It's the new year and therefore it's time for new resolutions, new goals, and new adventures. However, I've been holding off on making any decisions about what these resolutions, goals, and adventures might look like because I have no idea what, if anything, my knee is going to be able to handle. Just because it's all going well at the moment - I'm up to 6.5 miles for my long run and 13.5 miles in total for the week with no adverse effects while running and only minor stiffness and discomfort afterwards - doesn't mean that it won't all come to a screeching, ripping, tearing halt when I least expect it. But, as Julie the Physio and Adam have both said (independently of each other, so therefore it must be true), 'You'll never know until you try.'
So, with that ringing endorsement, I've made some decisions based on what I would like this year's theme to be. If last year's guiding mantra was Fun Running, this year's will be Feel the Fear and Have Fun Anyway (or, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time). I have realised over the last couple of years that I have a lot of running related fears - some grounded in reality, some only in my head - and I would like this year to be the year that I address at least some of them. With that in mind, here are the races that I'll be doing in 2015:
The Glenlivet 10k: 12th April. This is an undulating road race. As I think I've said before, I tend to avoid hills in case I tear a calf on the way up and blow out my knee on the way down. I'm also paranoid now about running on the road in case that makes my knee worse, and this will be the first race that I'll have done post-knee injury so I'm already apprehensive about how my knee will hold up.
Balmoral 10k: 25th April. Part tarmac and part trail through the grounds around Balmoral Castle. And there apparently is a killer hill half-way. Trails, hills, and only two weeks after the previous race...this race tackles three fears for the price of one.
Grasmere Gallop: 6 June. A 17k trail race that, from my reading of various race reports, has lots and lots of very serious hills. I felt nervous just reading about it and am already convinced that I will be last across the finish line. But Cathy and Paul are doing it too, and Bassman and I will make it into a week's holiday, so even if the worst happens during the race, I'll still have fun things to look forward to.
Loch Ness Marathon: 27 September. Because I have unfinished business with this distance (yes, London Marathon, I'm talking about you). And because the Loch Ness Marathon was the first marathon that I ever trained for and the first of several that I did not start because of a calf tear. And because five days after this, I will be 55 and this seems like a good way to celebrate a significant birthday as well as to celebrate having come full circle to achieve the dream that got me into more serious running in the first place.
I look at that list and, despite feeling nervous about what lies ahead, I also feel happy about my choices. I could have done the same kind of races that I did last year, but where's the challenge in that? It's time to push my limits a bit, and you're invited to come along with me on the journey!