Tuesday, 31 December 2013

My 2013 review...

Here we are.  Another year draws to a close.  Exactly three years to the night I made myself a vow to take better care of myself and to get as fit as I possibly could.

2011 was a good start.  2012 was better.  2013 took it to another level altogether.

Here's my final 2013 stats:

The Final 2013 Stats as per Garmin Connect

The main aim at the start of 2013 was to mix things up this year.  As most of you will know, cycling was my main stay for the previous two years but I was determined to do things differently this year, cross training between running, cycling and Gym sessions.

I achieved what I wanted to do.  I reduced my cycling time and increased the time I've spent running and the time I've spent in the Gym, to increase my fitness and improve my body shape.

In total for 2013, I trained for 338hrs (14 days), burning 251k calories in the process (the equivalent of burning 896 Mars Bars).

I can now say I'm a runner as well as a cyclist.  This year I spent a total of just short of 159 hours running 1,055 miles, burning 162k calories.

In April, I smashed my Half Marathon PB set back in 2008... by a huge margin of 48 minutes...

From running 2:45:06 back in 2008 to running a sub 2hr HM in 1:56:29 was probably the highlight of my year.  In the 14 months that I've been running again, I've also brought my 10k PB down from 1:06:36 to 51:42.  Here's to finally smashing the 50:00 10k in 2014.

From a running perspective, I'm chuffed that I took the plunge to join Plumstead Runners back at the beginning of February.  My running has improved ever since and I cant imagine my Wednesday nights without them now.  What a great bunch of people.  A huge thanks to Graham, Paul, Jim, Mary, Siobhan, Julie, Robin and a few others that have made me feel very welcome.

Cycling-wise, its been a mixed year for me.  I started on fire and was riding out of my skin, had a massive fall out with the chairwoman of my then cycling club and I was really given no alternative but to get out.  I have to say its the best thing I ever did.

Riding at pace is the way forward.  Fitness-wise, you wont get anywhere stopping for cake and coffee every 20 miles or so.  Each to their own though.  It wasnt for me.  I rode London to Brussels (via Amsterdam) in May and it was an absolute breeze and at no point did my body feel like it was being stressed.  The hardest thing was dealing with the hangover on the last day after spending a night on the sauce with my old Uni pal Imran.  What a fab night that was.

Unfortunately, on return from Brussels, I developed tendonitis of the patella tendon which left me unable to cycle for a good 2-3 months which put paid to my chance of riding the inaugral RideLondon100, which I had been so looking forward to.  I learnt a long time ago that the disappointments make you stronger.

Sadly, as you will be able to see from this, I've only completed two road rides since July, mainly because of the tendonitis...

I've got mixed feelings about cycling at the moment to be perfectly honest.  No doubt when I get back on Hayley again, I will wonder what took me so long to take her for a ride again but until then, I'm enjoying my running far too much.  What with marathon training in progress now, I cant see how I can fit both in side by side so I'll just have to take it week by week for now.  However, as you can see, I dont think it will take me too long to get back in the saddle.

2013 was also the year of taking the Gym seriously for me too.  I joined the Gym back in 2012 but never really took to it and it hit the back burner until Chandra finally persuaded me to go back and I havent looked back since.  Take out the cardio work in the Gym, I completed 90 sessions over 73 hours dedicated to strength training and toning up this wrecked body of mine and you can really see the difference it has made now.

So fitness-wise, despite a couple of injuries, 2013 has been my best yet.

2013 has been pretty good in terms of the rest of my life too.  My relationship with Isabelle gets better and better.  She's turning into one hell of a daughter.  I cant begin to describe how proud of her I am.  I guess part of me will always feel like I've let her down what with seeing her parents split up at such a young age but I want her to grow up and be proud of her Dad too and hopefully she is.  I want her to grow up and see me as one of her mates, not just her Dad. 

My relationship with my parents has got better too.  I've always been a stubborn b*stard and tend to go off like a bull in a china shop at times but I've learnt to bite my tongue and be more patient.  I guess I'm beginning to grow up a little.  Blimey, never thought I'd hear myself say that.

My bruv's had an ok year health-wise too.  A few wobbles here and there but he's getting there.  That makes me very happy indeed.

2013 should also be remembered as the year I kicked depression into touch.  Keeping myself busy and focused on my fitness has meant for the first time in years, the darkness of impending doom hasnt come to visit.  Long may that continue.

Other 2013 highlights: My dear friends Yatin and Vanessa aka the Posh & Becks of Docklands got married.  Ah bless, such a lovely couple.  Chandra & Sophie's little man Rhys has made us all smile an awful lot.  I have to say I havent really seen a lot of anyone else.  Weekdays are dominated by work, weekends are dominated by Isabelle, leaving not a lot of time for anything else, sadly.  That really has to improve next year.

Love life, non-existent.  How many dates have I had this year?  3 maybe 4, cant remember now.  1 was great, the others not so.  I still find it amazing that when I was almost 18st, I was swatting the ladies off like flies and now I'm looking bloody fabulous, I cant get a date.  Haha, I'll never be able to work the ladies out.  Here's hoping for a change in luck sometime soon.

As for Spurs.  Hot and cold.  Missed out on CL by a point but had our best ever PL season in terms of points won.  Sold our best player for a world record fee.  Have struggled to find some consistency since.  Started the season ok but two hammerings saw AVB sacked and replaced with Tim Sherwood.  I hope 2014 brings some consistency and stability, what we all long for.

Generally, as years go, 2013 was the best for a while.  Here's hoping 2014 brings further contentment.  I can live without a winning lottery ticket as long as my family and friends are healthy and happy.  That would do me nicely.

So, Objectives & Targets for 2014:

1) Complete the Paris Marathon on 06/04/2014 (preferably in sub 4:00 but we'll see!)
2) Finally run a sub 50:00 10k.
3) To see some more of my friends (and get a resemblance of a social life again)
4) To get back out on Hayley again...
5) If Paris goes well, maybe look at doing another (or a few more!)

To be continued...

(The first person to say 6 - get a girlfriend gets a slap!)

Before signing off, I'd like to say a huge special thanks to Chandra, Rich W and Reuben for keeping me sane at all times, the pep talks, putting the world to rights with me and sharing god knows how many pints with me over the space of the last year.  Not sure what I'd do without you guys.

Here's to a healthy and happy 2014

JB :)

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