Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Year in Review and a Big 2015 on the Horizon

Wow.  Looking back at this year I feel fulfilled.  I started the year on the disabled list.  Hurting my back in late December and required one month off from any training at all.  After some Chiropractic work for a few weeks, I was able to start back into training; very slowly at first.  Then eventually, the muscle memory took over and I was back to my old self in a about a month.  My training was different this year.  3-4 days a week I would run 3 miles to a gym near work, do 20-30 more minutes there.  I would also run home and call it a day or extend that run home.  The running to work was at a hard effort.  On weekends, I didn't really go very long.  I can't remember the amount of marathon or more training runs I did because there weren't that many.  I used practice races once a month as my very long runs.  In between races, I would make sure I was recovered or wouldn't run.  But I would do a fair amount of walking to help speed recovery.  My results this year:

April: SpringleTrack Fatass Marathon - Fun run Finished
May: Bear Mountain 50-Miler: 9:40:35 - PR
June: TGNY 100 - 20:52:33 - 8th place and 100-mile PR
July: Running with the Devil 12-hour - 49 miles - 3rd place
August: UTMB 100 - 35:23:48 (bucket list dream race)
October: Tesla Hertz 100 - 19:22:08 - 1st place and 100-mile PR
November: NYC Marathon - 3:21:57

So while the number of races overall may have been on the low side, especially compared to many friends I know, given the amount of PRs I set, I feel great about how my training went and I was able to balance that with work and life.  I'd love to be able to carry this good momentum into next year as 2015 will be epic.

The first piece of awesome news is that I have set up a Team in Training event specifically for Bear Mountain races.  I will coach a team of runners doing from 5K to 50-miles.  It's a brand new type of event for Team in Training and I'm excited to lead these runners to their first technical trail race and/or ultra.  If you're interested in signing up, let me know or go create a new account or sign if if you're an alumni and choose "other" for the type of event and then TNT Your Way.  Fundraising minimum is only $900.  You can't beat that.   

The next piece of news happens next.
December 6th, 2014 - "Holy crap my name was pulled in the Western States lottery!"  I only had something like a 4% chance.  Then, thanks to Snipes for letting me know (really Justin Peake who told Snipes) I found out on December 7th that I'm on the waitlist (#54 on the waitlist) for the Hardrock 100 race.  This is a tough thing to handle mentally.  If I got into Western States and Hardrock, I would train for Hardrock specifically, run Western States "easy", then recover for Hardrock a few weeks later.  However, being on a wait list means I may not get into the race because
I only get in if 54 people in the race that have NEVER run the race before drop out.  I don't know if the chances of that happening are high or not.

What makes this a more difficult decision is that Western States allows me to take part in the "Grand Slam of Ultra Running"  This is running 4 of some of the original 100-milers in a period of 11 weeks.  Western States, Vermont, Leadville, and Wasatch.  I was most likely going to go for it but know that there is a chance life will get in the way and I wouldn't be able to do those races.  I am confident I can finish them all and would love to do it as it's something I may never get a chance to do ever again.  But it's not the most important thing in the world and if I can't make the events, so be it.  But the conundrum with Hardrock is I am pretty certain I can't finish the Grand Slam and have Hardrock right in the middle of it.  Hardrock is an beast of a race.  Anyway, here are the links to those five races for those that are curious

Western States -
Vermont -
Hardrock -
Leadville -
Wasatch -

So what will most likely be on my schedule?  For now, it looks like:
February - Febapple Frozen Fifties - 50K
April - Springletrack Fatass Marathon
May - Bear Mountain 50-miler
June 6/27/15 - Western States 100
July 7/10/15 - Hardrock 100
July 7/18/15 - Vermont (if not doing Hardrock)
August 8/22/15 - Leadville 100 (if not doing Hardrock)
September 9/11/15 - Wasatch 100 (if not doing Hardrock)
October - Tesla Hertz 50-miler?  Probably just sleep.
November - Sleep
December - Sleep

The good news about this dilemma is that if I drop off of the Hardrock wait list and decide not to do it, I still get twice as many tickets for next year.  But my odds would still be about 4% of getting picked.

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