Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014-Year In Review. 2015-The Year In Preview.

2014 was the year of the Ironman for me. It was the only event that mattered. Everything else was just window dressing. Every other event was a train-thru for that one single event. It was on my mind almost every waking moment.

It was an obsession.

The year could be broken up into three phases. 1) base training, 2) 30 week Ironman training program, 3) post Ironman.

I did other events, a lot of other events, but none mattered to me. The only thing that mattered was this single moment in time…

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Oddly, in hindsight, it was a great year in many other ways. For starters, I started blogging! The blog started as an attempt to catalogue my training and to keep myself accountable. It was also a journal to help me remember the journey. I am still amazed that so many others decided to take this journey with me!

I technically also completed my first Ultramarathon-26.5 miles (the world’s shortest Ultramarathon) at Route 66. Finally, I did a LOT of events, and achived PR’s in most of them. Essentially, the amount of training that I was doing elevated my game across the board.

Here are the PR’s that I achieved this year:

5k-23:49 (Lifetime Torchlight 5k)-0:40 improvement.

10k-47:40 (Flying Pig 10k)-4:29 improvement.

10 mile-1:27:50 (Twin Cities 10 mile)-10:32 improvement.

Half-Marathon-1:44:03 (Monster Dash Half Marathon)-10:40 improvement.

Sprint Triathlon- 1:18:26 (Lifetime Trinona)

Ironman 70.3-6:13:51 (Ironman 70.3-Muncie)-52:32 improvement.

Ironman-15:42:11 (Ironman Wisconsin)-No previous PR.

In my third year of running, I have completed nine marathons, 19 half marathons, five half-Ironmans and 11 triathlons.

My Ironman world ranking score improved again this year. You earn points in every Ironman competition that you compete in. If you win your age group, you receive 5000 points for a full IM, and 3500 points for a 70.3. The minimum number of points received per race is 1000 points and 700 points (for a 140.6 and a 70.3 respectively). The three best scores are added to give your year end total upon which you are ranked. I only received 700 points in 2012. That improved to 2145 in 2013 (3 races, two minimum number of points and one slightly higher). That improved to 2376 this year. Keep in mind that I increased my point total even though I completed fewer events. My previous best single race score was 745. This year, I was awards 1000 for IM Wisconsin and 1376 for Muncie 70.3. This placed my in the top third of all Ironman athletes in the United States.(had I completed another 70.3 and received another base of 700 points, my total would have swelled to 3076 and I would have ranked in the top 25% in the country! Wish I could have found a way to sneak one more race onto the calendar!)

My training totals have equally surprized me:

Ironman training totals (30 week training block):

1066.2 running miles (1716 km) , 2818.0 cycling miles (4535 km) , 116.2 swimming miles (187 km). Total of 4000.4 training miles (6438 km) and over 457 training hours.

Year end totals:

1580 running miles (2543 km), 3001 cycling miles (4830 km),  127 swimming miles (204 km). 4708 total miles (7577 km).

I made a point of stacking a bunch of running events on the calendar post-Ironman triathlon. The rational was that it would be easy to go into a very long off-season and risk losing fitness and never returning to my active lifestyle. I know that I need an offseason, but I decided to postpone it, and return from my Ironman event to a full fall running season. This schedule included a 1500m, four 5k, two 10k, one 10 miler, one half marathon, and two full marathons in the 3 months after Ironman Weekend. The plan worked. I have returned to running as a lifestyle and I am maintaining it nicely.

Even though the year is over, the season will continue for another three weeks or so. Tomorrow, I am competing in the Polar Dash. It is a series of three short races in one day (10k, 5k, 1500m). A couple of weeks later, I will be flying to Houston to complete one more marathon. Once that is complete, I will ease into a well deserved off season.

The year did have so ups and downs. For starters, I broke a rib with no trauma (I simply leaned over the padded center console in my car). That led to the discovery that I have osteoporosis and that I have the skeleton of a 100 year old man. Surprisingly, the broken rib had little impact on my Ironman training (I was able to continue long swims and long rides, but I had to substitute the elliptical cross trainer for running for a week or two). I also was not able to improve upon my marathon results. On paper (based on my half marathon time) I should be posting full marathon times of about 3:45-3:50. But my personal best remains stuck at 4:26…less then a minute faster then my first ever marathon finish (18 weeks after I started running). After 3 years, the lack of improvement at my prefered event is very frustrating. Either I am doing something very wrong, or marathons are just not the right event for me.

