Friday, March 16, 2012

Back from the Dead!

Time for a revival of sorts. Of the blog that is. I haven't posted here in over a year and frankly, let's just pretend like last year never happened.

Oh I trained and I raced, but there was nothing really to write home about (or to post online for a select group of readers to dissect). 2011 was a year of mediocrity. Plain and simple. I focused on other areas of my life and the training volume/intensity just wasn't there to replicate or improve upon my 2010 season. I did finish my second Ironman race, which is an accomplishment in and of itself, but it was a tough race and I just really wasn't satisfied with the result. There's a race report on BT somewhere if you want the gory details, but in short it was undertraining + GI issues/cramping = slow result.

I also finished my third stand alone marathon at an awesome venue running the Marine Corps Marathon in October. It was a really fun race, but being overweight and out of shape made it quite difficult to finish under 4 hours. The funny thing was I was pleased with the result. Not so much the finish time, but the fact I was able to run the entire thing and not walk at all, something I hadn't accomplished in the previous two, faster marathons. That sort of thing boded well for my next undertaking, which I will get into a bit later.

After the marathon, the off season was upon me. For most this a is a time to cut back on training and rest and recover from a long season of training. For me it was time to eat and drink and get even more out of shape than I already was. By Christmas I had ballooned up to 185 pounds, my highest weight since dropping 50 pounds 5 years ago. Things had gotten out of hand.

At the same time I was evaluating what went wrong the season prior and what I wanted to accomplish. It was clear I didn't want to race Ironman again (yet). The hours training had burnt me out. While I hadn't trained as much last year, it still takes quite a bit to just scrape by at the Ironman distance. I was sick of swimming, sick of my bike, and I really just wanted to run. At the same time, after resuming mild training after MCM my achilles of all things was acting up and I had to take a running hiatus in November and December. It was at that time that I realized I really just wanted to run. It was the only of the three disciplines that I truly missed.

I started to think about goals and things I want to accomplish. Tri-wise I still have goals out there, but with the burn-out I need to recover from maybe I needed to focus my efforts elsewhere. One of my non-tri goals is to qualify for the Boston marathon. So I started to think, if I could get healthy and really focus on running what could I do? In the past I've bookended my marathon training onto the latter part of long course tri training, more of an afterthought than anything, and still managed a 3:20 PR at the Twin Cities martahon in 2009. A 3:10 (the time I would need to hit to qualify for Boston) with proper training seems entirely possible.

I started to get excited again. I had a clear cut goal that my heart was actually into achieving. The possibility was exhilarating. So as cliche as it sounds, the first of the year brought about a change for me. A conscious effort at a diet plan, an execution of a running schedule that took care not to get me re-injured. I was a full fledged resolutioner. And it's paid off.

I'm down 18 pounds since the beginning of January. I ran 68 miles in January. I've run 75 in the first two weeks of March. I'm excited. I'm focused. And I'm ready for a fun 2012.

The blog is back from the dead in part because I'm excited to share in the journey that accompanies this new challenge. Aside from that I also took some time to examine what made 2010 so successful versus 2011. I tried to look at habits contributed to that success and I deemed that this blog was one of them. There's nothing like being held accountable to family and friends to motivate one's self. That and I just like to write.

So that said I'm happy to be back. Feel free to yell at me if I go more than a week without a post. I already have the topic of the next post in mind as I'm set to relate my trials and tribulations of run commuting to work. Till then take care.

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