This is a few weeks later than I intended as I’ve been a bit busy. But here’s my 2013 review! 8)
Well its been quite a year! When I look back at where I started this year and where I finished, its been quite a journey of running (and swimming and cycling). I started off back in January with running a marathon on my birthday at Disney World. I had signed up for the race far in advance with plenty of time to train for it. But in 2012 I did a very poor job of consistently running and it was only 10 weeks before that race before I really kicked it into gear. I got through Disney but it wasn’t as enjoyable as it should have been.
I let that be a kick in the pants though and I set some goals for the year. I decided I was going to aim for 1500 miles running and a race a month. I didn’t achieve either of those but both were a bit unrealistic. I’d never run more than 500 miles in a year and to do a race a month would really mean sacrificing too many other things in life just to make sure I could fit a race in monthly. But setting those goals did lead me to accomplish some great things!
A couple months into 2013 I decided to revise my 1500 mile goal to something a little more reasonable – 1,000 miles. Even that was going to be tough but it seemed more realistic. Between illness and a skiing injury in the first half of the year, by the midway point I had only clocked about 350 miles. I was close to abandoning my 1,000 mile quest at that point. But then I joined an amazing group of people to train with and by December 1st I had crossed the 1,000 mile mark. With my last run planned tomorrow to be 10 miles, I should finish the year with 1,083 miles. December is my first sub-100 mile month since June but I had some knee issues after my marathon and wanted to make sure I recovered properly. In the end I came up just short of 1100 miles which is nearly 3 times my previous best year (450 miles).
After Disney, I had decided I was going to keep the fitness I’d achieved for the marathon and it started off pretty well. I ran a half marathon a month later and PRed by a significant margin of almost 15 minutes. After the half marathon I started thinking about the races I’d always done and how much I missed riding my bike. Another friend of mine (who did Disney with me) was also a triathlete and thinking about the things he’d done made me decide I wanted to try. So I signed up for my first triathlon in April. I was hooked and soon decided to buy some tri gear to make racing more enjoyable. It was when I went to the store that I met one of the trainers who directed me to her tri group to train with.
I’ve never trained with anyone before and it was a life altering experience. I now have a large group of friends that I can race with. These people are all incredibly motivated and while I’ve always been self motivated, it can be hard (for me) to keep it up forever when I’m always doing things alone. Within a month of meeting them, I had signed up for another marathon. Then I did two triathlons in a single day. Then, to cap it off, three of us took a trip to Panama City, FL to volunteer at Ironman Florida (IMFL). The reason we did it was to guarantee our own registration into the event.
By the end of the year I had PRed in every distance I competed in – sprint tri, oly tri, marathon, half marathon, 10 mile and 10k. In fact, I PRed every race I ran. I actually thought I hadn’t but one of my olympic triathlons I ran is not a true olympic distance which means that every race I ran was a PR. So my PR streak at this point goes back to December 1, 2012 when I PRed a half marathon then as well.
So it was an exciting year. I competed in some awesome events, made some amazing friends and got to be the fittest I’ve been since my Air Force Academy days. I also hit my major goal for the year of breaking 1,000 miles.
On top of all that, I don’t really talk about personal stuff here much, but I met an amazing someone who shares many of my passions for travel and fitness, giving me someone to run and race with which has been amazing in and of itself. We’re also fairly close in ability which breeds some healthy competition in both of our type-A personalities.