The plans for 2015 are complete, and it will be busy. I have been burnt out on triathlon training and I have little interest in cycling at the moment. I will try to focus on marathon running next year with a few sprint triathlons sprinkled in just for fun. I will not reach 1000 cycling miles next year, heck I may not get to 500 miles. But I will look to cycling as cross training and will try to rekindle an enjoyment for the sport that is no longer there. I will not compete in another Ironman nor do I have plans for another 70.3…but I suspect that I will complete another one at some point down the road. I will participate in 5 marathons and one Ultramarathon. The ultra will be a 24 hour event. It is about as low-key as you can get. It is a flat 2-mile loop with two aid stations. You can stop anytime you want. There is no DNF. I did a 50k during training this year, and I completed the “World’s Shortest Ultramarathon” in Tulsa at Route 66. But, I want to make it official (which I consider to be at least 50k). My hope is to go even further. I doubt that I will fall in love with ultra’s and this will likely be another “one and done” event. It would be nice if I could get splits for 50k, 75k, 50 miles, 12 hours, 24 hours, etc. We shall see if I can improve my endurance to that level.

The two marathons at the very end of the season will be back-to-back (2 marathons, 2 states, 2 days) in Kansas City and Des Moines. This will allow me to enter the 50 states marathon club and move me up to “4 moons” in the Marathon Maniacs club. Other marathons will include Pittsburgh and the Twin Cities for a third time.

Looking ahead to 2016, I was considering the Disney/Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. It is still on my radar (it hits all my “geek” buttons-running, Star Wars, and Disney) but I have a hard time justifying the expense for a half marathon. With Ironman complete, I think I need something new to kindle my excitement. I need a new challenge (but one that won’t take over my life). The more I think about it, the more I think that it will take the form of Cross Country Skiing. I don’t ski. Not at all. I tried it when I was eight years old. I wiped out on the tow line for the bunny hill and never looked back. But three years ago, I didn’t swim, cycle, or run either. If there is one thing that this journey has taught me is that I can do more then I think possible. The “Birkie” is one of the biggest and best ski-marathons in North America…and it is in my own backyard. It is a 50+ km race and I am setting a goal to complete it in 2016 (the race is in February). When my Houston Marathon is complete, I will try to find out more about this sport. I have found some skiing lessons for beginners at  a nearby park which include equipment rentals. I can try both classic and skate techniques and see if I enjoy either. By that point, the end of year clearance sales should be starting and I can hopefully get into the sport without a big financial investment.

Thinking about 2016, I may look to that year to become “the year of balence”. I will have reached a point where all of my crazy goals have been reached (marathon, ultramarathon, goofy challenge, back-to-back marathons, Ironmnan, 50 states/50 marathon club, Marathon Maniacs club). Instead of continuously outdoing the crazy, I think I will focus on making fitness and racing as a sustainable part of my life. I am thinking about two marathons a year and one mid-distance triathlon (Olympic or Half) per summer, with shorter fun runs sprinkled in. Starting this year, I will limit travel to 3 events/year (I would really like to get it down to two a year, but there are just too many great races on my radar) and keep the rest local. Already thinking about Toronto Goodlife Marathon in the spring, Chicago Marathon in the fall, with The Berkie in February and Minneapolis triathlon olympic distance during the summer of 2016, possibly followed by the St. Louis 70.3 (if it exists) with a couple of marathons in 2017, Dopey Challenge (25th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Marathon) as the highlight in 2018 with one other fall marathon. I like the looks of those schedules. I like it a lot…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Last Long Training Run of 2014

Signing up for a January marathon always sounds like a great idea…until I have to muster the courage of doing a long run in late December.

Temps were mild-ish. High 20’s with light winds. Road conditions were acceptable, but far from ideal. There were some dry spots, but most of the road had a thin layer of snow. There were some icy areas so I had to constantly watch my footing. The skies were dreary and overcast (the only time we get mild conditions this time of year…). Motivation is a struggle for me. I don’t enjoy running in these conditions. I don’t like wearing layers. I am a fair weather runner, and I am overdue for my off-season.

