We are now into July, so it seems like a good time for me to have a quick look back at the first half of the year, at least from a running perspective.
In the 6 months to the end of June I completed 13 races. Although I enjoyed most of them, none was in a particularly great time, so it is probably fair to describe it as a year so far of quantity rather than quality. 4 of the 13 races were ultras (Glasgow to Edinburgh, Highland Fling, Cateran Trail and West Highland Way); 2 were half marathons (including a sub 1.30 - just - at Inverness); 3 were 10ks (all over 40 minutes); and the other 4 included a new 8 mile race at Glen Lednock and the National Cross Country, where I didn't get near to the top half of the field.
I was really pleased to finish the West Highland Way race this year, although felt I ran quite cautiously and would hope to push it a bit harder next year. The WHW is definitely the "biggie" in my running year and, despite my best attempts to stay calm, found it remains the only race where I get really nervous beforehand. It may be a bit of a surprise, but I would nominate the Cateran Trail as my favourite race of the first 6 months - perhaps because it was good to run something new which, unlike the G to E, was run over an enjoyable and scenic route in a lovely part of the country.
My mileage for the 6 months totalled 1,120. That is quite a bit less than a lot of the other guys, but given everything else that I have going on is perfectly adequate for me, and leaves me well placed to reach my target of 2,000 miles for the year.
So, what about the rest of the year? I'm planning to have an easy July before taking part in and hopefully enjoying the Devil O'The Highlands in early August. Other probable races include the Glasgow half marathon (although I haven't entered yet); the River Ayr Way (I quite fancy it but am a bit worried about getting lost, as it is not well signposted); the Loch Ness Marathon (already entered - it's my favourite road marathon); and then the 24 hour track race in Tooting. If I do all of these it will probably be time to have a bit of a rest, as that would be 7 ultras and a marathon in the space of 8 months - probably not what any of the coaching manuals would recommend.
Next year I need to focus more on quality....