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2012 Season Recap

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

A bright summer season now in the rear view mirror… but the open road is still ahead of me

The 2012 race season is behind me.  That’s such a bitter-sweet statement.  It’s weird to be doing an end-of-season recap in November (2012 isn’t over yet), but I won’t be doing any more races this year, and I’m excited to start planning for next year already…

davetriing:  I guess, chronologically, the first big success of 2012 was starting this blog (well, in my opinion at least).  It’s given me a great outlet to reflect on the ups and downs of the year, and connect with other bloggers and interested readers.  Those connections and comments, and suggestions, have really helped my race evolve this year (awww… sappy moment!  Group e-hug!)

Health and Training: A big part of why I do this is as a means to improve my health. To change my lifestyle from the couch potato I have been since my University years to a healthier lifestyle focused on fitness.  Shit, this is hard work!  It’s really hard to overcome sedentary habits.  I struggle to manage food cravings for the crap that made me fat in the first place.  I struggle to differentiate between “fatigued” and “lazy” (both of which make sitting on the couch sound like a great idea).  I struggle to know the difference between the good pain of muscles being pushed, and the bad pain of muscles being hurt.  Mostly I struggle to get into a routine.  There’s always an excuse not to go out for a training session.

That being said, I made a lot of positive strides this year.  My weight is down from 256lbs in May to 240lbs as of yesterday.  That’s a lot less weight to be hauling around every time I go for a run.  And while I have a lot of work to do in terms of adopting (and sticking to) a routine, I did a much better job of committing to a run routine this summer than I did last summer – and it showed, knocking over 5 minutes off my 5k PB time!

I don’t think I did a great job of balancing my training though.  Going into this year, my run was the weakest part of my race, so I really focused on it.  And while that helped my run time, my bike time took a slight step backwards due to a lot less bike training time than the previous summer.  My resistance training also became inconsistent (read: non-existent) which led to a lot of leg strength and core strength problems late in the season.

So there’s lots to work on over the next 12 months.  The key is balance.  It’s hard to find enough hours to run, bike, swim, lift, and stretch as much as I seem to need to.  Writing a plan that balances all this will be relatively easy – motivating myself to stick to it will be the real challenge (especially when the weather gets cold and the couch is right there calling to me)!

Races: I did 2 races this year – The Wasaga Beach Triathlon Duathlon and The Hamilton Road2Hope 10K.  Both went as well as I could have hoped.

The Wasaga Beach Triathlon Duathlon was an achievement just for finishing.  I had trained for a Triathlon, and found out mere minutes before the race started that the swim was canceled due to crazy rain and wind, and so I would be racing a duathlon (race organizers would later say it was the most rain and wind they’d ever seen on a race day… though that comment seems a bit out of context given the recent storms we’ve endured… but it was still pretty wet).  I had never run more than 5k before race day – running 7.5k was an achievement, let alone racing in the rain.  Yet I still set a 5k PB time.  Very happy with this race.

The unexpected extra running of the Duathlon (and “holy shit I didn’t just die” feeling) led me to tackle a longer run next.  The Hamilton Road2Hope 10k was a great success, as it proved to me that I could go further than 5k.  It was nice to stretch the distance out a bit.  And I was thrilled that I replicated my Wasaga 5k PB pace over a 10k run.  I wasn’t able to replicate that pace even a single time in training, not even over a 5k distance.  There’s something about Race Day that helps you find an extra gear.

(photo credit: My Sports Shooter)

If I had one – regret – about the 2012 race season, it would be the race schedule.  I did 2 races, up from 1 the previous year, but they were both in the fall.  I think motivating myself to stick to a training schedule through the spring and summer would be much easier if I had races to train towards earlier in the season.  A better spread (and possibly more races – ’cause they’re fun) might be in order in 2013.

Gear: A few subtle new additions to my gear collection this year have made a big difference.  My wife hooked me up with birthday gifts this year.  A fantastic new water bottle with a compartment to put my keys, or my work swipe badge when I want to run from the office after work, has been a wonderful little toy.  Not having to worry about pockets for keys = less excuses = more runs.  Win!


The other great birthday haul from my wife was a copy of The Athlete’s Book of Home Remedies.  I think I’ve linked to it on a dozen or so posts already this year, but in case you’ve missed it, here’s another link.  I can’t get enough of this book – injury home remedies, workout plans, performance tips – and all written for the weekend athlete.  Fantastic.  It’s helped give me direction several times this summer!

The other gear addition that really paid off this year was the acquisition of our Race Number Belt.  It seems like such a little thing, but it really helped with my T1 time.  In my 2011 Triathlon, my Swim -> Bike transition (“T1” it’s called in race circles around here at least) had all kinds of issues with my race number pre-pinned to my shirt, and trying to pull my shirt on – pins catching and falling off all over the place – before I could get on the bike.  Not having to fuss with safety pins while the clock is running is a huge time saver and stress relief.  You can buy little water bottles that clip onto it – I think I may make an investment soon on a pouch I can put my phone onto the belt, so I can bring my tunes and GPS with me on training runs even if I don’t have any pockets.

Overall, I’m really happy with my 2012 season – lots of things I want to work on over the next 12 months, but this year was my step forward from simply hoping I could finish a triathlon without embarrassing myself, to making progress.  It’s nice to look back 12 months ago and know that I’m lighter, faster, and fitter – even if I have a lot of work I still want to do.

More than anything, this season has convinced me that I’ve caught “the bug”.  I may still cross the finish line nearly last in my age group, but I love it.  I love race day.  I love proving that I can do it.  I love going faster.   I can’t wait for 2013!



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