I lace up and head out the door. No i-Pod today. I will need to pay attention to traffic and to what I am doing. It may turn out to be a VERY short run is the road conditions are worse then I estimate. I am running a 3 mile loop. Goal is to hit 21 miles (7 loops). I make the first tentative steps to the first cul-de-sac. Footing is ok so far. I will not risk injury so close to race day, but I think this will be acceptable. With that in mind, I forge ahead…

Part of me feels that I should have taken a break after my finish at Ironman Wisconsin. My training for that event left me physically and mentally drained and exhausted. But that was on September 7th. If I had hung up my running shoes until spring, I risked getting really out of shape by spring and may not start running again. I decided to build a full fall running season to keep me motivated. Twin Cities Loony Challenge (5k, 10k, 10 mile), Monster Dash HM, Route 66 Marathon (+ 5k and 1 mile fun run), Polar Dash Yeti Challenge (10k, 5k, 1500 meter), and the Houston Marathon (+ 5k). It was aggressive, but I knew I would need some motivation to keep me running deep into the season before allowing myself the luxury of an off-season.

The first lap is fine. I have mapped out the problem sections of the route and I elect to keep going. I am moving very slow. I never run well when I am wearing so many layers, and my caution is slowing me down as well. Today is about endurance, not speed. Six more laps to go.

I have looked at the long range forcast. Next weekend should have been my last long training run before I taper. But, it will be Christmas week, and it is also my year to work the holiday weekend…so I will be there on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The rest of the time will be with family. I don’t want to do a 4 hour run over Christmas. Also, the temperature will plummet. Yes, these are excuses, but I am ready for a break and I will go with a 4 week taper if I can get this long run completed.

Six laps completed. I am moving at a snails pace. It is 3:30 in the afternoon, and the gloom is deepening. I assume that the clouds are getting thicker, but then I realised that it is actually starting to get dark. It is pitch black by 4:30pm nowadays, and it will be getting pretty dark by the time I finish another 5k. It is already hard to see the icy areas on the road. I think about packing it in and call my 18 miles as “good enough”. But it wasn’t. I head out for one more lap.

Next weekend, I will run 10-12 miles I think. I will run outside if I can, or on the treadmill if I must. The following week will be the Polar Dash (the previously discussed 10k/5k/1500 meter race series) on New Years Day. That will count as my long run that week. It will also be my last outdoor winter run of the season. I will do a 10k on the treadmill, and several 5k treadmill runs heading into the race. The Houston Marathon is one of the 10 biggest marathons in the nation, and I am sure the energy there will fuel me on race day and beyond. It will get me hungry and restless as next spring approaches and I will be eager to get out on the road again when nature permits. I have a warm up event mid-March which will propel me towards my spring marathon in Pittsburgh in early May. After that, I have built a run-focused season for 2015.

It is truly getting dark as I pull into my driveway. Twenty-one miles completed. Time to taper into marathon weekend and a long overdue off-season. I will take 1-2 weeks of no activity and then exercise for health and fitness. Sure there will be treadmill time, but also elliptical, bike trainer, swimming and weight training. My body is uninjured but beat-up and sore. My ankles hurt all the time. I can now look forward to a final big event and the long overdue rest and recovery…

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Coral “A” or Coral “C”?

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the Houston Marathon. Coral assignments were finalized and I was in coral “C”. A few hours later, I received a “corrected” coral assignment and was in “A”. There are a total of four coral. So, which is correct? Do I belong with the fastest (non-elite) runners, or do I belong with the slower then average group?

Well, depending on how you look at it, both are correct.

This the second time that I have been granted top coral seeding based on previous finishers time (the other was Disney). Both times, the coral assignment was based on my finish time in a shorter event. When I am seeded based on a marathon time, I get pushed back…way back. During the past year, my short to mid-distance events have gotten stronger. My marathon has not. I hit a well between mile 15-18 and then just slog the rest of the way. You can see the difference in my PR’s:

5k-22:49

10k-47:41

Half Marathon-1:44:03

Full Marathon-4:26:15

I qualified for Houston based on my 10k result (sub-51:08 minutes) and my HM result (sub 1:52:55). But I was nowhere close to qualifying based on my marathon time (sub 4:00:00). In Houston, any of the 3 results got you qualified. Also, if you qualified based on time, you are automatically seeded in the front coral.

I think what happened was simple to explain. I got assigned “C” based on my projected finish time, then got pushed up to “A” based on the fact that I am a time qualifier.

