It’s holiday time and I’m on a break from work for the next twelve days. I couldn’t be happier; this is the longest break I’ve had from work since I started at my current workplace which was almost three and a half years ago. I’ve been looking forward to this time for a long time now. I don’t have any major plans, after the 26th of December all my days are free so far. I prefer it that way. This year has been so incredibly busy and I never have enough time at home. I’m most looking forward to doing lots of sport and being at home watching Youtube and Netflix.
It’s the time of year for posts which review the year that’s been. I’ll create a separate post with my outfits from 2016. For now I’ll write about some other aspects of the year. I can easily say (so far) 2016 has been the best year of my life (at least my life as an adult). Prior to last year I had a number of terrible years and I’ve been through a lot in my life so because of that I am incredibly grateful. The reason for such a positive year is taking up sport again particularly swimming. It’s been my number one priority all year at the expense of anything else. I had a lot of very specific goals for swimming and there’s nothing I wouldn’t have done to achieve them. I accepted zero excuses from myself for missing training and racing. I became a lot tougher this year which feels like an achievement. I never say any of this to brag, I don’t think I’m particularly amazing or impressive. But I like to acknowledge the progress I have made because it proves what can be done with a dream and wanting something enough. For me this sense of dedication and purpose comes out in sport. Despite a twelve year break from swimming prior to this year, it’s a feeling I’ve never experienced in any other context of life. However, it could be from anything else for a range of people. Never stop setting goals and doing whatever it takes to achieve them.
Here’s what happened in 2016:
Tennis: three weeks ago I joined tennis club. It’s been the best decision and I look forward to it every week. It’s for three hours on Sunday morning and is very relaxed. At first I thought the easy going nature would be frustrating for me because I get really competitive with sports but actually it’s perfect. I already have swimming to be competitive about and I often feel lots of pressure from myself so tennis works out really well. My husband also joined tennis with me so it’s nice to have an activity to do together, especially since he generally hates sport.
Running: after many recurring ankle and foot injuries towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I’ve been back into running since March. With improved fitness and strength I believe my body finally got used to long distance running. I’m very grateful for that because of the problems I’ve had previously. I usually run three times a week- Tuesday mornings, Thursday nights and Saturday morning (which is Parkrun). Parkrun has been my main involvement with running. I’ve attended 35 times this year and would have more if I didn’t have conflicting swimming commitments. I can’t wait to receive the 50 Parkruns shirt which I’m aiming for around next March. I’m also aiming to come top three in the pointscore for my local Parkrun. It’s been hard since I attend a very popular Parkrun location. 5km is now my best time because it’s the only distance I race regularly. I improved my time by over seven minutes in the last year.
In July I participated in my first ever running event, the Sydney Harbour 10km. It was the best experience and I enjoyed the atmosphere of being a part of it. My background is in swimming and not running so I felt a self of achievement completing the event. It motivated me to complete three more running events for the year and I’m intending to do others next year.
Next was the City to Surf in August which was a 14km run from the city to Bondi Beach. It’s a hugely popular event with over 67 000 finishers. It was an incredibly tough course because of the terrain. A significant part of the course was up hill which I didn’t expect, in addition to a huge hill in the middle. In the end I got through it.
In September I participated in my first ever half marathon at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. I’d been considering a half marathon for a couple of months but wasn’t sure if the goal to run 21.1km was just too big. I couldn’t get the idea of a half marathon out of my mind so that’s why I knew I’d give it a go. I didn’t have a time specific goal but just wanted to run the entire course. I achieved that and finished in 2:03.51. I’d definitely be up for more half marathons and I’m considering two next year. I am set on getting under 2 hours next time. Prior to a month before I’d never run 10km. I didn’t do any specific training for the event and was lucky enough to be able to rely on swimming training and have a good overall fitness level.
The final running event I participated in for the year was the Western Sydney 10km in October. It was a great event by Western Sydney and so nice not to have to get into the city, the less crowds and much more space was appreciated. Knowing it was the last one for the year I put in maximum effort and went out for a best time. I was very happy with 52 minutes, 43 seconds for the 10km.
Swimming is big enough for its own post so I’ll have that up soon.
What have you achieved in 2016?