Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monkey off My Back: 2013 Year in Review

Urvi and I with our CIM medals
photo by Mauricio Salmon
“You’ve got to get off my back” 
~ Flava Flav

“I passed the 26 mile mark as it the clock flipped to 3:12:00.  I was going to make it.  I was going to PR and BQ!  Tears started welling up in my eyes; I had to be shown how to get through the cones because I could barely see...” ~From “StripedSocks, Red Sox and Darned Sox

2012 had been a great season for me.  I had finally recovered from 18 years of smoking – wow when you say it like that. And as I reported at the end of 2012 – “2 and a half years of work finally placed me back in the ranks of ‘athlete.’” But there was one thing missing.

“The monkey ain’t no joke” 
~Flava Flav

I started out 2013 with a single minded 4 month goal.  Cinco de Mayo was circled on my calendar.  The Pittsburgh Marathon is where I would get the Boston qualifying monkey off my back.  Those four months, I did run races but they were neither goals nor targets.  They were merely means to an end.

I was happy and comforted to realize that while training through both Derry and Martha’s Vineyard – I did nearly as well the year before.  Then at New Bedford, the gang all put up amazing PRs. I did not but once again had trained through it and still improved from New Bedford 2012 (plus my half PR from Great Bay 2012 was a perfect storm of fitness, weather and rest).

Seth and I getting ready for Pittsburgh
“He's home grown, he's the cyclone
He's the moan groan, capon, the clone” 
~ Flava Flav

The single minded goal – Pittsburgh Marathon – finally came.  Dan and I were putting in even pace from 1 until mile 7.  At mile 7, I tried to step over a median and BAM, twisted my ankle.

I knew my race was over.  But, I didn’t want to admit it.  So on one of my worst twisted ankles ever (and, I’ve had a lot), I presumed to run two more miles at goal marathon pace.  “At mile 9, I knew even the charade was over.

I had been ready and with one slip of the foot, 1000 miles and 5 months of training just went out the door.  Limping in to finish my worst half marathon ever, I thought I might be jinxed.  Now that monkey had grown, he’s the cyclone.

RaceMenu Summer Series Start - I'm "hiding" in the third row

“We got the real Flava Flav
Gettin' down with the sound
And he's tellin' you to get off his back” 
~ Flava Flav

I stepped back from the marathon for the summer (despite the exhortations of Tommy and Anthony to run Quebec).  While I didn’t end up cycling much, I ran shorter races.  I moved in with Urvi (I have a life outside of running).

The big “goal” of the Summer was the Race Menu series. Like Gordon had argued: if for nothing else than something to keep looking toward to stay in basic shape.

I won my age-group in the Series – with a cotton T-shirt to show for it.  And my summer finished up with running Reach the Beach for the first time with the fantastic Fighting Guppies team.

Fighting Guppies - reach the beach
“As-salam alaykum
And that's the way we take 'em
And if we got to frisk you down
Then that's the way we shake 'em” 
~ Flava Flav

Labor Day relaunched my singular goal.  14 weeks to BQ at CIM.  With a couple of minor (to me) Cross-Country races and two training races, my fall was lighter than the summer.  A Personal Record at the Nahant 30K gave me confidence if not comfort that I was on track.

Manchester was going to be a training race.  In fact with 58 miles from Monday to Saturday, I was uncertain I was going to be able to hit training paces.  But, one mile led to another and then a few miles with Karen and then:

“I came across fist pumping at gun time 3:13:48 and chip time 3:13:40 - 28 second PR and BQ minus 1:20! Robert quoted me from mile 13.5: "yeah 'I'm going to slow down at mile 16.'”

Finishing Manchester City
best photo ever?
"Get off my back" 
~ Flava Flav

Oddly, this left me with five weeks until my “real” marathon.  I had told everyone that I was still going to run for 3:10.  (Also, I wanted to try to beat Dan’s PR and his time for running two marathons in 5 weeks.)  The first 13 at California International with Tim were great.  Unfortunately, I was unable to keep it up for the second half.  However, I did still beat my Manchester time for 2 Personal Records in the marathon in 36 days.

Personal Records (and time faster than pre-2013):

4 Mile - Gobble^3, 25:36 – 0:20 PR
7k - Run the Goose, 29:35 - 0:02 PR
30K – Nahant 30K, 2:18:55 – 7:36 PR
Marathon – California International Marathon - 3:13:31 – 0:38 PR

High Category Finishes: 
Casey’s (Jan) – 1st, overall
Super 5k (Feb) – 3rd, Linebackers
Martha's Vineyard 20 Miler (Feb) – 2nd, Clydesdales
Malden Rotary 5k (Mar) – 1st, Age Group
USATF-NE Master’s Shotput(Jun) – 1st, Age-group
4K on the Fourth (Jul) – 1st, Age-group
Jim Kane 5k (Jul) – 1st, Heavyweights
Race Menu Summer Series (May-Sept) – 1st, Age group
Manchester City Marathon (Nov) – 4th, USATF age group
Yulefest (Dec) – 2nd, Masters
California International Marathon (Dec) – 3rd, Clydesdales

No comments:

Post a Comment