Running year in review

This year I did this:


And ran these:


In the process I burnt a shade over 60,000 calories, ran three amazing races and fell in love with running.

The first race was the 10km in Edinburgh, the day before Mr. Neon’s first marathon.  I think I was more nervous than he was!  The first few kms were all uphill, and I had only run in flat old Islington.  But, I made it!


In June I braved the city streets with something like 50,000 other runners for a wet and cold British 10km.  It was an amazing feeling crossing over the line, but I missed having Mr. Neon at the finish.  This put me into a spiral of guilt over all the races of his that I’d missed (except for the one I missed the finish because I thought I saw him on the course bleeding from the everywhere, causing me to get off the tram…).  Nevertheless, on I trained.


July saw probably the lowest point of my running year, when – after a particularly nasty running-related fall – I was taken to A&E by some very lovely passer-bys and kept for a long-while with a suspected fractured eye-socket.  Luckily it wasn’t, and I didn’t have to take too long off training.  Thankfully, this was the worst injury I’ve had!


In October the Run to the Beat half-marathon was the highlight of my running year!


So what’s to come in 2013?  Vienna City Marathon, obviously!    Hopefully also the 24hr Thunder Run and also a 50 miler.  I’d like to run 1500kms in the year, and work on my half-marathon time.

So, that’s it – not much of a roundup, but good highlight’s package.


This time next year

This time last year I couldn’t run.  That’s the biggest thing that has happened this year without doubt.

The best thing that’s happened this year, though, has been watching my little girl actually become a little girl, rather than a baby.  It’s amazing what a year can do in the life of a little person, how much can actually occur.  It’s been a whirlwind of beautiful craziness!

By this time next year I hope to have run a marathon, done a 24-hour team event and run a 50-miler.  By this time next year I hope to have submitted my PhD and been viva’d.  By this time next year I hope to be on my way to getting an all-elusive research post-doctoral fellowship (but that’s significantly more pie-in-the-sky than everything else!)

I think it says something that 2012 has been the most settled year in a while – how many people with a small child can say that?

Project Vienna – Week 2 Review

I think it’s fair to say that this hasn’t been a good week, so before anything else lets look at the data.

  Intended Actual
Monday XT 30 mins XT 30 mins (bike)
Tuesday Easy 5-8km 7.43km
Wednesday Easy 3-5km 5.10km
Thursday Easy 5-8km
Friday Rest 8.01km
Saturday Easy 10-11km 5.02km
Sunday Easy 3-5km
TOTAL 26-37km 25.56km

So, I didn’t make my minimum distance, but by less than half a kilometer, so that’s not too bad.  The big problem was my legs – more specifically my left calf.  I probably could have run yesterday, but at this stage of my training I would rather miss one run that hurt myself even more and miss a whole lot more.

The biggest demon that I now have to face is to just get on with week 3, rather than trying to ‘make up the long run I missed last week.  Ah well.

Plus – both Janathon and Jantastic start tomorrow, so that will be great motivation!

A present for myself


Running is a gift I give myself, and today was no different.  I headed out for a wonderful run of just over seven kilometers.  But, today wasn’t just about running.  It was about Mr. Neon and Baby Neon – especially Baby.

We didn’t have a great night, last night.  Baby Neon is getting her right lower molar (the left broke though around ten days ago), and she was also very ill last night – lots of baby vomiting, we think from eating a section of rotten banana.  Thankfully (as Mr. Neon and I did not get very much sleep!) within two hours of getting up, she was ready for another sleep and the three of us had a Christmas day family nap – bliss!

And, now for that Christmas tradition – the ‘check out what I got!:

From Mr. Neon I got a ‘RUN WEST’ Nike T-shirt which is awesome.  From Mr. Neon and Baby Neon I got Scott Jurek’s book ‘Eat and Run’ and Simon Price’s ‘Religions of the Ancient Greeks.’  I also got Ian Morris’ ‘Death-Ritual and Social Structure’ and Rush Rehm’s ‘Marriage to Death.’  So – one running book and three PhD books…  HOORAY!  I also got some new running pants, a bunch of new running socks, some pajamas, some eye-shadow.

More importantly Baby Neon LOVES what we got her – a LeapTop.  It’s like a baby laptop, and she’s been playing with it all day.  Her other top presents are a doll from Grandma and Grandpa (Mr. Neon’s mum and dad) and some wooden puzzles from Nana and Pa (my mum and dad).

But, by far the best gift I gave myself was to get out and train.  Forty-five minutes of my Christmas day that was just for me, doing something I love.  Running is a gift.

A Project Vienna Annoucement

By now, no doubt, you’re all aware that Project Vienna is my push to run the 42.2km of the Vienna City Marathon on April 14th, 2013.  This is just a brief announcement to point out that there is now a dedicated tab for those interested in following my daily training.  It’s underneath the banner at the top and is called ‘Project Vienna Daily Reports.’

What will appear there is daily reports of training – all runs and cross-training session.  Weekly reports will still appear on the main blog (Janathon entries will appear both on the main blog and in the PV Daily Reports page.)  Any exceptional training session will also appear in the main blog.

As always, if you’d like to connect with me on Garmin, you can do so through my profile.

Project Vienna – Week 1 Review

So, here’s this week’s training:

  Intended Actual
Monday XT 30 mins XT 30 mins (bike)
Tuesday Easy 5-6km 5.06km
Wednesday Easy 3-5km
Thursday Easy 5-6km 6.01km
Friday Rest Rest
Saturday Easy 8-10km 5.58km
Sunday Easy 3-5km 10.41km
TOTAL 24-32km 27.06km

So, I skipped a run but I still made the distance I wanted to so have to be happy with that.

After tonight’s run my right knee and both my ankles are sore, which just confirms – really – that I need some new trainers.  I will have to get onto that.  This has been my biggest running week since Run To The Beat, and I certainly feel better for it.

I don’t have a lot more to say about this week, hopefully next week I’ll be able to announce that I’m officially entered into Thunder Run!

A phone call (open letters to my loved ones at the end of the world)

This morning I got a phone call from my mum who wanted to let me know how she feels about me before the potential end of the world. As an Ancient Historian, I would love to find letters written in such a circumstance and so, for posterity, here are my open letters.

Dear Dad,

You are the glue that holds our tempestuous family together, and you do it with grace. You receive the least praise, but you work the hardest of all of us. You love us immensely and without reservation. I don’t often tell you how proud I am to have you as my father, or how much I love you. Both these things are true, but these words do not go even a little way to expressing the true depth of feeling. So, I will let you in on a secret, just in case the world ends: I am dedicating my doctoral thesis, and any resulting monograph, to you. Without you I would never have become the person I am.

I love you.

Your daughter.


Dear Sister,

This will be short, but filled with truth: you are my hero.

I love you.

Your sister.


Dear Husband,

You know how I feel about you, and you know that I love you. Our years together have not always been perfect, or easy, but we are here on this journey together, and so we shall remain. There are too many signs that we belong to one another. You are more than my husband. You are my other half – my partner in crime.

I love you.

Your wife.


Dear Daughter,

You have filled my life with more joy than I ever thought possible. You have changed me, humbled me, filled me with pride. You are a little me and yet so much an individual. I find it extraordinary that so much complexity can be contained in so small a person. And you are, now, a little person. I hope I see you grow and evolve but if I don’t get that opportunity the fourteen months we have had together have been the best of my life.

I love you.

Your mother.


Dear Mum,

I never didn’t love you. I know you will know what that means.

Love always,

Your daughter.