2012 was a huge year for me, I upped sticks and moved abroad to Ireland, settled into a new job over there, went to the Olympics and ran a marathon! 2013 is going to have to go some to top that but I am determined to make it my best year yet!
I guess the biggest thing for me this year was moving to Ireland, I can’t believe it’s already been around 9 months since we moved to Dublin! March was pretty crazy what with having to pack up all our stuff to be shipped to Ireland. I also managed to have a massive sort out and gave bags and bags of stuff to charity. We moved to a temporary flat for a week while we waited for our flat to be ready to move into. It didn’t take too long to unpack everything and now we have put our own stamp on it and made it homely. We have both settled really well in the city, we love our home and the area. We would love to explore more of Ireland but we have been very busy with work so I think that that will be one of the aims for next year.
This was the first time me and Nick had properly lived together and we have made it work very well. I still need to stop my mentality that everything needs to be perfect and I have to do everything myself, as Nick is more than willing to help out around the home. Nick also made the decision to eat vegan/veggie when at home which makes it much easier as we can eat the same meals most of the time, and it’s also easier to prepare lunches. I was pretty strict with our food budget initially but in the last few months I have been pretty out of control, buying lots of organic produce and superfood supplies! Need to get a better hold of this in 2013, especially as food is ridiculously expensive in Dublin.
Fitness wise I suppose it has been a bit of a roller-coasterl, I started the year by finished the New Rules Of Lifting For Women, this was my first introduction to proper strength training and it started my love affair with lifting. Around the time I was doing NROLFW I started to take my exercise sessions a little too far- it was nothing for me to be in the gym for 2-3 hours a day-and I wasn’t even taking rest days. I completed the Llanelli half and never took any time off or easy workouts afterwards. In April I started to suffer from some pretty major burn out leading me to take a complete week without working out. Initially I did feel bad for taking days off, but post-marathon they are something I have really begun to appreciate.
Ironically after taking the week off exercise I injured my knee in my first run back and wasn’t able to run for 9 weeks, this really knocked me for six, and there were low points where I really didn’t think I would be able to run again. It was a bit of a lesson to stop taking things for granted. On my return I liberated myself from my garmin as it was sucking all the fun out of running and I now only use for tempo runs or races.
The injury coincided with me undertaking the LiveFit trainer of which the first 4 weeks contained no cardio! I loved the LiveFit trainer, I learnt so many new moves and gained so much strength. What amazed me was that despite cutting cardio out completely I didn’t gain any weight, and actually became much leaner by cutting down the cardio and increasing the strength training. The program was a long one and at times it got too intense- 6 days a week of heavy lifting alongside 4 cardio sessions was too much even for me! It left me feeling a little burned out by the last few weeks of the program. I have been repeating the program, but I am just doing 3 of the workouts each week alongside running and I have enjoyed this a lot more.
I had a big year on the racing front. I smashed my half marathon PB at the Llanelli half in March despite an awful viral infection, shaving 7 minutes off my time from the few months before at Cardiff. I also did the Phoenix Park 5 Miler in 45.36 after my extended break from running. Nick is still proudly wearing his Irish 5 Miler t-shirt that I gave to him as it was far too big me!
Marathon training was my life for 5 months of this year, I will look back on 2012 and always think: marathon! I undertook a really sensible training program, logged mile after mile, and put in some very long runs in prep for my first marathon. The Dublin Marathon was without a doubt the best thing I did in 2012, it was an awesome day, and I just soaked up the atmosphere and enjoyed the run.
I am shattered and my body is still recovering from the marathon, my feet and my knees still play up at times so I’m hoping having a few weeks of scale back time will be enough to repair my broken body! I ran 826 miles in 2012 which is a fairly decent number considering the time I took away from running.
I’ve experimented with raw foods quite a lot this year, I’ve had a few “raw only weeks”, and even done some juice/smoothie cleanses . I think overall eating high raw is where I feel my best, but I like being flexible with my eats. I do enjoy doing little juice reboots every now and again to mix things up and I will be doing a week long juice cleanse next week.
I also took a couple of trips in 2012. We spent a few days with the extended family in a beautiful house in Dunster to celebrate my mums 50th birthday. Me and Nick also took a few trips to London, one for his work and one to attend the Olympics! Watching the women’s marathon was a highlight for me. We went home a few times to visit our families and had both of our parents to stay. We also had a lovely but expensive long weekend in Oslo.
2012 has certainly been a busy but fun year. I feel like I have changed a lot and I have grown in lots of different ways. The marathon for me was my highlight, it taught me so much about myself. 2012 is going to be hard to top but I’m going to give it my best shot!