Well, it’s been most of the season and I haven’t managed to finish a blog post all summer or this first half of fall. Which is a shame because it has actually been a banner year for me. Let me explain; No it will take to long. Let me sum up:
So far this year to date I have achieved a PR in every race I entered. Every single one. Every distance, every race. It appears that Ironman training has been good for me on the whole. I escaped major injury (or rather, I trained well and listened to my body) and I finally got my iron levels to something approaching normal. I have no idea how long I’d been training and racing before this while being iron deficient. So thanks to my doctor for making me get blood drawn every three months and take iron supplements regularly.
Even my usual bout of ulcerative colitis wasn’t quite as bad this time around. While it did last from mid July to a few days ago, there were fewer days where everything hurt and I didn’t want to leave the vicinity of my bathroom.
Since there’s only one more race on my schedule this year and it’s the New Year’s Eve run, I’ll give my season update here while some of it at least is still fresh in my thoughts. I might even polish off the 5 half-finished race reports on my hard drive and post them in the next two months or so. Question: If a blogger races in a race and fails to write a race report, did the race actually happen?
Starting with last year’s New Year’s Eve run, here’s what I’ve been up to this year:
Silvesterlauf 2012: A 10k race put on by one of the local running clubs. It’s always wet and cold, usually raining or snowing, run 80% on trails and gives away no swag whatsoever. They still get over 2000 of us to show up anyway. I managed a 51:31, good enough for 23/92 in my age group and 121 out of 561 women. This was in the middle of a ½ marathon cycle which was in itself 2 months into the Ironman training cycle and was like 3 minutes faster than any previous 10k of mine.
Shamrock 1/2 Marathon 2013. Also freaking cold with a really cold wind blowing and getting stronger through the day. We cleverly booked ourselves into a hotel at the start line (the Cavalier if you’re interested in doing the Shamrock 1/2) and still checked in a bag of clothes for the finish line which was close to a mile away. It was a great race and I’m sorry that I didn’t write up a report for this one. I lined up in the right place in my wave, ran fast and easy and negative split the hell out of that thing. The last 3.1 miles I did in 25:36 which is something ridiculously close to my 5k PR (actually, it’s not I just checked and that’s apparently 24:43, but still, I did the final 1.1 miles at about 7:50 pace which is for me pretty remarkable). So, a great race that I love doing and had the best swag at the end as well. Big, soft fleece finisher blankets! Which we needed because it was really cold by that point in the day. The Wife also had a stellar PR, go us! So then we got to hang around in our nice warm blankets and cheer another friend on in the marathon and overall had a great day in the middle of an excellent holiday to see lots of old friends.
Another 10k, this one a one-way all downhill race that goes from another small town to our hometown. I ran a 10k PR (51:07) in the middle of a hard training week and then puked daintily on the grass. This one I actually managed to write up here: Höchster Kreisstadtlauf race report.
Ironman Frankfurt! I am an Ironman. Ironwoman. Ironperson. Whatever. Mike Reilly said my name! The Wife had the much harder job of keeping track of me and wrangling the rest of the gang who came out to see me. I had an amazing day. I have a couple thousand words of unfinished blog post about it. The swim was wonderful. It was fun. I swam at a faster pace over 3.8 km than I can for 100 meters in the pool. I didn’t panic! The bike was fun for about 70 miles, then really hard, but if it wasn’t hard, what would be the point? Then I ran a 4:33 marathon (only 16 minutes slower than Pete Jacobs ran it on the same day!) Also, I negative split the marathon by about a minute. I am the goddess of consistent pacing. And yes, I didn’t do any prep triathlons this year before Ironman. I couldn’t find any good ones that were convenient enough so instead I spent a lot of time visualizing T1 and T1. That seemed to work out ok for me. Did I mention that finished my first Ironman this past July? And it was incredible? I did? Good. Shall I tell you about it ad infinitum in excruciating detail? What’s that? Oh, I have already? Ok, I’ll just save it for the (as yet unfinished) blog post, then.
Frankfurt City Tri Jederman (everyman) sprint tri. I finally made the podium in a triathlon! Third in age group. But of course, all the fast folks were doing the Olympic distance. I was joined by the Wife and our friend S in her first tri ever! We all did great! Also, I have a “1” after my name for the first time ever. Despite panicking on the swim (at the time of the panic, I was telling myself that 400 m was nothing and I’d just swum an ironman in this same lake, but that didn’t help. I was caught in a maelstrom of flailing breaststrokers inadvertently kicking and slapping the crap out of me and the contact sent me into the second worst swim panic in memory.) Regardless, I shook off the swim and had the fastest women’s bike split of the day and averaged something like 22.3 mph. I didn’t mange to break an hour but was 4 minutes faster than the only other time I did this one with the crazy bike distance (it was 400 m, 13 km, 5 km). Also, I was only 4 seconds off my standalone 5k run PR. I’ve panicked during the swim at 100% of the Frankfurt City Triathlons that I’ve raced. Or three. But, every one. I have no idea (other than the hordes of flailing breaststrokers) why it happens to me at this one and not any others anymore.
Cologne Triathlon Weekend Olympic Tri: Another PR for me! By something like 25 minutes. But that’s a bit of an unfair comparison. I’ve only got two other Olys under my belt. One was the first real triathlon I ever did and the other was Frankfurt City two years ago which has a crazy bike distance (yes, they do that for all their triathlons) so it’s not really comparable. Anyway, 2:41 all together. I was a bit disappointed in my bike (I’ll tell you about it when I finish another of those half finished race reports.) but again, I had an amazing run only 20 seconds off my standalone time. And the swim – this was such a fun swim. The water was clear so that you could see the people around you, the very pretty plants growing on the bottom, the occasional carp and the incredibly helpful lines about 2 meters deep. We got to swim in the regatta lanes of the local watersport center and it really was a great swim. Also, no panic. In total, I only panicked during 1/3 of this year’s triathlons, or really, only once this year!
Lauf für Mehr Zeit 10k: This is the Frankfurt area charity AIDS run and I also raised about $160 for it so go me. This race was a giant disappointment, not because I didn’t PR, but because the course was really short. I came out prepared to run hard for 10k since it was the last race of my season and I only got to run hard for about 5.9 miles. Which I did in 47:45. I was definitely on track to smash my 10k PR but this one is definitely an asterisk race. If something under 48 minutes stands as my 10k PR, I’ll spend the rest of my life not managing to break it.
It was a hell of a season for a middle-aged middle of the pack triathlete. At the moment, I am taking a short break from training plans which basically means that my inner Schweinhund is getting some exercise. Since September, I’ve been running maybe twice a week, swimming once a week, and completely ignoring my poor bicycles. I’m about to write out the plan for this year’s New Years run and write out the race plan for next year as I am not to be trusted with just exercising on my own. And maybe next update will a) be less than 4 months from now and b) marginally less about boring naval gazing than this one is. As another side note, the Wife PR’d pretty much all season as well, despite a nagging ankle injury that prevented her from running most of the summer. I shall leave it to her to write up her own report detailing how fast she’s become. In fact, as her coach, I insist that she write up a short summary of her season with particular attention to how fast she is on the bike and the run and how much smoother and relaxed she is in the water. She’s welcome to post it here or keep it to herself; I just want her to celebrate how strong she is and how far she’s come as an athlete. In fact, anyone reading this is invited to publicly celebrate yourself here or wherever you are most comfortable doing so.