Saturday 9 January 2021

Happy New Year 2021! (So long, farewell 2020...)

Happy New Year! It's 2021! I wonder what's in store for all this year?! Whatever, I hope you all have a year that blows your socks off! (I know last year and the beginning of this have been described as 'naff' by the masses, however, I will attempt to add hope, humour and optimism).

2020 ended on a pretty good high for me, mostly because it ended - ha! I managed to complete the Rapha 500 challenge, exceeded my cycling distance goal for the year and completed a half-marathon during the Winter Solstice.

Every Winter since 2010, Rapha has held their 'Festive 500' challenge. This is a challenge to cycle 500k between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. I've completed this challenge a few times to date - 2013, 2014, 2015 and now 2020 too. Prior to 2020, Rapha awarded a rather fancy roundel for those who completed the challenge. The 2020 edition of this challenge was a bit naff to be fair - Rapha no longer award those finishing with a fancy roundel and 'virtual' rides were accepted. I was pleased I was able to complete this whole challenge virtually, however, it was hardly a challenge because of this. 500K outside in winter is challenging, indoors it's a whole lot easier, quicker and warmer. So sad not to get a roundel. On a brighter note though, I completed the challenge and my avatar on Zwift is now able to wear a Rapha Festive 500 jersey.

The 1/2 marathon I finished was a bit of a menace. It felt fine for the first 10k and felt painful for the remainder. It was a 'hard day's run' - ha! At least I raised a few quid for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. I'll be awarded with a rather fancy retro 6o's medal for completing this run which features a nice shiny yellow submarine.

I always like to reflect on my annual cycling and running distances at the end of a year and the beginning of another. Below is a list of my distances since I started recording same back in 2009. The distances are in km (followed by mile equivalents in brackets). Some of my 'big events' are high-lighted in red and may take you to an account of the event should you click (as it's a link).

2009 - 5,086 (3,160) LEJOG 2009
2011 - 8,378 (5,207)   PBP 2011
2012 - 6,935 (4,309)
2013 - 12,498 (7,766) LEL 2013
2014 - 9,253 (5,750)
2015 - 5,531 (3,436) and Ran 1,170 (727)
2016 - 6,515 (4,048) and Ran 1,204 (748) Iron Man (Bolton) 2016/TNR 2016
2017 - 8,940 (5,555) and Ran 514 (319)
2018 - 10,958 (6,809) and Ran 417 (259) TransAtlantic Way Race 2018
2019 - 8,034 (4,992) and Ran 484 (301) Bivy-A-Month 2019
2020 - 10,082 (6,265) and Ran 466 (289)

So, all in all 2020 wasn't so bad. I managed to complete one goal and cycled over 10,000k, wahoo! Sadly, none of my over goals were completed and Covid 19 was the major reason why! Ok, I could have ran a further 24k and completed my running distance goal. I didn't bivvy-a-month, hmm, maybe I could have but the rules were 'stay at home'. No chance of completing a ParkRun each month as there was no Park Runs after March I think. My major planned event, the TransAlba Race was cancelled. So many Audax events were cancelled and hence there was no way of completing a Randonneur Round the Year. Oh man, 2020 really was a year of non-happenings.

Goals for this year? Is it worth making any with this Covid 19 still hanging about? Hmm. Let me make a few and see what happens. My goals for 2021 are as follows:
  • Complete the TransAlba race. This is an event that was cancelled last year. Do I really want to cycle a 1,000 miles self-supported around Scotland and climb 50,000+ metres of climbing? You bet I do! Am hoping Mr McLeod joins me on this adventure too.
  • Cycle 10,000k and run 500k by end of year.
  • Enter a cyclo-cross event.
  • Cycle around a velodrome.
  • Cycle a Tron bike on Zwift. 
Perhaps I should challenge myself to be a better person? I'm sure if I try and produce 'fruit of the spirit', that would be beneficial. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control (Galatians 5:22-23).

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