This brings up two things to ponder. One, why is my marathon time so much weaker then my other races. I routinely do long run training (sometimes four 20+ mile runs before a marathon) but I lack the endurance (it’s the legs, not the cardio that kills me). Second, where do I line up on race day?

I think the answer to both is pretty simple. First, I am just a better runner at short distances. Maybe I will improve in the marathon distance with more experience. Maybe I won’t. I still love marathons. They are a bigger challenge and are usually the events that I build my season around. But I am just not that strong at that distance.

The second answer is easy as well. I will line up in “C”. It is where I belong in a long race, and I can join a realistic pace group there. I will be happy to see the big “A” on my bib, knowing that I did earn it. But, I need to be realistic and fair to the other runners….

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I Can Finally Run Outdoors Again!

A month ago, we were hit with an early season snowfall. 14″ of the heaviest snow I have ever seen. It was the weirdest stuff. I clogged my snowblower every couple of minutes. Once someone drove over it, it became like concrete. Snow plows were unable to remove much of the packed down snow as it turned to slush and refroze as ice. We had a couple of brief thaws and refreeze which only made matters worse. Walking on this stuff was treacherous. There were thin sheets of ice, and there were these thick, uneven rutted ridges that would roll your ankle with one misstep.

Running on this stuff was impossible. That storm set my training back about a month

So, I ran on the treadmill, but I could only handle about 5k-10k at a time. I made my way to a local indoor track and ran 15 miles there once (my definition of torture).

I will run outside in the cold, but not on the ice. I injured myself doing that a couple of years ago and I have learned to be cautious. I expect the roads to be bad in January and February. That is usually my off season and I back off of running. I can limit myself to shorter treadmill runs, along with cycling on the trainer, using the elliptical, swimming, and weight training. But winter hit early, and I have one last marathon in 5 weeks. I needed to get 1-2 long runs before the event.

Finally, a prolonged thaw was coming. Temps getting into the high forties and staying above freezing overnight for a few consecutive days. This should finally break the ice pack on my roads. I hoped for a running window on Sunday before winter was scheduled to return on Monday.

As promised, the thaw arrived. Driving around the neighborhood late Saturday, I only spotted a couple of problem spots. I was good to go. By mid morning, the air tempuratue was in the low 40’s. There was thick fog and a light drizzle. There was also no wind at all. The air tempurature was quite nice without a breeze and I ventured out in a long sleeved thermal top and tights and a pair of gloves. Not needing a balaclava or multiple layers is quite a treat this time of year.

As expected, the roads were in great shape. There was only one spot that wasn’t passble and I had to cross the street. There were a couple of icy patches that I simply walked over. I had hoped to get in a twenty miler. I completed 21. The marathon is in 5 weeks. I should be able to do 10-15 miles as my long run somehow next weekend and hope to get one more long run in two weeks before I start to taper. The rain came down hard on Monday, clearing out most of the remaining ice. Then it turn to snow overnight. We got about an inch, and there might be ice beneath the snow. The long range forcast shows no more snow until Christmas, and the sun is coming back. Even though it looks like it will be below freezing, much of the snow should just burn off with the sun. I might be able to complete my long runs before the roads turn bad again. One can hope!

But, even if turns out to be impossible, getting a 21 miler in this week is enough to feel prepared (not ideal, but acceptable). A couple of weeks before Houston, I have the Yeti Challenge scheduled for New Years Day (10k, 5k, 1500 meter in one morning). That will be on a busier road where the pavement should be clear. It will serve as my last longish run before my marathon. All the shorter runs can be done on my treadmill.

But, yesterday’s outdoor run was a blessing. The weather was glorious for this time of year, and it was what I needed to make me enjoy running again!

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1500 Miles and Climbing…

Today the odometer turned and hit another milestone.

1500 running miles (and counting) in 2014.

Several days ago, I hit another milestone…3000 cycling miles. Add my 125 swimming miles and I have had a busy year. It’s not quite done with as I have a marathon coming up in early January. As much as I would love to make it to 5000 total miles in 2014, I estimate that I will be over 300 miles short. Still, that is a lot more then I could have ever imagined in a year. And since I have no plans to train for an Ironman ever again, I doubt that I will ever reach this pinnacle in the future. Since 2015 is schduled to be heavily focused on running, I should beat this year’s run total, but will be nowhere near the cycling, swimming or overall mileage. In many ways, this was a year for the record books…

 

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My 2014 Ironman World Ranking

For every Ironman race, you get points based on how you perform in your age group. First person across the finish line in your age group gets the maximum number of points (5000 for a full, 3500 for a 70.3), then the points drop by for point for every few seconds until it hits a floor (minimum number of points you get just for finishing-1000 for a full, 700 for a 70.3). Top three scores are added together for your final point total for the year. This year I racked up 2376 points (last year I had 2145-which looks like a small improvement until you factor in that I completed three races last year and I beat that score in only TWO races this year).

