A final glance over our shoulder

Posted: December 19, 2012 in Training
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Upon crossing the finish line on Sunday morning around 10:54 a.m. our 2012 race season was over.

13 events in 12 months starting in Miami, FL and ending in the small town of Shiner, TX.Shiner

It was by far the most diverse season I have ever completed where instead of the usual mix of 5k, 10k, half-marathons and marathons we competed in:

1 six-runner 200 mile team ultra marathon from Miami to Key West.

3 Sprint Triathlons.

1 Half-Ironman Triathlon.

2 5K Races.

1 5-mile Race.

4 Half-Marathons.

1 Marathon.

We ended up with a podium finish (Top 3) in 8 of the 12 events and set 6 PR’s along the way.  If you would have told me at the start of 2012 that we would have stayed healthy all year, logged more than 2,600 miles running and more than 4,200 total miles swimming, biking and running I would have thought that we had a successful year.

But having success show up on the race clock the way that it has as the calendar has tacked one more year onto this 45-year-old endurance athletes machine – I have to admit that I am pretty happy.  That is tough for me to admit as I believe that there is always some room for improvement, always a small thing — or sometimes a big thing — that I can or should be doing to continue to swim stronger, bike harder, run faster.

I am going to spend the time after the Houston Marathon recovering from the race doing exactly that.  I will start to put together my race calendar for 2013 and see what challenges lie ahead.  There will be no more marathons for me in 2013 after Houston.  We are going to get that event out-of-the-way early on the 13th of January.  I have an idea about where I want to focus my energies as I would like to take a serious run at my 10K PR of 37:30 at next Fall’s Luke’s Locker Uptown Classic and I would like to break 18:00 minutes in the 5K with our new PR sitting at 18:02.

Those two seconds are eating at me just a bit after last Friday Night’s Lights of Love race.

From a triathlon perspective, I do not see another Half-Ironman out there this coming year – although a return to Kerrville is not entirely out of the question.  But right now I feel like focusing on track work and improving my top-end speed is where I am headed in 2013 – having never really dedicated my training to that pursuit.  A sub 5:00 minute mile in May at the Congress Avenue Mile is something that is rolling around my head right now, but again, I think the goals for the year will come into focus after we reach that finish line in Houston.

Goal setting is something that I think is important whether it is in business, athletics or life in general.  Normally I would be going through that process leading up to New Year’s Eve for the coming year.  But this year things are a little bit different.  I set up 2012 in such a way that our race season would end exactly 4 weeks prior to the Houston Marathon.

Nothing left to distract us.  Only 26.2 miles and 179 minutes and 59 seconds to cover them in.

That is all I am thinking about right now.  Finish off this last week of endurance work which started with a 16 mile Tuesday morning run and will finish on Sunday with our last 20+ mile long run of the training cycle.

Then we will start the taper and get our body and mind right for the toughest race of our life on 1-13-13.

We have set PR’s in the last 5 individual events we have competed in.  Sprint Triathlon, Half-Ironman, 5-Mile, 5K, Half-Marathon.

The last two races quite frankly were among the most perfectly executed races I have ever run.  My previous 5K PR had stood the test of time for more than 27 months and over 15 attempts at knocking it off.

The Half-Marathon PR in Shiner on Sunday might have been my best “race” ever given the course, conditions and my previous PR set so close to my max potential in Virginia Beach last spring on a near-perfect day.

1st Place Age Group

1st Place Age Group

Now there is just one race on our calendar.  The first time that has been the case in more than two years.  The distance that has at times toyed with me, sometimes beaten me, but has never broken me.

The marathon.  This time is our time.

Houston.  You most definitely have a problem.

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