I just realized that I never got around to posting my 2013 goals at the end of last year. On Dec. 28, 2012, I posted that I would do that with my next post, but then I ran that trail run after an ice storm when I hurt my knee and I think the distress from not being able to run distracted me enough that I forgot to ever set any formal goals. So, instead of comparing my performance this year to my goals, this will just be a description of a few accomplishments from the year.
This was a bipolar year for running. I was forced to take a break for 68 days due to the ITBS in my knee and I felt sluggish for most of the year after that. It was partly a timing issue. I didn't want to push my training early on and by the time I was comfortable with my knee, the weather had turned warm and I don't respond well to heat. Due to work starting so early in the morning for me, most of my running is in the afternoon and it's a huge struggle for me to post decent efforts in 90+ degree weather. It wasn't until I got a couple of months into my marathon training that my fitness and the weather hit a sweet spot and I suddenly felt great again. Despite this, I somehow managed to run the Peachtree Road Race 10k race on July 4th a little faster than the last time for the fourth consecutive year, posting a 48:58, about 30 seconds faster than my previous time.
You never would have believed that time if you'd have seen me in October during my early weeks preparing for the marathon. I was overweight from my normal summer weight gain. I really haven't mastered motivating myself to push through the 90s and high humidity of our five months of summer and it shows every fall. Despite this, by November, I was starting to regain confidence in my abilities and, despite not having done any speed work in over a year, I posted a personal record 5k time by averaging 6:57 per mile, my first time averaging under 7 minutes per mile. I also dropped almost 40 minutes off of my previous marathon time. I'll post a race report on that later. My 2013 running stats:
- Total Mileage: 691.1
- Duration: 103:39 hours
- Biggest Month: October, 154.3 miles
- Worst Month: January and February, 0 miles
- Fastest Run: 6:57 minute/mile pace for 5k
- Longest Run: 26.2 miles
I don't have a lot of concrete results in this category, but this was by far my best year on the bike. While that ITBS flare up hurt my running for most of the year, it was the best thing that ever happened to my biking because I spent most of February and March getting up early a few weekdays every week to ride my bike on the trainer while watching Game of Thrones. All those hours added up to my fastest year on the bike by a fairly significant margin. It got to the point that I was posting my fastest ever average speeds (21.5 mph) on routes that were some of my longest ever. It also didn't hurt that I found a group of guys who ride in a nearby town and was able to do group rides on a regular basis for the first time ever. Riding in a paceline makes going fast so much easier. I even managed to hold a fairly steady speed of around 25 miles an hour for a stretch of 3 miles (not even downhill) near the end of a 54 mile ride.
I did have one disappointment with my biking. I signed up for 6 Gap, a century ride in the north Georgia mountains that's one of the hardest amateur rides out there. Unfortunately, it happened in the fall when I'd had to give up regular riding to make time for marathon training for about a month. I was just doing a long group ride every Saturday at the time. I did make about 3/4 of the route, but the miles of steep grade up Hogpen Gap blew out my legs and I had to take the SAG wagon instead of finishing the last 20 or so miles. I did hit my fastest mile every, averaging 44 mph for the first mile coming off of Hogpen Gap, hitting a top speed of over 50 at one point. My 2013 biking stats:
- Total Mileage: 1453.6
- Duration: 78:20 hours
- Biggest Month: February, 206.9 miles
- Worst Month: November and December, 0 miles
- Fastest Ride: 21.5 mph average for 54.33 miles
- Longest Ride: 74.3 miles
This was a mixed year for triathlon. My running was weaker than the previous year thanks to the extended layoff to start the year, but my swimming and biking were both better. The problem was is that I couldn't get motivated for my races so my transitions were bad and only seemed to get worse as the season went on. I had gotten good at transitions in 2012 and I'm not sure what my problem was this year. I actually lost out on winning my age group in my last race of the season by much less than the time I added over last year's transitions. I did win my age group in a larger race to start the season, which was an awesome experience, but things just seemed to go downhill from there. It got to the point that I was considering giving up triathlons entirely just to focus on riding and running. I don't even like swimming much to start with. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do with this discipline.
Tomorrow I'll post my 2014 goals. I actually have a few this time.