The next step

Well Happy New Year dear lovely readers, I assume you all stayed and had an early night before heading out for a dawn run on the 1st right? I didn’t make the run but I did go for a swim with the kiddies which was even more fun. My wife worked on New Years eve so having some time to myself I put the final touches to my 2014 race plans.

Broadway marathon medalIt’s been an interesting year to plan as having completed 2 big races from my bucket list last year I don’t have that single target race in mind (or at least didn’t until I finished my planning). Completing the Scotland coast to coast was something I’d dreamt of for a while and when you complete a race you’ve been thinking about for ages it can take some time to refocus. But refocus I have and brimming with confidence after my marathon debut in November I’ve set myself a couple of big challenges for the year.

Challenges I hope that will keep me motivated and give me a fresh kick to get out there and see just how far I can push myself. After all pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is what makes things interesting isn’t it? No point just plodding along doing the same sort of things again and I know that I need those sort of challenges to keep me interested.

You can also find a list of my races for the year on my shiny new race calendar page by clicking in the menu bar above where it says race calendar (amazingly enough) or simply by clicking here.

April

Taunton marathon – something slightly different for me in that it’s on the road, not my usual territory but having done my first marathon in the mud and hills of the Cotswolds I like the idea of seeing what time I can do on a nice flat tarmaced course. It’ll also I hope get me to work on a little speed and of course set a good base of fitness to start the year.

May

Ridgeway 40 – with the 40 of course standing for 40 miles. I figured if I’ve done a marathon I may as well move onto an ultra right?! I did contemplate doing one of the Coastal Trail Series races in May but they’re pretty expensive, this lovely race costs the sum total of £10 and starts just a few miles from my house. The first 15 miles or so of the route are trails I run on regularly which will help I hope. It’s a very low key race and the aim is to keep building towards the big target race which comes next.

July

Race to the stones – 100km or 64 miles in old money along the Ridgeway from Chinnor in Oxfordshire to Avebury in Wiltshire. The final 15 miles of this are again on my home trails and pass within 2 miles of my house, which may be quite tempting at that stage in the race! Sounds a bit crazy to take on such a race, but I really want to take on a big challenge and hopefully raise some money for charity in the process and this seems ideal. This is still a small chance I may do a 24 hour race instead but for now at least this is the plan.

Ridgeway running 3

The simply stunning Ridgeway in Wiltshire

September

Toad challenge – assuming it runs as not yet on the race organisers website, but having read Cat’s race report for last years race this was one of the first things on the calendar. Sounds like a lot of fun and will be great spending 3 days with like minded people.

October

Yorkshire marathon – this sounded a simply incredible race to be in last year in its first running so if all goes well in the application process I hope to toe the starting line later in the year. Also quite nice symmetry to start and end the year with a marathon!

There you have it, some hefty challenges in there but I’m actually more excited than daunted right now about taking them on. Seeing just how far I can push myself and also what times I can run for the marathons in particular. Would love to know what your plans are and what your ‘A’ race is for the year.

Now just time to go and buy some shiny new shoes for all that running I’m going to be doing….

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