October 2013-February 2014.
My main events for 2013 were complete. I had one race left…the Monster Dash Half Marathon. This would be 6 days after the Detroit Marathon, and my first race as a Marathon Maniac. I was doing this since it is the last race of a local series that I participate in. I would be a sort of victory lap for me.
Legs were tired for that one, and it was cold. The day was otherwise beautiful. The expo was tiny, but I signed up for the entire series again for 2014. Left the expo with a bag full of swag (Team Ortho races are a mess, but they always have the best gear). The race was nothing special. They had too many runners, too many races on the same course at the same time, the timing company had technical problems so many did not receive an official chip time (we e-mailed them, and they basically gave us any time we submitted). Another typical Team Ortho train wreck. But, it was still a fun race.
Finish Time: 2:00:58.
Weather was holding out. No snow yet. I did one late season add on race…the Turkey Trot 10k. This was part of another series. They have great medals and I was one race shy of getting the series jacket. Otherwise, nothing special. Just another race pushing my running as deep into the season as possible.
Finish Time: 56:59.
Then, it started to snow, and got very cold.
My formal Ironman Training program would start in February, but I needed to maintain fitness until then. I did take a week off of all training. I got a pair of Yak Tracks, but rarely used them. I injured my ankle running in snow and uneven footing the previous winter. I wasn’t going to do it again. So, I got a membership at the local community center and started to use their (small) indoor track for my longer runs, and my treadmill for shorter runs. I kept swimming once a week until the training program started and I bumped myself up to twice weekly. I did a couple of really long swims and got some severe abdominal pain afterwards. I was swallowing a lot of air when I was breathing. Over time, this corrected itself. I put my bike on an indoor trainer and started spinning. I watched a lot of movies that winter, but would only let myself watch if I was spinning too.
My first race of 2014 was the January 1st Polar Dash (Team Ortho series race). This was the second year in a row of brutally cold temps (wind chill in the -30 range both years). I was doing the 14 miler (14 miles in 2014 theme). Having a race every couple of months during the off-season helps to keep me motivated. It was sunny and horribly cold. They did a good job of getting rid of most of the snow and ice (we had a snowstorm the day before the race). The heating tent didn’t really work. They announced that runners can and should turn around at anytime and they would still award you a finishers medal. I did the full 14 miles (I didn’t want a medal I didn’t earn). It hurt, but the bragging rights are eternal.
Finish Time: 2:34:51.
Once that was done, I reviewed the book “Be Iron Fit” by Don Fink. This would be my training bible for 2014. It would start in February (right around my 2 year “Runniversary”). Until then, I would have early mornings full of spinning, swimming, track and treadmill. I had about 6 weeks of maintenance training before the formal plan kicked in. Then, I started the plan, and I started this blog…