I’m not great at looking back, for me life ends up being a relentless push forward – the desire to move on, complete and achieve the next thing means I don’t do a lot of the whole Throwback Thursday thing (as posting this Blog on a Friday proves).

So off the back of my previous blog posts about goal setting and the year ahead, I thought it would be worth reflecting on what has been achieved in 2018 and then how this will shape my year ahead.

So, what did I achieve?

The Challenges

South Coast Sprint – 391 miles cycled solo from Dover, Kent to St Austell, Cornwall over two days. The plan had been to complete the challenge over two consecutive days in April, but after falling off without unclipping on the outskirts of Southampton I damaged the bike and was unable to continue beyond Poole, Dorset. I regrouped and returned to complete the challenge two weeks later, with help from the ever helpful guys at British Bike Hire. The challenge took a total of 29 hours and featured a leg buckling 20,000 feet of climbing, 80% of which came on the second day.

Sunrise over the Dorset Coast, with the bike loaned from British Bike Hire

Pure Three Peaks – 450 miles cycled and 27 miles walked up and between the UK’s three highest peaks – Ben Nevis, Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon, Wales, in just 3 days. A truly classic challenge with a twist, this tested the limits of my endurance and resolve, but the final climb as the sun set over Snowdon made the pain worthwhile.

At the summit of Snowdon, completing the Pure Three Peaks Challenge

5 Cities Challenge – 290 miles cycled solo from London to Paris, which is you’ll admit only 2 cities, as opposed to the 5 it should have been. The challenge was to cycle further on to Luxemburg, Brussels and Amsterdam, however a stomach bug cut the effort short and I was too unwell to continue beyond Paris.  

Welsh 3000’s – the challenge that never happened. Sometimes life throws a few curve balls and unfortunately personal circumstances meant the challenge couldn’t go ahead. This is a big boyhoods dream, so 2019 this is happening!

7in7 Challenge – 220 miles ran from Liverpool to Reading, dressed Batman, Captain America, Spiderman and Superman. This challenge was a homage to Make-A-Wish UK who granted their first wish in 1986 to Anthony from Liverpool, so running from that city to their new home in Reading, Berkshire seems fitting. Having only run 1 marathon up to this point, running an average of 32 miles a day for 7 days was a whole new level of pain and suffering.

Superheroes was the theme for the 7in7 Challenge

At this point I just want to give credit and my whole hearted thanks to the companies who helped to make 2018 epic and allow me to take these things on for a Charity I love.

Firstly my sponsors – Active Root, Mybikeandi, Empower Psychology and Oracle Electrical Installations Ltd – who funded me, provided kit and nutritional goodness.

Secondly those people who kept me going, in one form or another – British Bike Hire, for loaning me a carbon road bike and Phil at Amersham Sports Massage, who’s therapy, bike fitting and advice has been invaluable.

Lastly, to everyone who has supported Make-A-Wish and I – whether it was through donations or messages and comments. You’ve helped to change the lives of children facing critical illnesses and that is an amazing thing. There is more to come in 2019, so keep your eyes peeled!

Running goals

So, alongside the challenges I wanted to keep the running up and see what PB’s I could hit, the goals and my end result are as follows;

Sub 20 – 5k                               20:43

Sub 50 – 10k                             43:43

Sub 1:40:00 – HM                   1:35:57

I took part in a handful of events – 4 races, 2 virtual runs, 1 tower run and 1 fun run.

Life goals

At the end of 2017 I’d decided there needed to be a bit more than just the ‘selfish’ running goals in my life and set about trying to challenge myself in other ways.

The Adventure Bus – bit of a damp squib that one. So, the car exploded and I had the idea of converting a van to camper, to allow me and the girls to pack up and have little overnight adventures. Well the van I bought wasn’t great and after shelling out hundreds of pounds on repairs, I put that dream on ice for a while.

Befriending – after spending 9 days largely alone on my JOGLE challenge i felt that offering some support to those suffering from isolation and loneliness would be a nice thing to do. I genuinely struggled to make this work around my time and schedule with the girls and couldn’t offer the commitment needed.

Young Enterprise – I attended a 1 event at a local school helping to facilitate a session around business skills. I’m still keen on doing more of these in the future, as I found it as rewarding at the young adults did.

Conclusion

Life, invariably, gets in the way – of course it’s an active choice about how much and when you sacrifice your goals. The important learning point for me has been that the 1st of January isn’t THE date to review, reflect and set new goals – I need to be doing this every day, all year long.

So, my next blog is absolutely all about 2019’s goals and how I’m already planning on achieving them

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