2018 was a very successful year on a personal and work front, but flickered out despite some early promise from a running point of view. This article washes up the year that has just gone, and sets the scene for 2019.
In looking back over the year, inevitably there will be goals that have not been achieved, and disappointments along the way. In mulling over those components of the year that have not gone well it is important to remember to recognise the successes that have been achieved along the way.
At the beginning of the year it was not completely clear to me how I would progress within the business that I work for. There was a loose plan for the year in which I created a niche that best utilised my skills. Ultimately this created other opportunities, and I achieved far more than I thought possible at the outset.
This did not come cheaply, though the principal cost to me was one of time, and that goes a long way to explaining some of the areas where I have not achieved everything that I wanted to.
On a personal level the year was a very successful one too. We finally found ourselves sufficiently settled to justify buying our own house, and managed to dispose of my property, uplift ourselves, and move our lives across the pennines to Burnley.
Of course given the time constraints caused by, in particular, my lack of work life balance, that move was not easy – although fortunately it happened before I picked up more responsibilities in the autumn.
The move brought some other benefits. In particular our house is much more suited (and sized) to ourselves, and to our rather large collection of canine and avian children. This makes our home lives easier, and it makes it easier for me to get out to train. Our new location adjacent to the Leeds Liverpool canal also leans itself very well to training, and I picked up at Cannondale CAADX cyclocross bike which has been put to good use cross training alongside the canal.
Any goals for the year were rather loose, although broadly I would have liked my weight to have come down during the year, to have raced effectively at marathon level, and to have set a path towards racing ultramarathon distance again in 2019.
There were some successes early in the year. A very promising start was followed by a disruptive house move, and when I did return to training I was not as light, efficient or as fast as just 6 weeks prior – and it took most of the summer to get close to those performances again. Then I assumed additional responsibilities at work, that in combination with my own failure to compartmentalise my time effectively meant that my training year ended in October.
My inner non-conformist usually tries to avoid the customary resolution setting at this time of the year – though given everything that I have set out above it would be helpful to set out what I am looking to achieve this year and beyond.
I will be looking to race a marathon towards the end of 2019, beating the 3:55 time that I recorded at Barcelona in 2014. I suspect that will be the Chester Marathon, supported by a structured series of half marathon, 10km and parkrun races through the year.
Importantly I will also be looking to continue cycling, and also using Freeletics to improve core strength and flexibility, for effective cross training. I have also brought my race bike back from Spain, and am planning to spend some time riding on road again.
At the last count my weight was 184lbs – that is the equal highest it has ever been, and a 10lb gain on the lowest point in 2018. I will be looking to reduce this to 161lbs through the year via training and improved diet.
I am going to focus entirely on learning Python and the Django framework, and I will complete all 3 sections of the ‘Real Python’ course which I own in 2019. One of the ways that I will entrench that will be to begin building a specific piece of compliance software I have been planning for some time.
With the exception of my ‘MacRetro’ Retrogaming project, which is fairly successful at organically attracting traffic, I have started to merge all of my other interest topics into this site. As well as articles about running, I will also be writing here about our antics exploring the country, about investing, about managing health & safety on a technical level (I have been planning to write course guides for some time), and about my progress with Real Python through the year.
To carry on building our home together here in Burnley, and also try to better manage time so that things are a little more controlled, a little more relaxing. We have made some progress in producing our own food – and that is something we would both like to do more of going forward.
2018 was a very successful year on most levels – but my training and health have suffered to some degree – and I have big plans for 2019 to turn that around – key points:
- Marathon PB.
- Explore more.
- Weight to 161lb (11st 7lb) and maintain.
- Learn Python properly.
- Write guides to health and safety management for new and aspiring practitioners.
- Talk about how I am doing with the above much more regularly here (and adding much more value with it).
Hello, 2019. Sláinte!