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A new beginning

As last year drew to a close and a new one began, it's natural to look back at the previous 12 months and see what's been achieved, what's fallen short and the mounting excuses of why you're perhaps in the exact same position as every other year. Last year has been different, for everyone globally, and that's presented so many challenges. The bells brought cancelled races, some with haste, others when you were packing your stuff ready to race. It was all in all been pretty much a non event, but it was a different year for many reasons.

I carried into the 2020 bells a bit more weight than normal. I like that. Its good fun putting it on. Its even more fun losing it. A bit of down time where I don't feel I need to run and actually spend time with my wife and kids. Relax, drink some morning beer, mess around and not really bother about running for a month or two. Strange thing was, it lasted about 10 months. Not that I drank morning beer for 10 months, but the no running was a common theme. The lockdown brought enforced time at home.

I loved it. I don't think there had ever been so much time I'd managed to spend with my wife and kids, even with me working more than I'd ever worked, and Mrs Shaw doing the same. With all the races cancelled it was great to be able to not actually have that as the driver in my life. The mileage dropped, the climbing dropped, sessions were missed and entire weeks were side-lined to sit in the back garden with my family. It was brilliant. I'm probably one of the few that actually enjoyed being forced to go no where. As I said, my training took an obvious tumble. A definite win when I look back to previous years. I enjoyed 2020 year immensely.

I wasn't keen on finding, or more appropriately attempting a FKT (Fastest Known Time), particularly ones that to me would mean very little with so few having ran them, so this was never going to be an option for me in a year with no races. Maybe in a few years once some established times have been ran on dedicated routes for years, but definitely not. Unless someone sets a FKT round the block. Ain't really my jam and I'd rather just not do that. If that's your thing, good on you - some of the FKTs have been really impressive and I've enjoyed twitter watching. Some amazing runs across the country and wider across the globe. Others not so much, but if you're out punishing yourself no matter what the route then good on you whether you make that time or not. That's what it's all about and I love seeing people out there pushing and punishing themselves.

Another change that my running life sees, is that I'm no longer an affiliated runner. The first time since 2014 where I will be writing "unaffiliated" beside my name. So that means I won't be doing any local cross country racing this winter, or any other winter for that matter unless I don different SA club colours. So pretty much not much difference. Training with the runners I coach now is a club in it's own, so even though we are not currently a club under Scottish Athletics, we are still a club. A team. We will train together and race together, and the club races we have planned I'm really excited about. Might even set a FKT, who knows. As soon as we are allowed to race again I'll get the dates set, and that's something I'm really looking forward to this year. Training with the team means much more than being affiliated to SA. And I won't actually write unaffiliated. Obvs.

When that will be, who knows. 2021 is proving as unpredictable as it can get. I'm really hoping I can run for circles for a day again, hopefully while racing others who are as desperate to run in circles as me. I don't see that happening though. But lets have a bit of hope.

So I've set myself some targets this year. Its time to get a move on. Whether I'm wearing a race number or not, its kind of irrelevant. Even though I love racing more than anything, I'm once again loving putting one foot in front of the other, whether someone else is there or not.

Its time to look forward and see what I can do. I'm looking forward to it. Big Al did say - the margin for error is so small, one half step too late or too early you don't quite make it, one half second too slow or too fast you don't quite catch it.

The margins for success are small, regardless of where you set those goal posts. Let's shake it up, make those margins disappear and go out and get what it is you're chasing.

Hopefully see you somewhere running in some circles any given Sunday, I'll make sure I'm throwing it down to catch you 🤘

Run hard, Run Rhaw.

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