This ranks me at 2228/6167 American athletes in my age group (36.1%) and 7789/17988 worldwide (43.3%). Last year, I was at 3087/6397 US (48.3%) and 10256/17787 worldwide (57.7%).

Had I competed in one more 70.3 and just finished (and received the base points of 700), my score would have been 3076. This would have improved my ranking too 1445/6167 (23.4%) US, and 4840/17988 (26.9%) worldwide.

You get special status from Ironman if you are in the top 10%. Even if I had completed a third race, I would have been nowhere close to that kind of elite status, but seeing those numbers really makes me wish that I had found one more event to participate in. Would have been great to claim that I went from an obese couch potato to top 25% among American Ironman participants in my age group in 3 years.

I doubt that I will ever rank so high again. I have no plans to ever compete in a full Ironman again. My 2015 calendar if set, and I will only compete in sprint events next year. I might do a 70.3 in the future,but I will limit it to one/season. For that reason, I wish I would have found a third event this year to max out the points. However, I am still pleased with the gains I have made this past season…

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Rethinking My 50 Marathon/50 States Goal…

When I started running marathons, I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit new community and exploring then in such a unique way. Although I love my hometown race (Twin Cities Marathon), I did not want to continuously repeat this race year after year. I found the 50 States Marathon club and it piqued my interest. I never thought that I could finish this challenge, but it would allow me to look at a lot of new running options. My first goal was to get to the minimum membership criteria of 10 marathons/10 states. I should reach this plateau next year. The challenge has brought me to some great events…such as Disney, Detroit, and The Flying Pig.

Next year, I am scheduled for Houston, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Des Moines (along with two more in Minnesota). I started looking at more neighboring states. Chicago is an obvious choice. Fargo has a good reputation. Indianapolis Memorial is another good choice. But there are a lot of marathons that I was immediately excluding since I had already “completed” that state. St Louis would be a good event, but was unnecessary since KC was entirely in Misourri. Cleveland was out since Flying Pig is also in Ohio (Cincinati) as was Philadelphia (already have Pittsburgh).

A couple of weeks ago, I completed the Route 66 marathon. It’s a race that has a great reputation and has amazing medals. But it is a medium sized marathon in a medium sized city (Tulsa). Ultimately, this was not my favorite experience. The size of the event, the city, and the expo were the source of my disappointment. I have found that I just enjoy large scale events. I like the excitement and pageantry that comes from being a part of something huge.

I went back and analyzed my recent races and upcoming events from the perspective of size. The quickest way to look at this was by looking at the total number of finishers. I started with my hometown race…the Twin Cities Marathon. The total number of finishers was 8855. This had been my benchmark for a “mid sized” marathon (since I consider the Twin Cities to be a standard sized Midwestern city, I assumed that many marathons were this sized). Disney was my benchmark for a “large” marathon (20693 finishers), and Grandmas was my idea of a “small” marathon  (5618 finishers).

In researching this further, I found that Disney was the 5th largest marathon in the United States, Twin Cities was 9th, Grandmas was 13th. I clearly had a very skewed idea of what an average sized marathon would be like.

Route 66 Marathon had 1682 finishers. This turned out to be a mid-sized marathon…and it was too small for my taste. I definately do not want to go any smaller. I actually did my first ever marathon at a small local event. I had no desire to go that small again )Minneapolis Marathon with 890 finishers).

So, time for me to look at my upcoming events:

Houston-6945 finishers (large, but smaller then the Twin Cities)

Pittsburgh–4507 finishers (still a good size)

Kansas City-1340 finishers (Wow! Way smaller then I expected)

Des Moines-1586 (stunned that it is bigger then KC!)

Other nearby races (ones I would have to do if I were going for the 50/50 benchmark):

Indianapolis Memorial-3736 (I would be happy with this)

Fargo-1655 (small, but an easy drive, and a “must-do” marathon if you live around here).

