My 2015 Running year in review Part 1 – January to June

So with 2015 over I thought I’d take a look back at how my year of running has gone. This will probably be pretty boring for most, but I’ll find it interesting (I LOVE STATS)

January 2015
Runs – 5
Distance – 36.2 km

January started without any real goals, tho I was looking to get back out and do a couple of 10ks with the intention of getting under the hour.  Our first run of the tear was what will hopefully become a regular tradition from now on – the New Years day parkrun. We did South Manchester and Marple parkruns in over 30 minutes. Martin was still recovering from his shoulder surgery but as Superman he was still running.

FE0DEDBB-BE12-4C22-AB80-5E9C3CD68313Aside from the new years parkrun it was an uneventful month, most of our runs were Parkruns, aside from a single midweek jaunt with what would become the PRATs. We also had out first ever run at Pennington Flash – one of the most horrible courses in my opinion with winds swirling and one of our worst times since March 2014 finishing in 36:10.

After Jan 17th we wouldnt run again till Feb 14th, mainly due to illness and a holiday to Philadelphia where I would get engaged to Rach but more importantly did this


February 2015
Runs – 7
Distance – 34.4 km

After the holiday I was ill again, so it took till the 14th to get my first run in for over a month, with our first ever run at Warrington parkrun. As you can see I looked delighted to be back


As I started running again I had pain in my calves which I started to struggle with. We’d signed up for a 10k in March on the 8th so I knew I needed to get back, but I was finding it tough with Parkrun times hovering over 30 minutes. I also got persuaded by Martin to return to Pennington for another go (and to steal the PB from Rach), but still hated it.

Near the end of the month there was further evidence that I NEVER look good when I run.10001429_10155256922465298_913064278438540207_n



March 2015
Runs – 7
Distance – 49.7 km

March would see me absolutely empty with confidence and struggling with the running. I was having issues with my calves getting sore and still wasnt over my illness. The Trafford 10k came and Rach absolutely smashed it, beating me by over 4 minutes with a time of 57:41. I came in at 1:01:52 and was gutted. There wasnt any way I felt I could have gone any faster though.


With me struggling I decided to celebrate Worsleys celebratory birthday parkrun as Freddie Mercury. We’d also decided to get a special medal made for “Runner of the Day” and a trophy for whoever was “Parkrun PB holder”. Rach would take the trophy

11358_10155365278550298_1964891934384639196_n 1962796_10155365278695298_7920966412038100200_nShortly after this Rach made what would become a common thing for her this year – signing me up for a race without telling me. She signed us up for the English Half Marathon in September. I celebrated a rare day off work by going for a solo training run trying to get a little mojo back, running from home to Worsley, doing the parkrun route then running home. Rach was working in the office in the house and an hour and a bit after I left she looked out the window and saw this


She signed us up for a half and I felt like this after just 11k? What were we going to do

April 2015
Runs – 14
Distance – 96.3 km

April would see our most runs in a month so far, at double any of the other months. It would also see the launch of the PRATs website. April is where I really felt like my year of running started. Intervals became a common thing, with the PRAT pyramid becoming my favourite and least favourite training schedule. Running really became fun and this was one of my new favourite pictures of us running

11124805_10155474235525298_5852055175938785370_nWe also got a chance to meet an absolute legend this month – not Martin, but a real life running hero in Sean Conway. Sean is an adventurer who has previously swam and biked the length of Britain. He was trying to complete a “triathlon” and run the length of Britain and was passing through Manchester so we decided to meet him in a local park. He’d planned his route to do a lap of the park and then go on his way.  We managed to squeeze in a Worsley wood parkrun in the morning (with me getting a PB of 29:07) and then meet up with him

2015-04-18 002 2015-04-18 009 2015-04-18 011

After we met him Martin and Dunc smashed the Marathon to bits. Maybe it was the inspiration of meeting Sean and then seeing my mates do a marathon but I suddenly was on fire with another PB the week after of 27:35 – my best run yet and smashed it out of the park. I’d finish the month by doing the PRAT pyramid for the 3rd time that month – and according to Strava getting 10k done in under an hour. Hmmm, I needed a race to get an official time

May 2015
Runs – 15
Distance – 108.9 km

With confidence high I put at risk my 2 week PB streak up against Pennington Flash…. and promptly got a course PB of 28:06. Not even Pennington could stop my high. Rach would take us on our longest ever run of 13.6km where we got chased by a dog through a farm and get us lost. The PB run would continue for another two weeks at Warrington including our 50th Parkrun (read about the journey to 50 here) where I would grab a smashing 27:00 PB. With confidence high Rach then outdid herself. Having signed us up for a half the month before she now signed us up for a Marathon – the Hell of a Hill.

We’d also take part in some pacing for Warrington Parkrun


To finish off the month I managed to get a monkey off my back. I’d been struggling with having to know that despite being able to beat the hour mark in training I hadnt yet done it in a real race. Our mate Steph was running a 10k and said her friend couldnt do it so I managed to get a last minute entry into the Crazy Cow 10k. And I smashed it


55:35 – a cracking time. What an end to the month.

June 2015
Runs – 12
Distance – 99.1 km

June saw us try a swim in the Quays. Rach loved it and said she wanted to do it more. We did it one more time this year. Nice one Rach.

We also took our first ever look at the course for our Marathon. Martin had told us many times to look at the course before we signed up but Rach was too excited, so it was good to finally see what we were up against. Heres a video from that day

If you watch the video you’ll hear me swearing a lot.

We also got a new route that became popular with us because Rach got to meet a friend


On a future run Rach would bring a couple of carrots for the horse we named Snowflake and his friend who we called Black Beauty. Black Beauty would seem to try and swallow a whole piece of carrot  without biting it, and start making coughing noises. We ran off and never saw him again. Did Rach kill a horse? Who knows???

The PRATs also managed to get their own kit


And we finished the month with a run with all our running buddies


Join me tomorrow for Part 2! Features Marathons, Half Marathons and Rachel in the nude (maybe)