Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Year in Review

2013 was my return to full blown triathlons....  as in full blown ironman, full blown triathlon bike, and fully blown bank account!

Races from 2013!
Lesson's Learned:

  • Not really new but confirmed.  Cross-training rules.  I finally hit my sub-20 5k and now I'm thinking sub-19 is a possibility.  BQ is becoming a goal in 2014.  It's funny how training for an ironman has massively helped my short distance running, which makes me think I can hit a huge long distance running goal.  It all seems rather backward but in November I ran 20 miles at the pace of completing a 3:15 marathon, so it gave me hopes.
  • Nutrition is key for those endurance triathlons.  I had two completely different brick workouts a week apart.  Both were 5+ hours bike and a 1 hour run.  The first week I did not follow my nutrition plan and completely blew up on the run.  The next week I followed my plant to a "T" and had one of the best runs, ever.
  • Listen to your body and do something about it.  I had a nagging foot issue that started in June.  It didn't really slow me down until I did a 15 mile run in November and it hurt so much I had to call TKB to pick me up.  Back in June I started noticing an annoying foot discomfort while on the bike and it eventually converted to a run discomfort.  As it turned out, the new cleats I had installed back in February were too far forward creating additional stress on my foot that led to a neuroma.  Fortunately I caught it early enough that a short trip to a podiatrist and some adjustments to my cleat and running shoe should resolve it.
  • Doing this with friends are so much better!  In January and August I completed the Disney Coast-to-Coast challenge by running the Goofy Challenge in January at DisneyWorld and Dumbo Double Dare in August at Disneyland.  It was so much fun running these with TKB, Joe VI, Lauren, Rebecca, Jill, Ronnie, Jess, Jaimee, and many others!  Joe VI and Lauren's costumes were a huge hit as we got plenty of publicity from the runDisney people.

Image found on runDisney media page

  • Ironman is possible.  Being able to train for an ironman race and completing it with joy makes me think doing another one is possible.  Possibly 2015?  We shall see.

My year is starting to take shape in terms of schedule.  I have already cancelled my first race of 2014, Phoenix Marathon.  After the my foot issue started to escalate, I wasn't able to get passed 12 miles without having to stop, take my shoe off, and rub on it for a minute.  This isn't going to help my Boston qualify (BQ) chances.  I'm hoping I've got that on the mend now.  

My "A" triathlon race is Chicago Triathlon in August and I'm also looking to BQ, which may be goals that are hard to achieve together.  I'm looking at my first BQ attempt in April, which gives 4 months to focus on Chicago.  But if I don't BQ in April, I'm looking at a second attempt in October.  That's only 2 months after Chicago.  Can I get my run endurance up in time?

I'm planning to continue my strength training program and add in a masters swimming class.  I've been tossing around the idea of getting a coach as well but not sure if that will fit into the budget.  We'll see.

So I was reading my Pigman Tri 70.3 race report and found that I had typed this line:
"This does NOT mean I'm going to do a 10 hour, 32 minute ironman in October.  If I did that at some Ironman-branded races I would qualify for Kona.  Not. Going. To. Happen."
True...  but I didn't do 10:32.  I did 10:24.

Maybe 2014 needs to be the year of doing a better job estimating my race finishes.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Race Report: Thanksgiving Day 5k and Family Stroll

Last race of the year!

That I'm aware of...

TKB and I signed up for this because a friend of ours had identified this race as her first 5k ever!  So naturally we had to participate.

I've been working on my distance running  in November and my cross training has taken a dive but I'm still doing some cycling (when you were doing 180+ miles on the bike per week, any slight dip in cycling is considered a dive).  I was curious if my short distance speed had taken a hit, so very curious about the result.

TKB setup our team, the Meat Sweats, and our friend Erik who started doing 5k races this year and completed his first half marathon last month also signed up.

The race is on Thanksgiving but it didn't start until 9am.  This meant that I had plenty of time to get my Green Bean Casserole about 95% ready to go but I had to get up at 5:30am to do so!

