Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year: 2013 In Review!

Without going through every painful detail from 2013, I thought I would share just the mullet of the year, the short-long, the cole's notes version of 2013, before moving onto the 1st day of the year, and my Resolution Run race report.

2013: The year of PBs

What is left over from the year of races. These, and memories.
This year was certainly the best year I have had for improvement gains. I socked it to my 8k (30mins), 10k (37 mins), 21.1k (1:24), and marathon times (3:06). I managed to run in 3 ultra's (and finished two), complete two marathons, and I learned how to get faster by running short course xc races. I won an age cat. national championship; won the age cat. for the lower mainland XC Series; I finished a Gran Fondo, and did not race any cyclocross at all (CX was my passion as of last year--how things change). 17 running races, 10 pairs of running shoes purchased, and a couple of bike races for 2013 make for a very good year!

Here are the stats:

6714 total kms ------- 425:10 hours of activity

2258 kms ------------- 215:17 hours spent trail running
3735 kms ------------- 142:13 hours spent road cycling
483.4 kms ------------ 37:21 hours spend mountain biking
237.7 kms -------------19:37 spent road running/racing

This graphic is a bit prettier to look at, with all the same info:

69 days of 2013 were days that I had (at least) a double workout day, with one workout in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

As a result, my finishes in my races all improved as well, with me finishing many of my xc, road, and distance events up near the front of my age category, or in the top 5-10% of all finishers.

The results:

Jan 20: Campbell Valley Stomp 10k-- 43:20 course PB

Feb 3: Aldergrove Mud Run 8k-- 30:42 course PB

Feb 10: PRR First Half Half Marathon-- 1:24:34  *New Half Marathon PB

Feb 27: Fort to Fort 30k--2:21:11-- New Race for 2013

Mar 16: Chuckanut 50-- 5:29:02 course PB

May 5: BMO Vancouver Marathon-- 3:16:18-- third best 26.2

Jun 9: Sandcastle 10k-- 37:18  *New 10k PB

Jul 7: Axel Merckx Gran Fondo-- 4:11:00

Jul 13: Knee Knacker--7:33:04

Sept 1: MYM 50mi--DNF at Base II

Sept 28: South Fraser XC-- 30:44, 2nd overall

Oct 13: Victoria Marathon-- 3:06:30, PB and BQ!

Oct 19: Frank Reynolds XC-- 22:56, 4th overall

Nov 11: Remembrance Day 8k--30:58, 13th overall

Nov 17: Fraser Valley XC Ramble--22:17, 6th overall

Nov 30: CAN National XC Champs--31:14, 24th overall, 1st 35-39

Dec 7: Gunnar Shaw 10K XC--37:58, 15th overall, 2nd 35-39

Highlights were many, some were not even races:

  • The 2013 Chuckanut 50 in March was a way better run for me than the same event in 2012;
  • Singing Pass run in Whistler with Sean in July was better than the year before (and I thought the year before could not be any better);
  • June and July had me attempting and completing 180k and 200k rides, respectively,with my buddy Todd Hounsell in helping him prepare for IMC. Riding the course in Whistler was pretty magnificent, even if we added some distance to it, and came across a bear;
  • The Knee Knacker in July was a test of my own resolve and lack of training--I was just happy to finish that bastard of a race; 
  • Frisby Ridge mountain bike trek with my brother in August was breathtaking; 
  • DNF'ing my first race--the Meet Your Maker 50mi was great as I was forced to put my priorities in perspective: my own pride and mental and physical abilities, or my family and health and recovery. I choose family and health, and it made for a happy wife, along with a great September for training.
I feel blessed to be able to experience so much of the outdoors, to move my body and enjoy nature in so many ways.

However, what is missing from this blog are the training stories--the nightmares, the horrors, the hurt we put on ourselves, the sleepless runs, the sometime-injured runs that we all experience in training. Much of what I do is for the joy of it--not every run or ride is enjoyable, but it is better than what I was doing just before I started doing it, which is usually going to the bathroom. 

This blog has left out the hurt, pain, suffering, self inflicted stress, the anxieties, the nerves, the lack of confidence. What is here on the page are often times the successes in the reports, rather than the mundane training that we as athletes put ourselves through. Not every workout is done with vitality, but every workout is a small means to and end. And after every workout, my world is just a little bit clearer. Exercise helps me to sort stuff out about what is wrong with myself, and what I can do about it.

As I mentioned, I took some photos of the Singing Pass run in July. I leave 2013 behind with fond memories of what was a great year, spent with many great people--this run being only one of the many spent with one of my best friends.

Singing Pass is a 24k trail. I was able to run this one with my Brother in law and closest running partner, Sean Baker. It took us about 3 hours to complete. We did stop for a swim in an alpine pond, which is a total must do anytime you come across any alpine pond. On this August day, the weather was crappy in Whistler--a low lying inversion fog rolled in and had the valley looking dark. Sean and I climbed above the clouds to a bluebird day with nothing but ourselves and nature as our companion.

Me and Sean are kind of like a runner's relationship with the run: we run together, we train together, we fight, we laugh, we beat each other up, we joke, we push, and we challenge each other. 

Together, we hold each other accountable in life and on the street corner at 5:45 each morning to get out there in the crappy weather, and the glorious sunshine. It has been so good to run with him for the last number of years, and I credit much of what I can do now to his stubborn support, and dumb ass sense of adventure. If it were not for him, I would not be the runner/athlete/person who I am today. I am grateful for my best pal, and what we experience together. 

I give you Singing Pass, Whistler BC. One magnificent run that is a must-do.

This was the best run of the summer, bar none. Especially better for the company that I kept that day!

Here is to an even better 2014! If you get out and move--do it often. And if you can, experience it with a training partner.

January 1st's Resolution Run race report to follow.....