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This has been quite a difficult blog post to write.

Mainly because I didn’t have an awful lot of runs to choose from, which tells you all you might need to know about my year of running…if I had to review 12 of my best races I would be in trouble…as I’m not sure I even did 12….hence the focussing on 9 ha ha.

But here’s the thing…like most things, it’s quality over quantity right?

I always do one of these round-up posts as it’s good to look back on the year…but this year has been a massive year of growth for me outside of my running business, and so I am not measuring its success on how many miles I ran, or what PB’s I got…success comes in different ways right?

So here is an overview of 9 runs or sessions which have changed me in some way in 2019…

Run 1 – The year started off as it usually does, cold and in a bit of a panic with an impending marathon to train for. I wrote a blog post called “Haven’t started your marathon training yet?” which lot’s of my women found quite helpful.

I always need the pressure of a race to get my arse in gear at the start of the year, and so the 2019 Winter Run was a perfect goal for me…to get myself back in the game. Our annual meet up is somewhat of an incentive too. Will you be running in the Winter Run 2020 event?

Run 2 – It didn’t take long for the fuckwits to come out. I was fat-shamed at Crossfit…well not at Crossfit, but outside of it, while doing shuttle runs. I cried. I felt embarrassed. I wrote about it. It helped. Kind of the story of my life really. My blog to the man in the white van last night thank you was one of those posts you hate having to write…but also acts as social commentary in some ways.

It’s exhausting to keep having to write about this stuff. This blog will be 10 years old next year. Let’s see if anything shifts in the next decade when it comes to being verbally attacked while exercising.

Run 3 – I did 6 whole miles with my (in real life) running club on an offocial club night run ha ha.

I’ve hardly run with them this year…no childcare and general busyness is to blame. I love East London Runners as a club though and hope that at some point I will be a more engaged member.

An in-person running club can be invaluable when you are marathon training. I will be back to the Monday night track sessions from next week for sure.

I did represent the club when I did the Sikhs in the City race in January where I met the infamous 100 year+ old marathon runner Fauja Singh, and also managed a 5K at the end of the summer (when it tipped it down)

Run 4 – Races do really help keep me motivated while marathon training, even if that does mean running around in circles on a track. I did a local half marathon at the Lee Valley Cycle Track…with a 3 hour cut off I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete it…but I didn’t care…I skipped off the track on my 10th lap (it should have been 11) I headed out of the centre to complete my distance…sometimes I don’t have the energy to come last

Run 5 – My daugher has always been a big motivator for me as a runner. This year she has done a few parkruns (always just one lap and always moaning ha ha) although on world book day she insisted she went dressed as me. I wrote about it here.

For xmas I bought her a new pair of running shoes and a run jacket in the hope that this will be the year we do parkrun more frequently.

I have however discovered a great technique for getting her to run without moaning…I ask her to tell me a story, like explain the plot of a book she’s reading…and she can talk for 20 minutes straight…she forgets she’s running and its at just the right pace for us both to be able to jog and talk.

My book How to run with a baby, is great for folks with kids of any ages…it even talks about how to manage a partner…plus its only £1.99

Run 6 – THE BIG ONE

The London Marathon 2019 will forever be known as the one where the world found out how shitty things could really be at the back. In fact, not much happened to me…but that isn’t a reason for me not to have an opinion on it all.

I have always been of the opinion that marathons should be taken seriously and should be trained for accordingly. One of the things which I feel has been completely overlooked as part of this whole incident was the wider issue of support in the running world for larger/slower runners…in the lead up to their big races.

Still, so many women train alone. Are too slow to go to traditional running clubs. Too embarrassed to seek medical or professional help (even going into a sports shop for new shoes can be triggering when you don’t look like a marathon runner)

There is still work to be done.

I will be back in 2020 to run the London Marathon for the final time…we have a massive team of more than 40 women taking part, and our cheer station will be of epic proportions too I’m sure.

Here’s my write up of the 2019 event…and if you are looking for a bit of training support why not join my marathon training group (use discount code BoxingDay at the check out for 50% off)…and if you haven’t read my best selling book The Fat Girls Guide to Marathon Running…what you waiting for?

Too Fat to Run App

Run 7 – There is always a bit of a dip after a big race. A lull. A sense of what next? Lucky for me I get asked to do a lot of things out of the blue…and so with just 5 weeks to train I was asked to take part in the London Triathlon.

