Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Goal Keeping

No, not of the football kind but the importance of challenging yourself and setting personal goals.  This blog, my first of 2018, is all about my aims for this year.  

The biggest change to the Aspinall household is the addition of Aggie our (now) 19 week Hungarian Vizsla.  Apart from the difficulties facing all new puppy owners - shark attacks, zoomies, toilet training... her actual basic training is coming along well.  Daily walks have brought another social dimension to my life - I talk to all manner of folk whilst Aggie assaults their canine companion and I love that she gives us family bonding time especially at weekends - we are loving getting out in the fresh air when previously we may have stayed in.  Obviously my long term goals are to run with her and train her to run with my MTB, I have been taking her to Sheffield for Gundog training which is paving the foundations of her directional commands and obedience and I have let her loose on my 8 year old as he bikes along the reservoir paths - so far so good (bar the occasional emergency stop as she runs directly in front of the wheels!).


My new RunTogether group is proving to be a big success! I have 15 ladies on my books  all doing really well and even meeting up outside of sessions.  I feel really proud seeing my two groups of ladies - summer and winter cohorts all running from the school car park, meeting outside of sessions and making life changes - it's brilliant to see!  As far as coaching goals go, I am hoping to complete the Fell Coach in Run Fitness Qualification this summer, which would enable me to offer more in depth coaching to individuals and groups.

Since my hip injury and slow rehabilitation into running I have finally started racing again and it feels great!
In January I completed three runs which offer a race atmosphere without the pressure of a real race.  I cannot stress enough how useful parkruns are as a training tool.  we are very lucky to have Lyme Park on our doorstep which is basically a fell race in parkrun packaging.  Here are my times so far...
Buxton AC 5km park run - 4th lady, 24:03
Lyme Park parkrun 20/1/18 - 2nd lady, 25:53
Lyme Park parkrun 27/1/18 - 3rd lady, 25:48
Racing encourages me to try harder, it increases my fitness and fulfills the mantra of "train to race, race to train".  
I feel so much better mentally now I have more focus, I have really missed it.  

My racing aims for 2018 are to compete in the Hayfield Fell Championship (2 races have already been run) where I will complete at least 4 races, with 1 of each distance...

  1. Kinder Downfall - Sun, 22nd Apr (Medium)
  2. May Queen - Fri, 18th May (Short)
  3. Mount Famine - Sat, 19th May (Short)
  4. Lantern Pike Dash - Sun, 20th May (Short)
  5. Kinder Trog - Sun, 24th Jun (Long)
  6. Cracken Edge - Wed, 1st Aug (Medium)
  7. Lantern Pike - Sat, 15th Sep (Short)
I am hoping to do a couple of sprint triathlons and some local duathlons as well.

I really utilised my bike last year what with my hip injury, and I am keen to complete a few sportives again this year including the Manchester to Blackpool and the Grindleford Goat, plus some longer flatter rides to challenge myself.  
I will continue to have MTB training with Charlie Evans which is really useful and most importantly fun to hopefully develop my confidence and skills on the trails.

All in all I seem to have many goals, but I believe everyone needs to have something to aim for - so what are you waiting for - challenge yourself!

I have been saving up for a running vest backpack and after 2 failed attempts I have finally got myself the right model and size!  I have bought the Ultimate Direction PB 3.0 - it is fabulous (if not a bit pricey) and I cant wait to test it at Kinder Downfall in April.  
I have also bought some Inov-8 X-Claw 275s which are so far very cushioned but with a mudclaw-esque sole.  I will review both products in my next blog.  

Happy Running!

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