I have to admit it, my running has been a bit stagnant over the last year. I haven’t stopped running. I’ve done a few races, including some marathons, I’ve got a few PBs at different distances but something has been missing. I haven’t really known what.
Is it just me or do you find that your running journey is a bit of a roller coaster? Exhilarating, unpredictable, fun and occasionally nauseating! I’ve been running now for eleven years and there have been many twists and turns, loops and ups and downs but I’m still on that rollercoaster and currently reflecting on my journey and keen to get others to board too.
I’ve absolutely loved my blog this year. I set myself a goal of doubling the number of views my posts get and I’d achieved that by October. Goal officially smashed! This year I’ve tried to be more consistent and write a variety of different types of posts. I’ve continued the Active Woman Interview Series, added in a regular Quick Question feature and thrown in a few blogs about what I’m up to as well. I enjoy reflecting and reviewing the year has been such a pleasure, these are my five most read posts:
I was pretty excited about heading to the Malaga Marathon. In all honesty I was more excited about having four days away in Spain with my girlfriends than I was about putting myself through 26.2 miles! Although in the lead up to the marathon, the weather in Malaga had been cool and wet, we were rewarded with four days of sunshine. Feeling the warm sun on my face in the middle of winter was a wonderful treat. We had a day of acclimatisation when we intended to stay off our feet but ended up shopping and walking miles; we had some great tapas though! We found getting around Malaga on the train and tube system really easy, and cheap too. We’d read that getting to the out of town expo to collect race numbers was harder than the marathon itself but we had no problems whatsoever. We’d been very frustrated that we hadn’t had any pre-race info in English, the marathon guide was in Spanish and despite sending emails (in English and Spanish) we hadn’t …
When I’m choosing a challenge I just have to find something that catches my eye and makes me say, “Oooo, I fancy that.” I never quite know what I’m looking for but when I see it I know it’s the one!
Have you heard of the Howgills? The Howgill Fells are those amazing hills that are on your right as you drive north up the M6 when you’re past Kendal. Everyone tends to turn left and head into the Lake District but you really are missing a treat if you don’t turn right instead and spend some time in these majestic hills which are just as stunning and far less busy than their easterly neighbours.
I’m getting more and more opportunities to share what I know and think through public speaking, to groups, large and small and it’s something that I really enjoy … after the nerves have settled of course! Last week was no exception and I was thrilled to have been asked by Katie Harper from Cumbrian Girls Can to talk at an evening they were hosting in Workington in West Cumbria. I love West Cumbria, I worked at the West Cumberland Hospital for 18 months as a Junior Doctor, met my husband and got married there too so it’s a special place for me. How fantastic to go back many years later to speak.
I’m still feeling stunned! My book Sorted: The Active Woman’s Guide to Health won first prize in the Popular Medicine category at the British Medical Association Medical Book Awards on September 4th. What an incredible honour which hasn’t fully sunk in.
The ‘family summer holiday’ is a big event in our calendar. We work hard to make sure we have two weeks away because we find this makes all the difference; it really does take nearly a week for us to relax properly. It’s a very special time when all five of us are together, away from the routines and treadmill of school, work, after school activities etc etc. I think this is the same story for many families and it therefore generates a lot of pressure to make sure that it’s a success. Precious time, precious annual leave and very precious family funds.
I decided to have a complete break from social media while we were away on holiday this year. I use my phone and computer A LOT. I run social media (FB, Twitter and Instagram) for three accounts and little and often seems to be the only way I can manage that, so although I do schedule some posts, I’m frequently checking the feeds and interacting with people. I also have numerous email accounts for all my different work roles. Much of the work I do crosses time zones so when most people’s email goes quiet, mine fires up. I absolutely LOVE my jobs and didn’t particularly feel I needed a break from them but I felt I simply had information overload and wasn’t being as productive as I could be.