With January comes the irresistible chance to think ahead, set new goals and dream of completing exciting challenges. It’s perfect – the turning of a new calendar page full of blank open spaces. And if you’re anything like me – you love it! A new year holds many exciting opportunities.
In an article for the most recent edition of the Hawaii Sport Magazine I outlined three guidelines to help with New Year’s resolution setting, which included:
- Thinking long term, taking the lifestyle approach rather than setting goals for just 2017. This is harder than it sounds. I’m trying to establish a writing routine that I hope will serve me for the next few years, not just a few weeks. It has proven elusive in previous years and so my new approach is to be less rigid and just start by taking small steps day by day. Writing 100-500 words per day is ‘do-able’ rather than struggling to hit 1,000.
- Scrapping anything with specific numerical values. This might sound crazy, and contrary to the numbers I just stated, but I didn’t break 3 hours in the marathon until I stopped thinking about it – and started doing the required training day-in-day-out. This year I also have to not worry about pace/ time/ distance as a pregnant runner. It’s a new and unique challenge but one that so far I’m embracing and enjoying more than I expected!
- Recruiting a team. It’s very difficult to set new targets and develop routines alone. Training groups can be a great help, and I always look forward to Tuesday night runs with the Windward Training Freaks and Wednesdays with the Lanikai Juice Running Club crew – even if I’m just going to trot along at the back of the pack. The camaraderie makes the effort worth it.
As part of point 1 above, and creating a long term writing habit, is this yearly review. I’ve never written a recap of a year for longrunergy before but because one of my 2017 goals is to write more, I’m allowing it to include blog posts, articles, reviews – all sorts! This is all part of a bigger attempt to finish a book about Retracing Routledge… but more about that later.
2016 was an incredible year. I think we can all agree it was one for the records.
Personally it included many times of reflection on the cycle of life and death. Sorry – I know that might sound deep for a running & yoga website, and I will spare you from overly introspective meanderings but the loss of my Grandmother and the passing away of a friend – followed by the discovery of our own pregnancy acted as a catalyst, which I’m sure you can understand. Let’s just say this: life is a shooting star.
When it came to running, I felt stronger than ever (which at times puzzled me but I concluded it was due to the steady accumulation of miles, strength & conditioning work, and yoga over the last four or so years since moving to live in Hawaii full-time). It all goes back to point 1 again – thinking long-term. It led to a personal best on the Great Aloha Run course, where I finished 2nd woman and then in April a second ground breaking run (personally speaking) in the Hapalua half marathon. I didn’t do quite as much trail running as I might have liked but managed to sneak a win in the inaugural Quad Crusher race organised by the HURT gang, who’s 2017 race series is out now – see HERE. In the summer I ran a 5km in Tucson (18:36) and a 10km in Darlington, UK (37:06). It was not long after that I realised our pregnancy hopes had clicked and I therefore began to make the changes necessary to ensure my body was in the best shape for growing a placenta and a baby, rather than setting personal records! I put energy into coaching high school cross-country and private clients, teaching yoga and at the end of the year also took part in the Xterra Trail Running Champs.
In the running community there was much to celebrate. Internationally many eyes were on the lead up to the Rio Olympics: which elite athletes were qualifying for what and where. When the Olympics finally opened they provided much inspiration, but also great sadness when drug cheats and doping scandals made the headlines more often than stories that celebrated the true spirit of the Games. Luckily the games were saved for me by Oiselle athlete Kate Grace in the 800m and also all the women running in the marathon. Both distances require such stamina and strength, but yet in such differing ways – the mind boggles at the abilities, and potential of the human being!
On Oahu the Windward Training Freaks (WTFs) grew from a committed 6 or 7 to at least an energetic 12-15. The WTFs group was first started about 5 years ago when a collection of people (all living on the windward side of Oahu) wanted to run quality workouts together. We are just simply trying to keep that ethos going. It’s a fun and rewarding group to be a part of and if you want to join in just turn up to Kailua High School’s track on Tuesdays at 5pm (or 5:15pm in the spring & summer).
When it comes to 2017 there are a number of projects I’m excited to be working on and one that I’m really looking forward to expanding is longrunergy coaching.
Why coaching and why now?
The first time I ever really coached another runner was in high school. I worked for my local town council as a summer instructor, helping younger children develop athletic skills on the local track and we all had a great time. From that point onwards there has always been an element of helping other runners as part of my own running endeavours. ‘Coaching’ might have been a strong word when I sketched up a plan for a fellow student to follow, or made suggestions as the cross-country teams’ captain at Newcastle University – but I always enjoyed it and took up the challenge without doubts. In Hawaii I have coached at the high school level and found much joy in seeing the team progress. I have also had great fun coaching at running camps and workshops, and have realised that running is such a huge part of my life now is a good time to share and apply everything that I’ve learnt so far to the wider community.
In 2016 I starting working with a handful of runners privately but this year, with a plan to work more from home to accommodate a new member of the family, I am opening up more availability and hope to work with a wider range of athletes. If you’re interested in building a foundation for sustainable fitness and health based around running, with added yoga, and would like to establish a ‘workable’ routine for either competitive or non-competitiveness – then drop me a line. I’m available for a free initial consultation to discuss your personal goals for 2017 and your long-term dreams. Read more about specific packages and pricing via this page: COACHING.
A new project that I’m stoked to be collaborating on is Hawaii Trail Running and the North Shore Trail Running Camp – March 22-26, 2017 Working with Lindsay Annis Bliss and Malory Peterson together we have scheduled a 5 day, 4 night camp experience for trail runners of all abilities at the YMCA camp on the North Shore of Oahu. Why? To give people a chance to focus on trail running and all the details that go into trail running as a pursuit whilst having a great time exploring, and then relaxing on Oahu! We’re elated that Billy Barnett from the Big Island (elite trail running dude) will be joining us, along with Mariane Uehara (nutritionist and Ironman athlete), to offer their expertise and advice. Also in the line up are running form and trail technique sessions, epic trail runs, yoga, a movie night, camp fires and s’mores and plenty more! The YMCA is located right on the beach and has amazing views of the mountains. It’s a 3mile run from there to Ka’ena Point, and also within a runnable distance are miles of trails in the western Waianae mountains.
The super-observant, social media savvy amongst you may have noticed that I also created @27point2 on Instagram… All I can say at this point is watch this space for future announcements.
Finally, before I go (thanks for reading so far!!) – Retracing Routledge. Last year at this point the exhibition in Darlington was drawing to a close and I had started writing up my diaries from the expedition. And I’ve nearly finished that part – they just need some serious editing before I dare an unleashing, and it’s taking longer than I had anticipated. For those who might be interested in the full account of our journey from England to Rapa Nui, a little more time is required before it will be ready for your eyes! Thanks for your patience.
Until then – let’s get to work. Here’s to a fulfilling 2017.
“Don’t shoot for the stars – we already know what’s there.
Shoot for the space in between – that’s where the mystery lies.”
Vera Rubin (with thanks to Melissa White for sharing the quote).