I think most people will be reflecting on 2016. If you haven’t then I urge you to. Since I’ve looked back I’ve discovered a few things.

The biggest lesson……. 

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

Let me explain.

I’ve hit all my targets but not all my times. I’ve got a marathon pb, a half pb, a 50k pb. I’ve completed my 1st 50 mile ultra. I’ve done a mental fell route. I’ve had navigation training and plotted several successful trail routes. I’m just short of hitting 2016 miles for the year. I’ve raced with no training and recovered quickly. It’s been a good year!

But even though the above is great, it’s come at a price. This is the 1st year I’ve fallen ill…twice. As such I’ve missed 3 months of running. That’s a quarter of the year!! Each illness was following an intense month of events. A clear indication of doing too much. My general easy pace was also affected. I was running at least one minute per mile slower than before. This meant I felt I was unable to join in certain group runs.

So yes, racing multiple events (even if you’re just taking it steady) can be done but I’ve realised it probably shouldn’t have been done. 

But there is a positive too. I’ve also learnt that I cope with the variability of my performance quite well. My training is like an etch-a-sketch in the hands of a toddler…. all over the place. But from what I’ve seen, so are most others. I’ve usually been confident it’ll come back eventually. So why stress about the dips?

Will I carry these lessons I’ve learnt forward to 2017? I’d like to say yes but looking at my race calendar, it’s clear I haven’t.  

If I’m going to be stupid again, I guess I better prepare to get ill again.