2017 - a year in review

It has become my tradition to spend couple hours by the end of a year and write a yearly review post. I'm doing that since last couple years. Today I'm writing this on retrospection of 2017. I invite you to read my share of struggles and moments of joy, successes & failures, ups, and downs.

Training

Running is unquestionably part of my life. I strive to run to be fit, to explore new places, challenge & push myself to achieve better results.

This year I did slightly improve over previous. I've almost doubled the amount of all fitness activities (by going to the gym more often) and logged total 666 kilometers with over 100 hours of training.

My Strava calendar for 2017
My Strava calendar for 2017 - Over 100 hours of training and 666 km in distance.

I'm quite happy with those results. While I hoped for lot more, I'm glad that I finished the year with some improvement and was able to achieve some goal.

Finishing Ultramaraton Magurski

Trail and ultra races always fascinated me, because of long distance, possibility to enjoy nature landscapes & mountains. Some time ago in the spring of 2017 together with my friend Krzysztof we've undertaken the attempt to run and finish 58km route of Ultramarathon Magurski.

Magurski Ultramaraton, 58km route
One of my favourite moments from the race - early morning on the course of Ultramaraton Magurski

It was a big challenge to train for and then run the race. I didn't prepare well for this, so the large part of the course was struggle with heat, fatigue, and pain but in the end, we've managed to finish, and I have good memories from that day. I'm really proud we did it!

Running Parkruns

For those who don't know, Parkruns are free, weekly, 5km timed runs organized in parks, in many cities around the world. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in.

I've run in 7 of them this year - three in Gunnersbury Park and rest at Wormwood Scrubs. That's not that much in total, but surely more than zero! It's an excellent way to challenge yourself. I've managed to finish one of the runs with time 24:53, and I consider this an accomplishment.

Work

My work as a web development (frontend) consultant demands some business travel to visit our clients & teams I work with. I've traveled a lot in past years, and 2017 was no different.

A collage of various photos from airplane window
I love the views from the window of the airplane - I've been more than 50 times in the air this year!

In 2016 I've complained that perhaps I've spent too much time just, you know… traveling. On the airport, train, plane, bus. Did I fly too much again? If I count correctly, I had 16 business trips to Hamburg, Munich & Krakow. That's almost the same as last year.

Regarding what I do, not much change since last year. I don't share here many details about the professional side of work-related stuff. Somehow I feel like I'm not a good technical writer.

The platform and a project I work on is still in progress, and together with my team we're still struggling and facing many challenges laid out during the transformation phase. But it looks like the early months of 2018 are going to be exciting.

Travel and photography

2017 was a year without any long vacation break, but regardless it had some pleasant moments that I would love to highlight.

Box Hill Hike

In May, we went for a hike with our friends Dan & Ale. Box Hill area in Surrey was our first nature area we've visited outside London, and it was an enjoyable experience. I took some excellent photos there, and wrote a photo story from the hike.

Box Hill Hike
Culminating part of the hike - A relaxing view from the Box Hill

Short vacation time in Southern England

In the fall we've spent couple days on the southern coast of UK. We've visited famous Seven Sisters cliffs and explored some places on the Jurrasic Coast. There were some beautiful places with breathtaking views, and we've loved the time there.

UK Coast Trip
Famous view of Durdle Door in Dorset, Jurrasic Coast, UK

It's a place I would definitely go back sometime. You can see more photos from this trip in my photo story – Visiting England's South Coast .

2017 London Marathon

In April I've walked along the route of London Marathon, photographing the event. It was an exciting experience, even though I didn't race it. I've seen the elite runners, the cheering crowds and of course loads of just ordinary people attempting this extraordinary challenge.

2017 London Marathon
Runners on the course of 2017 London Marathon!

I've captured more than 2000 photos from this event. You can see whole album on Flickr or see the highlights from that day in my story published here and also on Medium.

Exploring London

Photography is one of my favorite hobbies, and I love exploring new places and taking photos and later processing them in a way to achieve satisfying results. This year I had couple occasions to do some sightseeing in London thanks to friends and family visiting us.

The London Eye
The London Eye

I took pictures of many famous landmarks in London: Tower Bridge, London Eye, Big Ben, the skyscrapers in the City of London. I've enjoyed and admired the fascinating architecture of those places.

I also like that London has multiple parks, with my favorite: Richmond Park. I've visited it during summer, and it was fantastic. I have to return there more often.

Richmond Park Photowalk
My favourite park - Richmond Park

My blog

I'm still committed to cultivating my blog. It's a great way to remember and document significant events, experiences and to share my thoughts. It is also great motivation for me, to challenge and push myself to explore new things and to be a better person.

This year I've posted only 16 times. That's just slightly more than one post per month. Most of my entries were monthly recaps - I'm happy that I've managed to write each for every month. But in the end, I think I could write more. There was much more stories, thoughts, and photos that I could share.

Collection of covers from my blog articles in 2017
A Collection of covers from my blog articles in 2017.

10 years of blogging

I've also noticed that first entry was published ten years ago, in 2007. That's a decade ago! I don't think I wrote anything interesting in first few years and the couple next years were not that much active. I guess I had gotten more serious about it in 2014. But I'm pleased that I'm able to maintain the continuity.

Eyeing 2018

2017 was a good year, and I'm looking forward to what the next will bring. I have not created any specific plans yet, nor set any particular goals. While I have couple things in mind, I'm going to give myself some time to think and decide how I should approach them.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank you for reading this and wish you all a happy, thriving and positive New Year of 2018!

Written and maintained with ♥︎ — Jan Kraus, 2007 — 2018