I can hardly believe today is the first of October! I awoke to a crisp, autumnal morning, the current school term is very nearly over and summer is becoming a somewhat distant memory (good thing we got our flights sorted out for next year earlier this week!). Nine months have passed since I set my goals for the year, so it’s time for another check-in to see how I’m getting on. (You can read my previous updates here and here).
1. Overcome injury and return to running
For the most part, this has continued to go well. In my mid-year update I had just run my first sub-24 minute parkrun since coming back from my stress fracture at the end of last year, and was seeing both my pace and my distance improving. Of course I have since confessed that I was secretly marathon training, and although I suffered a bit of a blip in terms of an issue with my hip which prevented me running that marathon, I still feel pleased with how things have gone. In late August I ran my fastest parkrun of the year (which was also my second fastest time ever) and was happy with how my training was going in general. An irritated hip has been less than ideal, but I take solace in the fact that it’s not arisen from overuse or a particular training mistake, but from changes in my body due to increasing my flexibility. It should be easy to address, indeed in just the past week I have noticed a significant improvement, and I’m feeling confident that I can return to running very soon with the strength and endurance of a training cycle in my legs ready to see me through to my spring marathon. At the moment, I’m enjoying a couple of weeks off running to let me work on this, but if I had run in Loch Ness I would have had that same downtime so feel OK with this situation since I never planned to be running right now. With a bit of luck, that’s all the time out I’ll need then onwards to the next goal! Progress – Temporary setback
2. Work on learning the front crawl
I’ve probably neglected this one a bit, by which I mean I’ve become complacent with it. I’m continuing to swim once a week, and have been experimenting with going first thing in the morning when the gym opens, which I do quite like even with the early start. Following my relay triathlon misadventure, my confidence in the pool was knocked a bit so I’m trying to focus on relaxing in the water and getting into a rhythm with my breath. I also know I need to be less reliant on stopping at the ends of the pool and swimming more continuously. I’m thinking another lesson will be in order soon, as well as using my pull buoy and kick board for some drills to improve my stroke. This one has been a bit of a long journey, but I’ll get there in the end. Progress – Must try harder!
3. Get out on my bike more
Finally some positive progress on this one. My bike Trixie got some much-needed TLC ahead of the relay triathlon and I recently enjoyed a nice Sunday cycle while I was giving my hip a break from running. I’m really hoping for some nice weather during my school October break so I can get out on her a few more times as I know that once we reach late October my chances of getting out are much slimmer. I’m not good at heading out when it’s wet or slippy as I’m too scared of falling off. I also know that I’ll use the end of the year to build a good base for my marathon training so running will take priority then. Still, having enjoyed getting back in the saddle I think this will remain a goal into 2017. Progress – Much improved!
4. Be more organised
The summer definitely gave me a chance to get my life a bit more sorted out and I have established better routines in my life. The reality, however, is that during the school term my time is so pinched that I do start to lose a bit of my grip on my “real” life as school takes over. That said, I have definitely kept my blog more up to date and don’t feel as behind in life as I did before the summer. A few more improvements could be made now that I’ve experienced a term with our new timetable structure, so I’ll be giving that some thought during my October break. Progress – Still improving
5. Read more books
I think this is where I’ve enjoyed the greatest success. Thanks to my summer holiday and making some more time to read, I’ve competed the challenge I set on Goodreads to read 15 books this year. In fact, right now I’m reading book number 26! I’ve also made fantastic progress with the sub-challenge I mentioned in my mid-year update and am on my final book – one that intimidates me. I am a little concerned that I’ve left that one a bit late in the year, but hopefully I do have enough time left to finish War and Peace (not kidding, that’s my final choice!). At some points during the year I’ve had more than one book on the go at the same time, so if I focus solely on this one then hopefully all will be fine. I’m reading it on my Kindle to reduce the intimidation of this doorstopper tome, but the percentage read seems to be just crawling by. Still, I’ve wanted to read this book since my second year of university (last century – eek!) when I came over all pretentious and took a one year course called Russian Literature in Translation which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now I’ve finally found my chance. Wish me luck! Progress – Superb!
I know things can’t go smoothly all the time, but overall I’m pleased with my progress to date. Now just four months of the year left to make further improvements. If I can finish that book I’ll be ecstatic!
How are you getting on with your 2016 goals?
What book intimidates you and why?