It was brilliant. I git straight into my training and low and behold I actually started to enjoy open water swimming…just like that. I would go on to have some coaching with the wonderful Sarah Hill from Immersion Swimming…and even swam in the docks after the event with my friend Mollie Millington…more OWS in 2020 please?

Here is the write up from my Triathlon (some bugger has since stolen a wheel from my bike…so I need to get that sorted before I can think about another Tri or any riding)

Julie Creffield Triathlon

Run 8 – I headed off to Mexico for a much-needed break. Although of course, me being me it wasn’t a break, break. I was on a business retreat with world-class transformational coach Lisa Nichols. I was staying at Rancho La Puerto the most incredible health spa and I did all of the things. Hiking, running, yoga, stand up paddle boarding, Whatsu (OMG), hip hop dancing, salsa, circuits, meditation…and of course went through some pretty epic personal development experiences too. Here is my review of Rancho La Puerta

Sometimes we need a break, before we break. Time out, time to reflect, time to be, time to recharge. What I haven’t really mentioned in this blog so far is that at the start of 2019 I set up a whole new business venture.

Tribe Builder a business coaching programme to help small business owners build engaged communities around their business ideas. This year I have worked with 250 entrepreneurs and absolutely loved this new direction of work. The next cohort starts at the end of January so get in touch if you’d like to talk this through.

It has been an exciting area of growth…but has also taken its toll on my health and energy levels. I know I need to look after myself if I am to look after other people….this will be a big focus of mine in 2020.

Run 9 – I had great intentions of throwing myself into my marathon training in the Autumn. I have been running. And I have been CrossFitting…and swimming.

I did a couple of 10Ks in October and November but December has been terrible. In fact, I didn’t even run on Xmas day which I have been for the last 10 years or so…other than the year I was pregnant with Rose.

I’ve ended the year with a chest infection and tummy bug…but I know in a few weeks time I will pick myself back up and get back into the swing of things.

If I’ve learned anything over the years is that life sometimes gets in the way of your running goals, and you have to be OK with that.

I realised while collating this post that I have barely blogged at all this year.

41 blogs…some of which were guest blogs, when in previous years it would have been closer to 100. I also noticed there were races and events I did that I just didn’t write up.

It also feels like I have barely run…my Garmin tells me it is just 170 miles of running, 80 miles of cycling, 8 miles of swimming…I reckon it is probably 10-20% more on all of these counts as I don’t always wear my sports watch…but still it is not as much as in previous years.

But it has been a busy year.

This year though from my records I’ve supported around 1500 women in my paid for running programmes…and we have almost reached 1000 women in my online running club.

Plus I took 8 women away to Greece on a retreat…forgot about that ha ha.

There have been 300+ women working with me on life coaching programmes and around 250 entrepreneurs in my programmes for small business owners.

I have delivered 21 different programmes this year, some automated and some live rounds, I’ve had 3 major pieces of consultancy, I’ve had 12 speaking gigs, visited 7 countries for work, and appeared on 9 TV, radio, or podcast programmes.

I’ve written around 100 blogs across my 2 websites, and probably a few other articles for things I forgot I wrote. I probably posted close to 1000 social media posts. And sent out probably around 150 different email communications.

I sometimes wonder how I juggle it all…but what can I say, I love bringing people together. I love the diversity of my work. I love staying busy

Looking at the numbers like this feels strange.

So I started this blog post this morning feeling a bit glum about what I have achieved in the past 12 months (probably because I’ve had almost 2 weeks of no exercise and still feel a bit blugh) but actually it has been a year of epic proportions.

Sometimes we just have to stop and see it all for what it is.

Next year?

Next year marks 10 years of The Fat Girls Guide to Running. Imagine that a decade of speaking on the topic of plus size fitness? I set up this blog in September 2010 after coming last in a 10K race. Heres the first-ever blog

Little did I know what it would turn into.

Starting tomorrow I am running Dare to Dream my annual goal setting challenge. This challenge is not just about what or how, it’s about why…it is a process that really helps you to imagine a life, possibly quite different to the one you lead now.

Sign up today using discount code “BoxingDay” and get it for just £25

We have 42 women signed up so far…and I’d love to get to 50…not that the number really matters but it would be nice.

Check it out here…the FB group opens tomorrow

I am also attempting to have my largest cohort of women getting up to 5K in January…you can sign up here for just £5

Plus of course, there will be a heap of other exciting things for sure.

Whatever you decided to do with the next decade, however far you run, whether your goals are big or small, I wish you every success and all the health, wealth and happiness in the world.

See you next decade peeps.

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