Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 year in review, and plans for 2014

2013 was a very fun year for me as a triathlete.  I was thrilled with the results from basically every single race that I participated in, and accomplished some things that I truly did not think were possible for me.  So how do I expect to improve on this year's accomplishments in the coming year?  Is it even possible?  I think so...and I hope so!  Keep reading, and I will discuss 2014 plans later in this post.  First, I will recap 2013....month by month.

January: Focused primarily on running (I hate biking in the cold weather), and PRd the Houston Marathon on Jan 13th with a time of 2:41.  Celebrated with a trip to NYC with Kimbo the next weekend!  Saw 2 broadway shows, and ran in Central Park 3 times.

Me and Kimbo at the top of the rock!

February: Continued running quite a bit, but got the ol' bike out because IMTX was looming 3 months in my future.  Seth Cooke and I both hadn't been riding much in the winter, but we made ourselves do a century ride one wet mid-February morning with temps in the lower was miserable, and we both did horribly.  We struggled to average 19 mph, but we vowed to do many more 100 milers before IMTX and to remember that awful ride as we got our bike legs back in the coming months.  On the bright side, I didn't let up too much on running, and PRd the Cowtown half on Feb 24th with a time of 1:13!

March: Continued the progress on the bike, hanging on to Seth's wheel for dear life.  Did a few more 100 milers, and my first tri of the season - the Athens Triathlon. Something interesting happened at Athens...I lost the race in the run.  Traditionally, I've lost races in the swim/bike, but never the run!  I took at it as a sign that I was becoming a more complete triathlete.  Also in March, I won the Tyler Azalea 10k!  I have run that race almost every year since I was in the 6th grade, and even before that I have memories of watching my Aunt Sarah run it...along with Kenyans and high profile runners from all over the US/world!  It used to be a pretty prestigious race, so winning it was a great experience!

After the Tyler Azalea 10k

April: Started April off with another PR - at Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston!  Raced a 4:13, and I was thrilled with every aspect of it....nvm, in retrospect, the swim should've prob been a little faster.  But the bike and run were good!  However, the highlight of April was probably the brick workouts with Seth...they were long, tough and monotonous...but most importantly, they were completed.  We were ready for IMTX.  Oh, I also won the Spring Fall Classic Oly tri in Wills Point!  To continue the brick theme for the month, Seth and I rode our bikes back to Tyler (~70 miles) after the race.

Me and Seth at Galveston

May: The month of IMTX got started with a win at the Komen 5k (Race for the Cure)!  Like the Azalea 10k, this race goes right by my house, and has a special place in my heart.  The taper leading up to IMTX went well, and Seth and I went to The Woodlands with Kona on our minds.  My nerves were pretty high race morning, but the race couldn't have gone much better!  My swim and bike were both solid...and even though I had some slight GI issues during the run, I was happy with it too.  Finished in 8:58, 12th OA, 2nd amateur, and 1st in my AG!  May was rounded out with a nice college roommate reunion on Memorial Day weekend!

Finishing IMTX!

June: Didn't really spend too much time recovering from the ironman, as Seth and I were both setting our eyes on Kona (4 months out). So we pretty much continued the 100 mile rides and long runs - but no real serious bricks.  Kimberly surprised me with a birthday triathlon (Salty Dog sprint tri in McKinney), as she bought both of our registrations, and completed her first triathlon! 

We also won the Texas State time trial championships during June! (Chuck Lafferty, me, Seth, Nathan Lesniewski)

July: Continued the ironman training into the hot summer.  Seth and I raced the TriWaco Oly tri at the end of the month...he rode his bike there 2 days before the race...100+ deg temps and a steady 10-15 mph headwind the whole way for 120 miles.  He's crazy...crazy fast at biking that is!  I went on to win the race, and despite the insane workout 2 days before, Seth finished 3rd and posted the fastest bike split (as per usual).

At one of our summertime bicycle pub crawls!

August: Ramped up the ironman training even more, and really got into the brick workouts with Seth.  I think it was 100+ degs every time we ran post-biking.  Solid heat training.  At the Hotter 'n Hell 100 (HHH) at the end of the month, I went off the front of the cat 4/5 road race and managed to stay out there for 40 miles before they reeled me in 2 miles from the finish.  Nothing like going off the front of a road race to get an insane time-trial workout in!  The next day I won the HHH half-marathon trail run!  Seth won the triple threat at HHH (mt biking, rd race, trail run)!

After the HHH trail run...I had running shorts on, FYI.  With my sister Maggie, nephew Luke, and Kimbo!

September: You guessed it, ironman training.  And the Rose City sprint 4th to some really fast dudes, but I was happy with my effort.  After all the endurance training, that sprint tri really did feel like a sprint!  On a negative note, a dog ran out in front of Seth during a bike ride and he broke his collar bone - 5 weeks before Kona!

Kimberly Cooke, Jeremy Brown, me and Kimbo all won awards at the Prairieman half ironman in Grand Prairie in September!

October (aka Kona month):  Flew to HI on Oct 5th (a week before the race), and stayed at Condo del Cobb until my family showed up mid-week.  John and Ginger Cobb were wonderful hosts, and John was invaluable in showing us the course, and around Kona in general...not to mention noticing and replacing my front fork that broke during shipping!  Seth and I had put in the training, and were ready to compete (well, minus his collarbone setback).  The race went wonderfully.  Except for me losing my watch 100m into the swim, and racing with a 600 lumen headlight that I accidentally left on my tri bike!  But seriously, I couldn't have dreamed up a better race (and I daydream quite a bit about racing).  Swim was faster than expected (:58), as was the bike (4:43), and the run was on par with expectations (3:00)...for a total time of 8:47. Good for 27th OA, 5th amateur, and 1st in my AG!  To cap that all off, I stayed in HI for another week, vacationing with Kimbo, dad, mom, Aunt Ann, Uncle Andy, Allie, Felipe, Paula and Kristen!

Kimbo was me for Halloween!

November: Came down from the ironman high, and shifted my focus to running.  Most of the progress I've made on running can definitely be attributed to the treadmill workouts, and I did many of them this month!  Had a nice Thanksgiving with Kimbo's fam, then my fam.

December:  Proposed to Kimberly!  You can read all about it in my previous blog. The Dallas Marathon was cancelled, but Seth and I ran our marathon that morning in T-town!  We ran a 2:43!!!  Had a wonderful Christmas - gave and received some pretty sweet gifts.  Spent quality time with my family and Kimberly's family!

Seth and I, spreading Christmas cheer.

OK, that ended up being waaaaay longer than I anticipated.  For that reason, you'll just have to wait for my next post to see 2014 plans!

Romans 8: 38-39: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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