First DNF- At forty-two years old, I've been fortunate that I've never broken any bones or dealt with other serious injuries. That changed on October 27th when I crashed my bike during Ironman 70.3 in Austin, Texas. I wound up with the typical road rash, but also with a broken collarbone and a cracked rib. That was almost two months ago now, and although I'm back to running and riding on the trainer now, I can still feel the effects a fair amount. It was a difficult way to end the year, but at least it was better that it happened at the end of the year, as opposed to the beginning. It certainly put me in a situation where I had to take some serious down time (in fact, the month without doing anything was probably the longest period of time in the last four years that I've gone without exercising). While I'm all for a bit of a break now and then, I wouldn't recommend a full month off at this point. While it hasn't been terribly difficult to start working out again, the post workout aches and pains are a bit more pronounced. I know that it will still be some time before I get back outside on a bike, but in the meantime I'll keep myself occupied with my trainer. It also looks like I might at least get a chance to try swimming again in the next week.
|Result from Ironman 70.3 Austin|
Early season injury- In February, I experienced my first running injury since sometime back in 2006. Seven years of being basically injury free had been nice, so I guess it was my time. Training for an ultra in the spring, I strained my calf muscle while out for a run one afternoon in February. That put a major limit on my training as I was forced to do nothing but swim for several weeks. However, out of that experience, I learned a bit more about my needs as a runner. Most likely, the biggest contributor to my injury was a lack of flexibility. Running on tired legs, combined with a pair of shoes with little drop between the heel and forefoot, put enough stress on my calf muscle to give it a pretty good strain. Even though I laid off of it for a week, I re-injured it right away.
First OWS race- While I've done a number of open water swims in training and in triathlons, I'd never done just an open water swim race, but in early July, I had the opportunity at the Cancer Sucks Freedom Swim in Denver. This was a 2.4 mile swim at a place called Grant Ranch. I really wasn't interested in racing the event, I just wanted the opportunity to do some swimming in open water and to get a sense of what a swim at that distance would feel like. My performance wasn't pretty, and I struggled through the first half mile with leaky goggles, but eventually I settled in and had a nice morning of swimming. It was also for a good cause which I was happy to support.
|2013 was a bigger year for training|
|Injuries in Feb/ November impacted training time|
Melisa's first marathon- In May, Melisa completed her first marathon, the Colfax Marathon in Denver. Having finished my ultra a couple of weeks earlier, it was really fun to be in the supporting role and to watch her finish the race rather than be in the thick of it myself. The girls and I went over to City Park in Denver a few hours before the finish time and enjoyed the beautiful spring day. Melisa had a positive attitude throughout her training so it wasn't surprising to see her smiling as she approached the finish line. Although she hasn't signed up for another marathon yet, she says that she wants to do another one sometime.
Maya runs her first Bolder Boulder- This year's BB10K was especially sweet as we had the chance to run it with our daughter. Back when she was a baby, we'd walked the course with her riding along in a backpack, so it was fun to run with her and to see how much she enjoyed it. She especially liked all of the chances to get sprayed by a hose or dump water on her head at each aid station. Later in the fall, she joined the cross country team at her school, and it was awesome to show up at her races and cheer her on. She's quite the little runner and like any dad, I'm super proud of her accomplishments. I know that running will be a family tradition, and I'm guessing that her little sister will be joining in the fun very soon!
Half Marathon PR- In August I ran the Georgetown Half Marathon and managed to PR by about 3 minutes. Chalk it up to all of the endurance training I've done, but I was able to settle into a good, strong pace and finish in about 1:37 (give or take a few seconds). I'd gone in with fewer expectations, so it was awesome to finish the race with a PR. A definite highlight to my racing year.
Ultra run complete- Perhaps my biggest athletic challenge this year was to race and complete the Collegiate Peaks 50 mile trail race in Buena Vista. The two loop course included a lot of climbing and a fair amount of hiking and I was very tempted to call it a day at the 25 mile mark. However, I stuck it out and after about 32 miles, I wound up finishing strong, a bit sore, but still strong. I managed to complete this race on a minimal amount of run training as well. With time, the memory of how difficult this actually was has faded a bit. And although I don't have an ultra planned for the foreseeable future, I won't rule out doing another one at some point.
|Sunrise before a morning run|