2009 In Review

Thinking about this post, the feeling I had was of mediocrity.  My mood is quite different this time of year than in the thick of the season.  There is really nothing I am excited about right now.  However, reflecting back on the entire season there ARE achievements I am happy about and consider a success.  On the flip side, there are experiences I would like to forget.

At this point in my life I really relish the struggle and the journey more than the accomplishments.  My main goal at the start of the season was to set a PR in marathon distance at the Illinois Marathon.  That didn’t work out so well with a time of 3:47 and stress fracture of the right Fibula.  Although I failed in this feat I really enjoyed my training over the winter of early 2009.

I took some time off to heal and concentrated on my cycling skills after the marathon.  I even had to skip some tri’s early on to allow for recovery and healing.  The upside is that my cycling improved.  I logged over 2,400 miles for the year and put in a 104 mile day on one long ride.  More miles than the previous 4 or 5 years.  The other piece that improved my solo cycling skills was consistently attending the Wednesday night time trials.  These rides really improved my ability to push myself while riding alone.  Yes, that is my weakness.

My next race wasn’t until July when I raced the Decatur Tri for the first time.  What an experience!  It was the longest tri of my career up to that point.  It was definitely a learning experience.  I did almost drown and experienced a panic attack for the first time.  Finishing the swim was a turning point for me though.  My time sucked but finishing it and not quitting definitely released all fears that I would have the rest of the season.  Nothing could be worse.  The Decatur Tri made me a better swimmer and triathlete.

Racing IronAbe was my next race.  It would also be my longest up this point in the year.  I had never done the longer IronAbe before.  The run portion almost killed me and started to doubt my ability to do longer triathlons.

Fresh off the IronAbe disaster I did the Canton Tri.  Sprint triathlons are much easier than the grind of an olympic distance.  At least for me.  I impressed myself with a time of 60 minutes and some change.

Instead of tapering for the Railsplitter Triathlon in August I opted to do the Parade Run instead.  I’m happy I did because I set a PR with a time of 12:22.  This left me motivated for the Railsplitter but my legs really felt the effort.  I barely survived the Railsplitter.  Again it was the longest Triathlon I have ever done.

Having the last race of the year so far into the calendar was challenging.  Danoh convinced me to do the Longhorn Half Ironman in Austin, Tx.  The kicker was that it wasn’t until late October.  The days were short, the temperature dropped, and the training was less-than-desirable that late in the year.  With all that said I had a great experience in Austin and attained my goal of under 6 hours.  This left me rejuvenated mentally but tired physically.  The rest of year would be spent resting.

It turns out that 2009 was a memorable season for many reasons.  The main accomplishment was just getting more comfortable with triathlons.  Now that I have a few under my belt I should be more relaxed next season and able to focus on the intricacies.  None of the memories would not have been appreciable, however, without the love and support of my family, friends, and rabbits.  Thanks everyone.