Thursday, January 3, 2019

Looking Back on 2018

So here we are in 2019, which usually has meant I look back at the previous year and see how things went.  All told, I think it went really well. I had no sidelining injuries, I had achievable goals and I continued to help other runners get to their goals as well.

January started with a blast, as I paced Lindsay to a PB in the MEC 5K PPP race. I hadn't planned on even being in the race, but it was a great way to get moving and get Lindsay her first sub 20 minute 5K.

Then came February. Welcome back Tri-the-Oval 6. Speed skate, Mountain Bike Ride and Run. I had done all the previous ones and this was my breakthrough year with the win. Yes, it was a small field this year but it was great to finally take home top spot in this event, which really was the event that forced me into speed skating to start. 

After my return from Australia and some great running down under in March, I was back at pacing and paced Pat at marathon pace for the Moose Run, a 25 km fun run in Eastern Passage. We paced in a little faster than his ultimate goal pace for the Boston Marathon and then celebrated with some food and drinks. 

April was light in the racing department and was mostly me running around Clayton Park trying to build some hill pounding kilometers into my legs. But Early May saw me hitting Citadel Hill for MEC Race 2. This was tough one, with a cold rain, a change in the course (though this is an every year kind of deal) and a tough field of runners. I decided to run it going for broke and see what I could manage. I remember hitting the first kilometer at a 3:18 pace and thinking, uh oh. I ended up coming home in 3rd for one of the hardest 5k races I have done in a long time.

Finally the big show came about with the Bluenose. I had trained hard and it was all about bringing home a PB. And of course race day was rainy and humid. Oh well. As usual I got dragged at the start a little too fast, finally settling in for what would be a really lonely race. I wasn't ultimately as happy with the changed route from previous years, but it was the race so I ran it. The final push was tough, but I did manage to get my 1:20 half result with a 3:48 avg pace.

June saw a couple of Duathlons, both with decent results, though in both cases my bike just isn't up to par with the other racers. My focus on running has made huge strides, but really if I want to place higher in these events, I need to up my biking game. June also saw another 5K race. The Bridgewater Tire Trot was kind of a last minute idea, but I cam away with the win and a sub 18 minute 5K. So a total success in my mind.

Then came the summer. I managed to start the Aylesford Triathlon as the top placed male in the Triathlon Nova Scotia points series and wore the coveted Golden Swim cap. That was pretty cool. The race went well, though my swimming hasn't been up to the level I had it to two years ago.  

Back to pacing, and Lindsay needed a little help in her next goal of getting below 19 minutes for the 5K. Oh yeah, we did that.

As the summer progressed, I switched to trail running in my quest to kick some hilly butt in October. So it was 2 hour trail runs every weekend. I will say, I loved the off road and relished in the tight twisty, rooty, rocky trails that we have locally.  This training gave me the desire to even enter an off road mountain duathlon. Loads of fun.

In between all this distance trail work, I managed to get a one mile event in. The MacPass Mile is a tough, but fun event, and this year we had decent weather. While there was rain, it didn't rain during the race. So that was nice.

I managed a new mile PB in 5:02. That sub 5 minute mile is still eluding me, though to be fair, I didn't train for it.

More off road and lots of hikes with the pups kept coming.

As September hit us, I found time to host a canicross race, and get 2 races myself in. The Rum Runners Relay was a blast, as I ran Leg 1 and did really well with an average pace of 3:43 over 13.6 km. I had prerun the route and knew how tough it was going to be. Prior to Rum Runners I managed a great second place finish in the MEC 15km race 4, beating my previous 15km PB with a sub 56 minute run. 

That shows the effort I gave in that race. Ouch. Gas and go!

Finally my A race came and off to Cape Chignecto I went. The result of the race went my way, the race itself was quite the adventure with some missing volunteers and a little extra distance. Still, it was a great run and I enjoyed every up and down that Chignecto had to offer.  I came away with the win and I know I will race the trails again.

In fact I hit the trails a few weeks later to run the Flying Nutz 10km race near our home. I wasn't sure what shape I was going to be in and whether or not it was going to be a fun run for me or a good effort event. In the end, I gave it a good effort, and this twisty course with punchy hills really suited me. The cold rain fell, but with a hard effort I stayed warm and took the win.

Movember was upon us and I hosted my annual Movember 6K fun run, raising almost $3600 for the Movember Charity.

I finished the competitive year with another fun run at The Keppoch (home of the Off Road Duathlon). While it was not a timed event, I did manage to push fairly hard in snowy icy conditions and finish first. 

So in all, I biked 5985 km, swam 66km, and ran 2365 km. All injury free thanks to smart training, and a little help from Seaside Chiropractic. Support from Aerobics First in some of my events and Sportwheels also made the year far more manageable.  

I achieved many great results, some of them overall wins, some age group wins, some PBs. I also ran and biked and swam with great friends and helped coach some amazing athletes to their own PBs. I sat (and continue to sit) on the boards of two sports groups, The BLT Runners and The Maritime Association of Harness Dog Sports.  And I managed to get to 98 donations at Canada Blood Services in all of that as well. 

Bring it on 2019, let's see what you have.