I think that this is the longest I have gone without posting since I started this blog. Perhaps it is a good thing and shows that I am no longer scared of falling back into my old ways and therefore don't feel quite the same need to make public my intentions. But that is not the only reason I have enjoyed writing this blog (er, why the past tense??). Most of all I like to think I might have helped someone else by offering up my experience but that, of course, is very difficult to know. I simply enjoy writing and this serves as a outlet just as much as the running itself does.
2014 has not been a brilliant year for me but neither has it been a bad one. As you know, I've been slightly held back by problems with my feet since April and, more than the associated frustration, it has been the sense of "mortality" and finding my own limits that has been a bit of a downer. It's not so much this disappointment of not having improved my half marathon or 10K times - after all, that has to come to a stop eventually - but rather that I have had to think about reeling in my efforts in order to be able to continue running (hopefully) well into my old age: just thinking about that is what is depressing. But I can't complain - I ran the Behobia faster than I had expected and I turned out reasonably fast and consistent (if not best) times in the various other races I did this year.
What I have realized is that I was missing a big goal to focus on this year. The good news is that I now feel ready to run the New York Marathon again and I will try to get in with a qualifying time for 2015. The only problem is that it is no longer guaranteed for time qualifiers and the standards have been relaxed somewhat, so I'll just have to be quick off the mark. I wasn't sure if I would ever feel like running the New York Marathon again, not because it was a bad experience but quite the opposite - it was so perfect that I don't want to risk disappointment or, worse, tainting the memory that I have of it. So I think it is positive that I feel I can run it again without the pressure of having to beat my best time or even having to beat any particular time.
Recently I have found my feet again running. Over Christmas I went for a couple of runs around Ciudad Real (in La Mancha) that felt very comfortable and yet one was 10K in 39 minutes and the other was 21.1K in 1:28 minutes flat. I feel in good but not peak shape: the question will be whether my feet problems return once I start preparing for a competition. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it...
Tonight I will run the San Silvestre Vallecana as I do every year but this time not just with my wife but with my whole family. As a result and also because my wife is still not fully recovered from her run in with the zombies, we will probably only run 5K or so, but the point is the party atmosphere and for the kids to experience it. My wife will be donning the octopus costume this year and I will be going as a señora de la Mancha (photos to follow).
2015 promises to be a challenging year in all respects but - I think and I hope - in a good way. So, in that spirit I wish you all a challenging new year and see you in 2015!!