Saturday, December 21, 2013

New year, same goal, different approach

The holiday, end of year and new year season brings, for many, a time to reflect and look on the past year along with the year to come.  As much as sometimes it's not a bad thing to do things differently, this is not one of those times.  I will be doing the same.

As far as this past year is concerned, I did not quite reach my goals set when I started this blog.  But, alas!, such is life.  I've learned quite a bit, especially what it means to be an Age Grouper that works a full (+) time job and tries to do relatively well.  Challenges are to be overcome.

My not-so-good run at Austin 70.3 lead me to put more focus on running in the fall and winter.  With a bit of mutual motivation with Trevor, we have been pretty consistent to run 3 x 60 minutes and one long run a week.  This long run, after subbing in for a running friend turned into a challenge to run a half marathon every week for the remainder of the winter.  I sometimes pause to think how subbing in for a friends friend, turned into this sort of challenge.  A challenge I seemed to have picked up by osmosis - maybe I was looking for something of the sort and I adapted the idea quickly.  Or, maybe I welcomed it just because of my competitive nature, new possible interactions, or from whom the idea came from.... I digress : More running!  I already am seeing promising changes in fitness.

Zone3Sports will continue to be by club by choice when it comes to swimming, even though the Saturday morning (6:00) swims are quite hard to get used to.  I have been improving and thus, will continue.  Cycling has always been my strong suite, and maintaining is the main goal for the winter. Euro-Sports boot camp and riding with Lou on weekends will have to do for the short term.  I will be picking this up more as the season matures.

The main goal for this year remains the same as last: Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mont-Tremblant.  Planned qualifying races will be Ironman 70.3 Florida (April 13th) and Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant (June 22nd).  If those don't work, I will try my hand at Ironman 70.3 Calgary - but this is a fallback, plan B, that won't be needed as I will be qualified before that :)

I have also registered for the Ottawa Race Weekend half marathon, where it will be interesting to see where

my running fitness will leave me (*hoping for sub 84 minutes).  A few other cycling races thrown in the mix should also help in building character and figuring out my level of fitness.  Meech Lake Triathlon is probably another race I will do for fun - what an amazing race!

A bet/challenge/common goal set with Trevor is also pushing us towards the Chicago Marathon in October next year.  This would be my first marathon. Ever.  And if running your first, might as well make it a World Major!  I am looking forward to see how this turns out.  I am slowly letting go of the idea that my first marathon would be during an Ironman.  As much as I'd love to Julie Moss it - first Ironman in Kona AND first marathon in Kona, I don't think this is so realistic nowadays.  My dad ran his first marathon is 2:41:14, so the bar is set quite high.  I think I have made peace with not beating that on my first attempt, but a sub 3 hour would be very nice!  Ouf.

So, there it is, in a nutshell.  Writing anymore would only be good to put you to sleep.  More to come on individual portions next year - as I am hoping to have a bit more time to blog (among other things) through improving work-life balance quite a bit.  I don't know about you, but I'm excited!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I lost my ass

For the 4th year in a row, I head down to my parents place in Frankford to spend a good weekend back home, celebrate my birthday with family and run the Fat Ass Trail run. Last year Steve Crossman and I took a wrong turn on the course leading to our disqualifications. This year, I'm pumped to get my vengeance on this course and crush it. Coming off of a somewhat good training block, I'm thinking I have the fitness I need to pull out a good race. This would be my last race of the season. The week leading up to the race, my knee starts to bug me, the same way it has when I got seriously injured a few years back. So, foam roller + massage + being careful makes it feel better; almost perfect. Happy I got that dealt with before it was too late.

Time with family is fun, as always, and the weekend is relaxing. But now, it's Sunday morning : Race day! I'm pumped! Make a good breakfast (which happens to smile back at me) and start to get pumped!!

 On race site, everything seems to be as it should. I get a good warm-up done and we line up! This is going to be EPIC! The gun goes off, and the first little flat bit goes by fast. The first km being at 3:45. It's okay, I'll settle into a more sustainable rhythm on top of the hill. We attack the first hill at a good pace - I'm thankful for all this Gatineau Park trail running we have done this summer. On the way down, I start feeling my knee again... hmmm... it will be okay! 

After the first big decent, I guess I missed a turn somewhere with another dude, since our trail intersects with a trail with a dude running from a different directions - who happily lets us know that we are off course. To go back to the apparent intersection we missed would have been 1km. I though about it, but my knee was bugging me and thus I decided that I'd just finish and DQ myself. A few kilometers later, my knee, still bugging me, I decide that I'd also cut it short to 7,5km instead of the planned 17,5km - no point in injuring myself at this point in the season.
I keep pushing for the rest of the run - now an expensive training session - always conscious about not putting too much strain on my knee. Back up the ski hill, back down, to the finish. Without really stopping at the finish, I go straight to the Sportstats and DQ myself. I "unofficially" finished 3rd in the 7,5km. According to Garmin, my route was only 100m short of the official one (compared to my brothers GPS).

 Disappointingly, a good run here will have to wait till next year. I will be sending race directors a few constructive comments to hopefully improve on course markings. But, overall - good weekend. Always fun to hang out with family back home. There are worst things then getting lost on a trail run!

 Next up : massages. No more planned racing till next year.