1. I got high on yoga
Not only did I kick-off this year with a yoga class on the London Eye or in the clouds but I also embraced my “inner yogi” with a view from the Shard. A first for me on both accounts, I can now say that I have seen London from all angles.
2. The marathon madness continued
As in the Paris, Geneva, Kent Roadrunner, Bournemouth, Rail to Trail Newport, Rail to Trail Cuxton and A20 Path’n’Downs Marathons – that’s a total of seven marathons or 183.4 miles of marathon races. Phew, I need a drink just thinking about it. I also managed a new PB by chatting away to a fellow competitor and kissing my boyf halfway round the race. I’m not over 50 though!
3. I went off-road
And found my feet on the trails. In August, I took part in the Berghaus Trailscape – an epic multi-day event across the beautiful North York moors. I may not be able to add reading a map to my CV as my group went about 10K off-course but I can say that the race was breathtakingly beautiful. Similarly, running on the North Downs with Matt Buck’s Running Adventures in early December was the perfect escape from the City and something I’d love to do again and again.
4. Tried out the trails
In the latter part of the year, I also tried a new series of races called Trailscape – Rail to Trail. Easy to access as they are around an hour from London by train, these races put me through my paces. Hills, mud, white flags to follow and great company, trails are definitely a challenge and a whole load of fun.
5. And worked as a team for 24 hours
A bunch of running mates team up together to see how many 10K laps they can complete in 24 hours may sound like madness to you but to me it’s a weekend full of fantastic memories. Both the Adidas Thunder Run and Spitfire Scramble were fun, frantic, adrenaline-fuelled events and I loved every minute. Music festivals feature heavily on my annual to-do list but running festivals are also becoming a must on my list. Thank you to adidas, the Thunderbabes and Team Naturally Run for the ride – I had a blast.
6. I met sporting heroes
This year I ran with Haile Gebrselassie (get me) who was absolutely inspirational (and tiny). His philosphy that “Running is life, Running is medicine” rings so true. I also took the plunge with my childhood hero Duncan Goodhew. He boosted my confidence in the water and offered some fantastic tips for anyone wanting to take part in the annual Swimathon.
7. My trainers multiplied
From adidas adizeros to the Salomon SpeedCross 3W, this year I finally found a range of trainers which suit the various races that I take part in. I tend to train in the adidas boost or Asics, run road marathons in adidas zeros, tackle the hills of X country in spikes and hit the mud of the trails in Salomons. It may seem extravagant to own a variety of trainers but by swapping them around according to terrain, I’m sure I am making the most out of them and myself.
8. I was introduced to LIJA, Boom Cycle, Results with Lucy and Chia seeds
This year hot new Canadian brand LIJA caught my attention, especially a certain gold jacket that I wore continuously throughout spring, Boom Cycle became a part of my weekly routine, thanks to their new half hour lunchtime classes in Holborn, Results with Lucy also proved to be handy in terms of cross training and overall fitness, and Chia seeds were a welcome addition to my rather hit and miss diet.
9. I cycled in Carcassone, Vietnam and at the London Duathlon .
As well as traveling to Paris, Geneva and Italy, the boyf and I headed to the medieval town of Carcassone where we took advantage of the many vineyards en velo and Vietnam, where again we cycled like proper tourists in pointy straw hats. Back on UK soil, I continue to cycle to work and even participated in the London Duathlon on my ramshackle of a bike. Three times up the infamous hill was tough but the whole event was a lot of fun.
10. You met the Dynamo Mum
What a woman! Having never taken part in a race before, my 60-something mum trained so she could do the Race for Life with me. It was a real pleasure running the route with her and encouraging mum to keep going until the end. I’m so proud of the Dynamo Mum.
11. I signed up for the biggest challenge yet
In less than 100 days, I will be setting off on an adventure across the Sahara desert with everything I need on my back. This multi-stage race known as the Marathon des Sables or, to quote my Dad, “that crazy run across the sand” is daunting and exciting. As of 1 January 2015, it will be properly heads down so I can ensure that I am the best I can be but #mygoal for 2015 is to finish this challenge smiling (and hopefully dancing). I am running the Marathon des Sables 2015 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. If you would like to sponsor me, please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SaharaBecsRun
12. Love is the answer
This year has been in some ways a trial (we had no bathroom for a few months earlier on in the year, which meant I learnt very quickly where the closest gyms are in proximity to my home and also now know what Kenwood House’s toilets look like although I have never been inside the house for a look around). But in other ways, it has been absolutely magnificent.
Not only have I met some fantastic people thanks to running, many of my closest friends have become engaged and married and I have also had the pleasure of becoming an aunt for the first time. And the icing on the cake was saying “yes” to my partner of seven years and sporting my own piece of bling. We’re leaving it until 2016 as next year I have Marathon des Sables and the wedding of one of my bestest friends. The next few years are certainly looking bright and I’m enjoying just living in this moment.
As Rik Mayall, who sadly passed away this year, said in a speech to graduates at the University of Exeter:
Love is the answer