This year had many ups and downs, like most people. But my swings, in training and racing, were huge. I started off the season self coached then realized that going into a season with an Ironman, and wanting to qualify for Kona, I wanted someone to take reigns of my training and hopefully get me to the start line ready for a big race (which he did, I just didn’t execute). On Slowtwitch, a triathlon forum, I came across Jonny Caron and we hit it off and we made the decision to work together. He looked at my past training to see what I had done then got started on my training.
We started working together in May and my first big result of the season came mid May at the Chicago Spring Half Marathon. It was a perfect day for a PR and that is what came out of that race. I lowered my half marathon time to 1:16:53 which is a 2.5 minute improvement from last year. So far so good.
Then I moved into a new apartment in Chicago May 31st. June 3rd came around and I had to sit at home and wait for the AC repairman and get my cable and internet set up. I had a nice bike ride with some intervals planned and I wanted to get it done outside to test nutrition and all that but time was the big factor. The install and repairs were done around lunch time so I quickly put my bike in my car, drove to my parents house, changed and rode. My season, and life, changed that afternoon. I was hit by a drunk driver on my ride. Thankfully the injuries weren’t worse, very bad bruising and cuts and gashes, but no concussion (thank you Rudy Project helmets!).
Then it was time to race my first big race of the season, Rev3 Wisconsin Dells and boy oh boy was that a tough race. It was not only hot and sunny but it was hilly and hillier and getting hit by the car took a lot out of me and I just did not have the fitness. I finished the race but was not happy with the result. The following weekend I race ITU Chicago which was a BLAST! It was a super fast race, and short, but it was cool to race in downtown Chicago and run around Buckingham Fountain and bike on lower Wacker. I was satisfied with that race.
July brought a lot of training, which was much-needed after losing training in June. I had one race, placed 2nd, but it was mostly about getting back the fitness I had lost in June then build on that fitness. And it worked! I went into my 2nd biggest race of the year, 70.3 Steelhead, ready to see what my fitness had in store for me. And it did not disappoint. I had my best race as a triathlete! I finished 25th overall, 1st in my age group, and 10th amateur. My run split, 1:20:59, was the 10th fastest on the day for all racers and my time, 4:18:27, was a 7 minute improvement on my previous fastest 70.3. So coming out of that race I was excited and knew I was in great shape going into Ironman Wisconsin. I just had to execute on race day.
The Iron distance triathlon, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, is a puzzle piece. One can go into that race on a perfect taper, with the best fitness they’ve ever had but one little thing can go wrong and it can throw your day off. But the good thing with a race that long is that if one thing goes wrong you have the chance to fix that and still end up with a good race. Ironman Wisconsin was a tough race for me right when I got out of the water. My glutes started cramping so the first few miles of the ride I was taking in nutrition and stretching a lot which made my ride slower than I wanted but I knew that if I had a good run I would put myself back into contention. I think I wanted to run so fast I did not let the race come to me. I felt good coming off the bike so it was tough to slow down and I think that hurt me in the long run. After a few miles taking in nutrition became very tough. Nothing tasted good and I felt sick. Now if it was a stand alone marathon that wouldn’t be good but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But after 6.5 hours of racing my body was depleted so it needed those calories and liquid that I just could not give it. It became a death march to the finish but I finished with my head up but wondering what if.
2015 will be another great year and I am excited to get started with it! I am not sure of my schedule yet but I know I will be racing more than last season. But now I will give my 2014 training totals! Here are my totals from 2013 for reference.
Swim: 380,961 yards (216.5 miles) in about 100 hours (20 hours more than 2013)
Bike: 4840 miles in 261.5 hours (about 50 more than 2013)
Run: 1534 miles in about 188 hours (about 40 less than last year where I did two marathons)
Total: 558.5 hours total training which is 37 more than 2013!