We left about 7:30am and after a stop at Caribou Coffee, we arrived on the Sprint Corporate Headquarter campus.  With the temp hovering around 35 degrees, I elected to wear my light running tights, thin base layer, skull cap, and a T-shirt.  It was cold but I was comfortable.  We walked to the start lines where there was a warming tent where we waited for Erik, Bess, and Chris (Bess's hubby).

TKB, Bess, Dork, Chris

While waiting, I took off for some much needed pre-race duties

With about 12 minutes until the start, I took off for a warm-up run and then worked myself into the 6:00 minute mile pace area of the start corral.  It was pretty crowed with some people spilling out of the side corral.  They announced 7,500 participants but it was more like 4,500 people showing up.


With being about 10 feet behind the start line, it took a few seconds to cross.  I got bumped over a few feet as the people outside of the corral were trying to make their way through.  Fortunately this was before the timing mat.

I had forgotten my Garmin (with all the meal prep, I had to quickly get ready for the race which meant leaving my Garmin at home by accident), so I couldn't keep tracking of my pace, splits, distance.  For short distance races, this is generally a good thing.  I focus on running by perceived effort. Looking at my watch can cause me to slow down thinking I'm going too fast.

I settled in behind people I thought was running a pace that would be challenging but I could still keep up.

The previous week I had talked with TKB about wanting to drive the course to get an idea of the elevation, which never happened.  Erik pointed out that he likes not knowing.  You might hold back in preparation for a big hill.  This was definitely the hilliest 5k I had raced this year.  My PR was set at the Bringing Up The Rear 5k in October (oh.. oops.. no race report) with 19:28.  That course was flat (maybe 20 feet of elevation gain) and this race was about 120 feet (based on TKB's Garmin).  The elevation seem to come in chunks too.

With being as cold as it was, running whatever pace I was running, and charging the occasional hill it became hard to breathe.  I just focused on picking off people to pass and not my lungs trying to escape my chest.  Halfway through I felt like I was starting to overheat.  Some people were running in clothes I would normally expect mid-summer.  That's pretty hardcore.

Around the last half mile the race headed back into the Sprint Campus and, fortunately, downhill.  It was here I noticed my left shin started to bug me.  This is new.

I caught one guy during the last quarter mile and he seemed to be in my age group. I just kept pushing.  I could see the clock from a few hundred yards away and it had just clicked over 19 minutes.  This is going to be close!

When I finally crossed, the clock read something around 19:28. I knew I had beat my PR with it taking a few seconds to actually get started!

Finish: 19:21.9
Overall: 50 out of 4,472
Age Group: 5 out of 172 (missed 4th by .9 seconds!!)

I walked through the finish chute, which contained water, bananas, apples, Krispy Kreme donuts.  TKB had purchased a little gift for Bess and we also had Erik's race shirt in the car, so I immediately hoofed it back to the car to get them.  This means walking back the last quarter mile of the race.  I saw some dude wearing those wheelie shoes (they have a little wheel in the heel of the shoe).  He was just rolling down the hill.  Not cool dude.  Not. Cool.

I made it back to the start line just in time to see Erik PR!

Not too much longer TKB, Bess, and Chris finished!   Congrats Bess!!!
Chris in grey, Bess in black in the middle, and TKB in the blue jacket.
Once everyone was back, we took off for home.  Turkey time was at noon!!

Happy to see a new PR on a challenging course with the step back in total training this month.   So this year I got my PR from 20:02 to 19:22.  Maybe sub-19 is a possibility but I think I'd rather focus on longer distance race goals before trying that.

Congrats again to Bess!

Other Notes

Looks like the green bean casserole was a success.  Made from scratch, not cans of cream of mushroom and beans from this guy!  I think next year I'll be playing around with the recipe.. maybe some bacon?

We went out that evening to watch the Plaza Lighting ceremony with my brother's family.  Surprisingly not as cold as we had thought!