When I look back on 2017 and the things it brought about, I have a mixture of thoughts and feelings. I completed things I never thought I would even attempt, the biggest of all being the London Marathon. 4 months of training in cold & dark winter months, travelling to different areas for amazing runs with family, a hip injury with 6 weeks of physio to overcome – it all lead to me finishing my first marathon in a time of 4 hours 41 minutes. The pride I feel even now, almost a year later, is something that will never fade.
I travelled – a holiday to La Palma in the Canary Islands. A beautiful destination involving a week of relaxation, eating amazing food and discovering amazing rainforests, waterfalls and rum distilleries! Alongside this, I spent time visiting beautiful areas of the UK – close to home like the lovely Isle of Wight & Arundel and travelling further afield to Wales & the Lake District.
I also moved house to a gorgeous area of the Essex countryside, where I can be happy spending as much time outside as I do in. I finally have my dream garden, luckily surrounded by farmland and fields galore, where I’ve been able to start planning a veggie plot – something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at.
And most importantly, I met some incredible people and grew closer to those already in my life. Family and friends really do make everything better.
Overall, 2017 was a pretty fulfilling year. Although that’s not to say everything went smoothly. Amongst the highlights there were always going to be lows. There were many times when work was tough & upsetting, where things in my personal life didn’t go to plan and times when people hurt me or I hurt them. However, I’m a big believer that the bad experiences change you as a person and without them I’m sure my 2018 would be looking completely different!
So, moving on from all that….
What has 2018 got in store for me?
Well, call me crazy but I’m actually back into the first week of training for the VM London Marathon 2018. It’s a long, hard slog but the progress I’ll see and the excitement of the big day in April will keep me going. What I loved about last year’s training and event was I realised how hard I could push my body – despite an injury and complete lack of motivation I actually did it!
There won’t be any break after the marathon though as I’ll be continuing training for a Tough Mudder event, something I’ve always wanted to do and was finally convinced to sign up to towards the end of last year. I’ll be doing it alongside two of my closest friends and I absolutely can’t wait.
Alongside these two big challenges in the first 6 months of the year, I’ve got lots of trips planned too. I’m hoping to get to the Lakes a few times, and am looking forward to trying my hand at a bit of wild camping- I’ll be waiting until the weather is warmer for that though! I also have 2 weeks of annual leave at the end of April and the Isle of Skye is looking very tempting. But then again, so is Killarney National park in Ireland. Decisions, decisions!
There are also some things I’m keeping to myself currently- a girl has to have some secrets!
Overall, if I were to think about what I want most from 2018, it’s adventure. My passion for exploring and getting outside got a bit lost through my uni years and now I’m more settled in my job and life, I’m excited to properly get back into it. But if I were to think about the other things I want to do this year…
1. Spend more time focusing on the positives.
2. Travel to new places.
3. Improve my fitness & maintain it through the year.
4. Continue to challenge & further myself in my career.
5. Build quality friendships and relationships that provide mutual happiness.
6. Inspire people to spend their free time looking after themselves and getting outside.
7. Smile more.
With all that in mind, here’s to a great year. Keep smiling, people!