Monday, December 30, 2013

2013

Every year I like to write up one post that summarizes my endurance adventures.  Similar to the past few years, 2013 ranks up there as one of my best (and most improved) years on record.  My races took me to North Carolina in February, back up to Maine in May, out to Iceland in August, and out to Ithaca in September for my first 50 mile run.  More importantly, I got to share my passion with Neil as he took on his first race in Iceland and now proudly sports the SRR colors.

Volume
Every year I like to plot out my distance for the year on a map and see where I would make it had I just continued on in one direction.  If you remember at the end of 2011, I posted a map showing that my running would have taken me all the way to Orlando and my total mileage (swimming, biking, running, CC Skiing, and Hiking) got me almost to San Francisco. 

Anyways, this year was definitely the year of the run. With 2073 miles ran (another 33+% increase from last year) and just a mere 350 miles of cycling, I'll only be plotting the run.  So after a little fun with Google Maps, I found that I was able to get just past Gillette, Wyoming, a few hundred miles easy of Yellowstone National Park.


Also this year I had a major focus on hill training most trail races have a significant amount of elevation gain. I was able to increase my total climbing this year from 57,000 ft to 100,000 ft. To put it in perspective, 100,000 ft is enough climbing to go from Mount Everest base to it's summit 8.3 times. 

Races and Personal Records
2013 started with the single goal of completing my first 50 mile race.  So everything that I planned on doing endurance wise for the year, had to fit within or around that goal.

The year began with a tough mountain trail marathon in Asheville, NC where I not only finished 9th of 200+ runners, but for the first time finished something of marathon distance still running and feeling strong.  Neil also got to meet Aunt Jane, Uncle Terry, and some cousins which alone would have made it a successful trip. This also was the 13th state I have completed an event in. 

Next up I pushed Neil in the stroller for his first official race at the Groton 5K.  After taking the first mile on the easier side, I switched into a high gear and flew through the remainder of the race.  I don't think I have ever been cheered for so loudly as we tore through the final 200 meters on the track. 

We spent memorial day weekend visiting Amy's childhood family friends Julie and Dale in Maine as I took on the Pineland Farms 50K.  Despite running in 6+ inches of mud at times, I emerged with a 5 minute personal record good enough for 7th overall, 1st in my age group and a small bottle of maple syrup.

Still riding high after my 50K race, I switched gears and participated in my club's 26 X 1 mile relay held at the Tuft's track.  I have only run a 1 mile race straight out once since high school so I figured lets just go for a quick time and see what happens.  On minimal speed work I was able to throw down a 5:10 mile, a 3 second PR over my high school time and good enough for the fastest time on my relay team.

With the first six months of 2013 down, I was standing at two personal records with a mountain marathon and a 50K trail run under my belt.  From here on, it was time to get serious distance wise.

After two full months of hot (both heat and humidity) training (including two 30 mile training runs) we traveled to Iceland for both a vacation and for the marathon.  With a nice break in temperature (50 degrees), but not humidity (still 80+%). I was able to finish the race in 3:09, another PR, this time by 10 minutes.

After quick recovery and quick ramp back up to a 70 mile week, complete with an 11 mile relay leg at Lake Winnipesaukee, it was go time for the peak event, the Virgil Crest 50 mile Ultramarathon.  After 10 hours and 39 minutes of trail running / hiking, I finished my first 50 mile race.  Technically my third PR of the year as I had never run the distance before.  

After a month recovery / easy running, it was time to get my speed back up.  I started off with a trail run at Great Brooks Farm (TARC Fall Classic) taking second overall.  Next up was the Mayor's cup 5K where I ran sub 6 pace for the first time this year.  My speed racing culminated with the Mill Cities Relay were I had 5:57 pace over 5.4 miles.

All and all pretty good year of racing:

- 18 races
- 4 races of marathon or longer
- 4 Personal Records (1 mile, marathon, 50K, 50 mile)
- 3 races with Neil in the stroller, fastest mile 6:04

Fundraising

The past year has been a blast as I have continued my fundraising campaign of donating a $1 per mile ran.  Each month I have selected a new charity to learn about and contribute too.  The past month has been the most rewarding as I continue to receive thank you letters and emails. 

 2013's Charities
- January: New England Organ Bank
- February: The Dan Scharfman Education Fund
- March: Walk Boston
- April: Karno's Kids
- May: The One Fund
- June: National Parks Conservation Association
- July: Invisible Children
- August: Cradles to Crayons
- September: Share Our Strength
- October: Komen for the Cure
- November:  Operation USA
- December:  Cisco Global Hunger Relief Campaign


2014
2014 promises to be as big a year 2013.  First off I have a beef to settle with the 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances as my personal records are completely out of date for the latter two.  Second I plan on taking on one if not two more 50 mile races (including one at altitude in Colorado). Third I plan on completing my first 100 mile week.

But in the end, all I really want to do, is just go out, find some new trails, and enjoy running them.

On to 2014

- The Multisport Maniac


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