For as long as I’ve run, I’ve loved this time of year. Naturally I suppose, I’ve been looking back over the year that is passing and making plans for the next. This time, the New Year has come a little earlier than usual for me. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been getting back into the swing of proper training again, in a way that I haven’t for many months. I have a reasonable base of fitness upon which to train and find that I’m enjoying running more now than I have for quite a while. I train best when I have dreams in my head and sometimes the more unrealistic they are the better. When I’m running to prepare for a race many months hence, it frees me to push hard in training now. If I’ve no big race to aim at, or dream to chase, I have no real incentive to run myself into the ground here and now. At the moment my head is filled with dreams of Connemara and the 39.3 mile ultra in April. I’ve run well there a couple of times in recent years but believe I can do a little better if I target the race specifically rather than taking it in as part of a wider schedule of races. I have a plan and all I have to do is follow it.