Sioux Falls SD-409 (uhhh…no)

Omaha NE-360 (hell no!)

Runs I would be missing:

Dallas-4875

St Louis (2 marathons…Go! Or Rock n Roll)-1392 and 1207

Toronto (2 marathons…Goodlife or Toronto Waterfront)-1505 and 4038

Philadelphia-10364 finishers.

Cleveland-1912 finishers.

Miami-3778 finishers.

Los Angeles Marathon-21507 finishers.

San Francisco Marathon-6626 finishers.

Big Sur Marathon-3590 finishers.

Chasing 50/50, I would likely limit myself to LA, SF, or Big Sur…but I want to do them all!

Looking at this, the 50/50 club would be keeping me from races that I feel that I would enjoy, and forcing me to races that I would not enjoy as much. That completely defeats the point in doing the 50/50 club.

So, I will let 50/50 slide. I will still track states but not obsess over them. I will still join the club as a milestone, but that will be about it. Choice of races will be based on the event itself (and the bling), not on state geography.

This sport has a lot of options and possibilities. Many prefer the smaller races. I lI’ve the pageantry of the big events. NY, Chicago, Honolulu, MCM are all on my bucket list. But, for right now, Omaha and Sioux Falls are not…

 

 

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Race Report: St. Paul Turkey Trot 10K

St. Paul MN. November 27, 2014.

Some events are “A” races. Some are train thru events.

This is a shameless grab at nice bling for a short and inexpensive local event.

For a 10K and a registration fee of $30, I get me a pair of running socks, a long sleeved tech running shirt, and a nice 3″ medal (sadly, nicer then my Ironman medal…)

As usually happens this time of year, the mercury plummeted the night before the race. Race morning was -1F with a real feel of -12F. I don’t run well when I have to be bundled up, and I was just coming off a marathon 4 days earlier. I had no expectations for this event (well, I expected to freeze…and to run slower then a tortoise running thru peanut butter).

To make it even more fun, the event was also a complete train wreck! These guys send out spam emails every day. They get ignored. One came thru telling us that same day packet pick-up was canceled. I would have to drive 50+ miles (each way) to pick up a packet on the day before Thanksgiving between 12-6pm (sorry guys, I have a job). Otherwise, we had less then a week to ask for our packet to be mailed out for an extra $9.

Of course, I didn’t see that e-mail. I found out about this 3 days before the event. It was too late to have anything mailed out. I send them a message on FB and thru their site e-mail. No response. I finally found the email of the race director. He replies to show up at their truck on race morning and they would take care of me.

Somehow, my bib and socks arrive by mail the day before the race (odd, I never paid for that and I only reached the race director that morning). No shirt (that would be picked up after the race…but they had already run out of my size at packet pick up).

The race itself is an out and back on a highway in St. Paul. The 10k goes first, then the 5 K goes out in waves. The 10k and 5k merge for the final mile. I have run this road several times as it is a common course for local race directors. The road was thankfully free of ice and snow.

It was darn cold, I had multiple layers and ran slowly. I didn’t bother with the aid stations since all the beverages were frozen anyways. I just got into the zone and ran my race.

Finish Time: 1:01:41

I grabbed a few snacks and got my medal. The 10k medals were noticeably larger then the 5k medals this year (glad I did the 10k!) I went to pick up my shirt and they were out of mediums. The large was huge, so I took a small which is a little too snug. I e-mailed the race director and it looks like they will mail me a correct size (they offered this for everyone last year, but didn’t this year). A lot of participants noticed that their finish time was off by 50 seconds or so. This was corrected a day later.

Overall, I enjoy this series as training runs. They have nice gear and bling. This was more disorganized then usual and was disappointing. Looking at next year’s event, many do not offer same day packet pick-up. If this is the case, I will likely have to avoid these events in the future…

This was also my last race of 2014. It has been a successful year, but I don’t consider the season to be over quite yet. I have the Polar Dash-Yeti Challenge (10k/5k/1500m) on January 1st, and the Houston Marathon weekend on January 18 before I head into the off-season. After that, I have one off-season half-marathon in March before the 2015 campaign kicks off with the Pittsburgh Marathon during the first weekend in May.

Unfortunately, the roads remain awful, and I may have to marathon train indoors…ugh!

 

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