It appears that this tradition (if three posts can be considered a tradition) is destined to be a biennial one; two years in a row is apparently too much for me. I do seem to remember writing one last year but it appears to be lost in the backlog of drafts I’m getting so good at ignoring.
Bundling these the two years together will be interesting; I’m not sure any two consecutive years of my life have been so different.
2013 was a bit of a non-year serving no purpose other than separating being at uni and being an adult. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good year, just that the main outcome at the end of it was 2014. The job I said I had at the end of 2012 came to an end a few weeks into January and from what I can remember, the rest of the year followed a routine built around eating and popmaster with a bit of cycling thrown in for good measure. It was the epitome of unemployment.
I did look for jobs. I was just torn between enjoying having copious free time and wanting to be a proper grown up with money and a house. I think in total I applied for around fifteen jobs and spent many an afternoon getting frustrated at recruitment agencies and the companies that use them. And at phone interviews. And online tests. I didn’t really enjoy applying for jobs.
It didn’t help that I had limited my choices to a small area of the country so that I could be near a river (a specific river mind, not just any run of the mill watercourse). In the end though I succeeded and at the end of November I started work. I’m not sure how and still wonder if I was supposed the be given the job or if I’m the result of a clerical error.
Some of you may remember (back when I wasn’t away for a year at a time) that I took on a 500 mile cycling challenge and managed it for a total of two months. While it may not have been the resounding success it could have been, I did end up riding ~3,500km (+ what felt like as many hours on the turbo). An average of 300km a month isn’t much but considering I only really rode for about six months of the year I’m not too disappointed. I shudder to think what shape I’d be in (or even be for that matter) if I hadn’t done it. As it was when I eventually joined a rowing club in November, I was horrendously unfit. Anything I had going for me when I left uni had been lost and I was back to being one of, if not the, slowest in the club, a fact certain people took great delight in. The fact everyone there was faster than everyone at uni didn’t help much either.
By the time 2014 rolled around I was set into a routine of “eat – sleep – work – row – repeat” ad infinitum in an attempt to work my way up. I raced a few times and managed to qualify for Henley (even if we did get knocked out by an easily verdict in the first round) which is more than can be said for 2013 and a year later I’m no longer the slowest in the club. I’m not at the top yet but if I was, it wouldn’t be a club I’d want to be a member of. It shouldn’t be too long before I start setting new PBs.
When summer came around and brought two months away from rowing I finally got around to setting out on a LEJoG ride. Note the use of “set out on”. My greatest achievement this year still ended in defeat. After six days of riding, my knees gave out and left me unable to walk or ride for a month. I got as far as the border. Next year I’m going to finish it (assuming it doesn’t finish me first).
Unsurprisingly this year’s total riding was down on last year covering ~2000km (of which 800 were in six days).
So looking back at my last goals I have:
- ✗ Not got 6:10 for 2k
- Not by a long way – my previous PB still stands
- ✗ Not got 16:20 for 5k
- See above
- ✗ Not got 1:44 for 30min r20
- See above
…going well so far…
- ✓ Raced at Henley
- It may not have been pretty but it happened
- ✗ Not gone to GB trials
- So far off it’s not even funny
- ½ Partially tracked money
- Until about June I knew where every penny had gone, then I moved house and everything fell apart
- ✗ Written here nearly twice a week
- I’m only 85 weeks behind
- ✓ Moved out
- This one I have done. Twice
- ✓ Got a proper job
- Yup. Done that one too. They pay me and everything
As for interesting things with my life, I spent three weeks in Italy and France, I cycled half way up the country and went to Spain to watch the motoGP. They count as interesting right? I make that 4.5 out of 10. Maybe that’s something to work on for this year.
So where now?
- Same rowing goals as last time
- Other than the foolishly optimistic trials one. They shouldn’t be too hard, should they?
- Bonus rowing goal for being in a top boat at Henley
- Doesn’t have to be top boat overall, just not the B crew in the event
- Cycle more than 3500km
- Shouldn’t be too tough. I need to start cycling to rowing at the weekend