- August – After a 2 week recovery from Salmonella, which I happened to pick up the day I left Switzerland…and experienced symptoms the whole flight home, Karen and I headed to Canada!! Why? To run our favorite ½ marathon, SeaWheeze half in Vancouver BC! Our dear friend Jordan put us up for the race and actually let me stay with him for about 3 weeks. The ½ marathon wasn’t quite as fast as the year before and I still ran a 1:22, oh well. I ended up staying in Canada longer because I also raced Challenge Penticton, a long course national championship race for Canadians! It was a really cool distance, between a ½ a full IM!! I really enjoyed the 73 mile bike and 18 mile run! Placed decently there but like most races last year, I had a tough run…
- September – This was probably one of the second best trips of the year, a solo training camp with my pal Trav in Vegas. I’d have never thought the training in Vegas could be so great but with Mt. Charleston only 3 miles from his house, it was perfect climbing territory. We ran an epic 10k trail route at 8500 feet, hit red rocks hard and general got him as ready as possible for Kona 2016.
- October – Headed to IM North Carolina to Sherpa for a friend….however they cut the bike course to 70.3 distance. It was a solid day for him overall and I loved spectating the race! Keep in mind all this stuff happening within 1 month of our wedding!! So yes, there was a lot to do….for Karen, haha.
- November & Dec – This was the last 70.3 of 2016. Last year I had a GREAT race and actually ran to my potential. Needless to say I was hungry to get back to this race and run that course hard. The set backs came from waiting over and hour for the swim to be cancelled, then another 45 minutes until we started the bike in time-trial staggered start. This meant all of the top guys were starting in the same vicinity and could ultimately use each other to make time on the back of the pack. So, this was a super disappointing race because I knew for sure my swim had come a long way and I’d be able to bike further into the lead group. Then I’d just have to hold on tight. So, that race left me hungry but ultimately, our wedding was about 2 weeks away so nothing else really mattered. On 19 Nov I became officially taken 4 LIFE!! The glory was short lived though as we lost 2 family pets within that same month. Then…we decided it was time to move, so that naturally put a big stress on us….but oh well, no big deal.
- January – We moved!!! It happened really fast and honestly, it was exactly what we needed. More space for our stuff and now we can finally have people over for gatherings! So in the big scheme of things these months were huge when it came to trying our newly solidified marriage. Talk about trial by fire!!
Current Events – This is really where you’d want to read if you want to catch up on the happenings of 2017.
I just raced the first event, Austin Marathon.
- Build up – This year didn’t really start off as early as last, meaning I didn’t spend Feb in San Deigo and Tucson again. With the move I knew I needed to be around so we could get the house set up and comfortable. For that reason, I had a small tune-up camp in Clermont Florida with a few athletes, where I couldn’t run due to a stressed Flexor halluces brevis (muscle next to the plantar). Even with plenty of non-running, this took about 9 days to heal. Then, the issue moved to the Achilles for another 9 days where I couldn’t run over 3 miles. Finally, 2 weeks out from the race I was able to hit a 70-mile week with some hills and quality. This meant I would immediately have to taper…and taper hard. I’d have loved to run 3 or 4, 70-80 mile weeks before this race but it just couldn’t happen. Last year at LA Marathon I was on pace for 3 hours until mile 18 until I really fell apart but I knew it was mainly because I hit it without rest after a cycling block in Tucson. That was the plan anyway so I wanted to see what I could do here in Austin with a nice build. I still made the best of it though as I could only control what I had in front of me.
- Austin Marathon – I’d been peeking at the weather a bunch about 1 week out from the race and everything pointed toward a colder race…until 4 days out. The rain was supposed to come on hard and it temps were supposed to be in the 70’s. Shouldn’t have been a big deal but man, my HR was in the 160’s from the start of the race and I was soaked by 3 miles. This meant a quick fix…take in as much liquid as I could at each aid station (spaced 1 mile apart). I took in NUUN and water on course and took in 6-7 gels in a continuous stream. I wasn’t taking the whole gel at once. I would break up doses over the course of 5k, ensuring I’d never hit a “low”. Also, this is the first time I felt very foggy and achy, almost pre-flu symptoms before the race. The pollen count here was super high and my sinus drainage was causing a sore throat. I hated to say it out loud but I even told Karen how bad I felt but…I was 100% certain I would warm up and the body would do what it’s trained to do. I lined up with the 3 hour pace group and that was a great move on my part. I’m talking very consistent pacing despite lot’s of hills…I was impressed. Around 3 miles, after the big up-hill start…I was soaked and already 1 gel down. I knew this course was rolling hills but damn…super tough course. The weather was in the 70’s and thank goodness the sun wasn’t out. There was a little breeze here and there too which was super refreshing while being soaked. Around mile 20, the pace either picked up a bit or I hit the breaking point. The group hit 2 miles at 6:45 ish and I really felt that slight increase, meaning I was fading. From 21-26 miles I was rallying with everything I had, knowing the hip throb was going to get worse and worse…but it was nothing like LA. This race really gave me a lot of hope for this season. Why? Because I’m not going to take the “balanced” approach like the past few years. I’m going to RUN a lot more than previously taken on. I’m well aware it’s a big weak point and I need to improve. It’s not like I’ve missed out on speed and strength, I just know that if I want to compete…the run is where it is, plain and simple.
So here I am hobbling around with marathon legs, headed back home tomorrow only head to Atlanta on Thursday. The travel season is in full effect and I am on the road to more racing and better results. Here is the projected schedule..
- Tucson – March 4-18 March – CAMP
- Austin – More TRAINING
- 70.3 Peru – April
- St. Anthony’s April
- 70.3 Chatty – May
- VEGAS training – May
- 70.3 Victoria- June
- Head to Austria - June
- IM Austria – July 2nd
- Challenge Iceland – 23 July