At the start of 2011 I was pulling together a marathon training plan and gearing up to run the Brighton Marathon. Training did not go to plan. I lacked motivation and couldn't find the right head space. I think this may have been down to the fact that this was my third consecutive year of marathon training and I needed a rest. Mentally mainly. In any case the net result was that I missed an awful lot of sessions and hit the start line in April woefully under prepared. I made it round the course, running the last 16 miles on what turned out to be an enormous blood blister on the bottom of my left foot. Ouch.
The very next day, I started a new job. I had been headhunted through LinkedIn and went to one of our competitors for what sounded like a fantastic opportunity. And in some ways it was. Despite the fact that I left that new job within a few months and returned to my original place of work, it was the catalyst that started the biggest change to my life this year. The new job was based in London and I had to resolve Murdoch's aggression towards other dogs so that I could get him walked while I was at work. I'd tried other trainers and behaviourists in the past, but I finally found some people that were able to help us and after six years of walking on the lead, Murdoch is finally able to run around with other dogs. I can't describe how wonderful this is, both for Murdoch and for me. For the first time, dog walking has become a sociable activity that I can do with other people rather than dragging Murdoch around by myself.
The other big thing that happened in spring was that I became an aunt for the first time. I love my niece so much and it's wonderful to see how much she has grown and changed each time I see her. She's a really cheerful little girl and always has a smile for me. She also currently loves to blow raspberries. Waterproof clothing is advised.
The summer was not so great. After not really running since the marathon, I foolishly went and did some sprint training in July straight after a 6 mile run. In hindsight [:)] this may have been a leeeeetle bit too much and I injured my heel. One heck of a lot of physio and many cumulative hours of stretching later and I have just been able to start running again over the past couple of weeks. I've signed up for #Janathon and have planned out an exercise schedule to do something every day in January - most of it running, which feels pretty exciting.
The weight issue reared its ugly head again. I've gained a lot of weight this year, partly down to the lack of running and massive lack of motivation that accompanied it and partly because I've failed to address my issues with food. But the good news is that I've started to figure a few things out about myself and I'm getting some help to figure out the rest. So as the year draws to a close, I'm in a pretty good place.
All in all it's been an interesting year and we'll have to wait and see what 2012 brings!