Monday 2 January 2012

2011 - Review of the Year

If you had told me at the beginning of last year about how well I would run in 2011, I would have been pretty disappointed. I would have been gutted to know how long my heel injury would continue; the amount of running I would manage; the length of my longest run; the number of races I would run and the fact that my bike would be stolen. However, looking back and seeing the events of the year in context, it really doesn't seem too bad!

January was a disastrous month for running. I started the year depressed about my continuing injury, and then got flu. I attempted 2 runs, each one about 1.5 miles.

In February I had a more positive attitude. I threw myself into cross-training, and joined the gym. I went 8 times in the month, and also cycled 65 miles in 9 bike rides. As a family we went orienteering for the first time and loved it!

March was the month in which I started running properly again - hooray! I gradually built up from 1.5milers to 5k, although my speed was pretty poor. I also started Pilates classes on the advice of my physiotherapist, which I found kind of boring, but helpful to my core strength and balance. The Scottish weather went from snowy to sunny - phew.

In April I kept on running, and increased my longest run distance to 4.6 miles (very slow though). I enjoyed the Easter holidays, bought a foam roller, and raced Edinburgh Parkrun (5K) with a decent time. I was running or cycling 4-5 times a week and still doing pilates, but for some reason (probably school holidays), I didn't get to the gym.

In May, I finally got round to losing the last of the extra weight I'd put on at Christmas! It was my biggest cycling month of the year (75 miles), and I did some Pilates and Gym visits too. My longest run increased to 5.5 miles.

In June I bought some new trainers and ran my first proper race of the year. It was also my first ever trail race, and I absolutely loved it. It turned out to be my last race in Scotland... The bad news was, my bike was stolen, so there were no bike rides for a while.

In July, life started to get really busy. I spent a week at my parents' house, and then we were away house-hunting in England. I had no bike, and I did very little running. However, I walked up a big hill with the kids, and Robbie learnt to ride his bike without the stabilisers!

August was the month we moved from Scotland to the South of England. It was so hectic and busy I only ran 10.6 miles the whole month.

In September I did my first running from our new house and bought a new bike! I also did another race - 'The Big 10K' in Bexhill. My time was nothing to write home about, but Robbie and Emma had a great time at the children's 500m race. I started running with local club Hailsham Harriers.

In October I really put my mind to running more. I ran 57 miles in total, did 3 sessions with the club, increased my long run to 7.4 miles, and did a lot of exploring on my bike. Oh, and I threw away my insoles - progress!

In November I got a cold, and did a lot less cycling. I ran my longest run for the whole year - 8 miles - and found my speed was improving.

December was a pretty excellent month. It started with a 5K PB at the Worthing Christmas Cracker race. I ran 57.2 miles in total - joint highest with October - and really enjoyed my running. We also finally got a buyer for the flat in Scotland, which was a huge relief!

So this is what 2011 looked like in mileage. The grey is cycling and the red is running. I can't tell you how much fun I had making this lovely bar chart. Anyway, you can see that I made good progress with the running from March onwards, until moving house put things back a bit in July and August. I'm really pleased with my progress since September, and I'm just so glad I'm running regularly again.

That's 481.5 miles cycled; 405.3 miles run, and perhaps most importantly, 58,134 calories burned in 2011! That's loads of biscuits, woo-hoo! Imagine how fat I'd be if I hadn't done any exercise!

Although I only ran 4 races last year, they were really enjoyable, and although I only ran 8 miles as my longest run, I'm looking forward to building on that distance this month. My number one goal for 2012 is just to keep on running...


  1. Great summary-- I am love your bar chart! It's always fun to see miles charted out like that. Great job building your mileage base back up--I'm excited to see what 2012 will hold for you!

  2. I'm a big fan of charts & graphs! You certainly finished off strong. Good luck continuing on into the new year!

  3. For the most part, you progressively got better each month, that's great! I wish you bunches of happy, healthy miles in 2012!!!

  4. Some years you just have to change your definition of success. One year it might be completing a marathon and the next it can be battling through injury. My definition of a successful year now is that I'm still out there giving it a go. (And burning a few calories certainly doesn't hurt)

  5. Congrats to you for turning a challenging year into a successful one! I so admire you for pushing through the obstacles. I do love your snazzy chart!
    Here's to an amazing 2012!
    PS: I well remember the English weather--we lived in the Birmingham area for 2 years. Damp and drizzly! : )

  6. So, runningwise you finished the year on a high, which is great. Wish I knew how to make a bar chart, but on current form I probably wouldn't enjoy looking at it!
    Looking forward to reading of your achievements in 2012.

  7. Wow! Cool graph - and you ended up finishing the year very positively! So I wish you all the best for 2012 and lots of good running!