Challenges Other Race Reports

Look back on 2017

Written by kjhughes

So, 2017 was a mixed year for me. It kinda started out well and then went downhill.

Some decent training miles and some rare consistency through Dec 16 and Jan 16 saw me get to the start of the Thames Trot in Feb, in decent shape.
Having worked on the endurance side of things, I managed a 40 minute PB on that course and could (possibly) have been near a 60 minute PB if I hadn’t had to stop to attend a blister at Goring.
Thames Trot 2017 Race Report here.

I was trying to do the ‘Run Until You Drop’ challenge where you run a mile for each day of the month in Feb (e.g. 1 mile on the first, 2 miles on the second etc), but only got to day 11 this year (managed day 15 the year before) – but I don’t think this works for me as I lose motivation for a couple of weeks after stopping (same happened last year).
Anyway, I did manage to get back into thing around the second week of March and had couple of weeks easy training before lining up at the inaugral Testway Ultra – 44 miles from Coombe Gibbet (a 15 mins drive from home) heading directly South to Totton near Southampton.
I wasn’t too sure about it, as I was suffering from a bit of a niggle with my Achillies, but it held up to the first few miles pain free so I just cracked on…
This was a great race that I really enjoyed, even if I did take a little 5 mile detour loop just after the 15 mile checkpoint. I was happy with my 9hrs 20min finish considering the detour.
Testway Ultra Race Report here

Training for the next 3 weeks was only around 20 – 25 miles/week as I was in taper mode for the Thames Path 100. I had this race slotted as my ‘A’ race for the year.
I’ve tried (and failed) the TP100 3 times previously – each time getting to around 75 miles. This year I wanted a finish, no matter what.
The plan was basically, get to Henley (51 miles) in 9 – 9.5 hours, try an keep 4-5 mph pace for the next 25 and then just grind out the last 25 – hopefully fast enough to get a sub 24 hour finish.
I reached Henley in 9:44, so not too far off pace, made it to Reading (59/60 miles) by 12 hours, so was still on track, but then things went downhill – lower half of my body just ached, and I couldn’t keep anything faster than ~3mph going.
As I said before, I wanted to finish no matter what – so the next 40 miles were ground out at a painfully and frustratingly slow 3mph pace, over 14 hours to finally finish this race (in a slower than hoped 26:11).
Thames Path 100 Race Report here

From this point in the year (end of April) training was spotty and sporadic, with only a handful of miles per week. The one exception being one of the Pheonix 6 Hour Timed events that I did at the start of June. Blisteringly hot that day, but I held on for 8 laps, covering just over marathon distance and getting a really cool Indiana Jones medal – my favourite bit of bling to date.

We took a family holiday to one of the Greek islands in late July, and on my birthday (30th) I treated myself to a hilly 10 miler. Really enjoyed it, but it was probably too far and too hilly for the level of fitness then, and sure enough I picked up a calf injury a few days later.
That was pretty much it for the year – I let myself get out of the routine, lost my ‘mojo’, however you want to describe it. I spent the rest of the early until early Dec doing 1 or 2 runs per week of 3 or 4 miles.

Right now, I’m about 10lbs heavier, and have only just got back to weeks of more than 20 miles. So, goodbye 2017, I’m looking forward to getting back on track in 2018…

About the author


Leave a Comment