pair though so that I can keep myself accountable moving forwards. To be honest, I don’t really know what I weigh at the minute. I feel a bit “fluffier” in the abdominal region. I’d guess that I’m around 10-15 pounds heavier than my last weigh in. Then again, it’s hardly a surprise as my running mileage dropped drastically, I don’t have access to my home gym, and my diet has been very lax. It is a little frustrating as it feels like I’ve undone a lot of hard work, but I know that I can redeem myself.
Runs = 13
Miles = 49.5
Total Time = 8:47:39
Strength = 0
All in all, I think January has started off on a decent foot. I didn’t cover as many miles as I would have liked, but I was able to get out running a few times per week. I’m going to start reigning things back in a bit more for February in regards to my diet. I’ll be looking to build up my weekly mileage, and also focus on trying to build my Sunday long runs back up into double figures. Incorporating some bodyweight strength sessions is also on the agenda, along with some stretching and mobility work.