At the finish chute of the 2012 EnduraFit Eagleman Ironman 70.3 in Cambridge, Maryland
No, not the end of the world. The end of the 2012 racing season. WIth only 2 races left and heading into the off season, it’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on this year.
For most people, the start of the New Year begins with New Years Resolutions and their fair share of Tylenol and toilet hugging recovering from the night before. For me, it started my new training program to prepare me for my ultimate race of the season: the Eagleman Ironman 70.3 Triathlon. Despite the constant spinning of the world around me, I was eager to start my training and get into the racing season.
The first race of the season started off in March with a few local 5K races. “Tune-Up” races, I like to call them, to get my body back into the groove of racing. I started out with an overall win at a local 5K at The Arena Club, the Shamrock 5k, in 17:31. Congratulations to my sister who won her division for the 20-29 age group in her first race. I followed that up with a 2nd place finish at the 4th Annual Fear the Turtle Find a Cure Autism Speaks U 5K with a finish time of 22:08 (the course measured out to 3.8 miles).
In May, I went out to Maple Lawn in Howard County to run the Maryland Half Marathon. After an awful race last year of 1:51:00, I finished this year 8th overall and 2nd in my Age Group with a time of 1:25:07. A PR on a hilly course. A week later, I went to Annapolis for the Rock N Roll Tri Rock Annapolis sprint triathlon where I grabbed a 1st place finish in my Age Group with a time of 1:09:00. This race also qualified me for the USAT Age Group National Championships in Burlington, Vermont.
On June 9th, the big day finally came. My first Half Iron distance triathlon. A 1.2 mile swim in the choppy Choptank River, a 56 mile bike through the flat and windy marshland of the Blackwater Refuge, and a 13.1 mile run through the hot, humid, and unshaded roads of Cambridge. Going into the race, my main goal was just to finish. Deep inside, though, I wanted to break a 5:30:00 for my first 70.3. Despite the heat wave, the swim was still wetsuit legal, which left me hot and dehydrated after the swim, which I finished in 0:32:23. My head was spinning as I wiped out in front of everyone in transition, lifting myself back up to a crowd of “oooooooooo” and my face 10 shades redder. I hopped onto my bike and hit the windy bike course. After only 20 miles I was cramping, lost 2 water bottles, and got a flat. I guess it wasn’t my day. Despite this, I came back into transition 2 hours and 53 minutes later to take on the 95 degree run course with 80% humidity at 1PM. I promised myself I’d start going to church again, because if this is what hell feels like, I want to make sure I get through the pearly gates! Cramping left me walking after the first mile, and the heat left most others on the side of the course with an IV stuck in them. After a mile or so of bitching and complaining, I forced myself to run. I kept a decent pace and finished with a 1:51:41 half marathon for a finish time of 5:22:40 and 13th place in my Age Group. The finish felt great, but the nap in the car afterwards felt even better. (A big thank you to Saul Krosnick and his family for allowing me to stay at their shore house the night before).
I gave myself a month to recover and my next race was the Nations Triathlon in DC on September 9th. The course was flat and fast and I finished the Olympic distance in 2:24:41, capping it off with a top 50 run split of 38:59 for the 10K.
My most recent race was the Baltimore Half Marathon. It’s one of those races you say you’ll never sign up for again, yet every year you find yourself toeing starting line. It’s been a vicious cycle for the past 5 years. The hills get to you and honesty the course is flat out ugly in the middle. But there I was, at the harbor in the 50 degree weather. I was able to put together my best run to date and finished 2nd in my Age Group and 26th overall with a time of 1:22:07. Missed my goal time of 1:20:00, but as they say, today’s failures set up tomorrow successes.
I still have two more races left in 2012. The Philadelphia Marathon in November and the Annapolis Half Marathon with my sister in December. Looking back, I will say this season has been my most successful. With four podium finishes and a PR at nearly every race, I couldn’t be happier. A huge thank you goes out to my training partners Courtney, Shana, Brian, and Scott and to my trainers Nicole, Kim, and Alicia. The biggest thank you, of course, goes to my family. They’re the ones that support me the most despite listening to me every single day obsess over training, racing, and my lack of money to do anything other than train.
So with 2012 nearing the end, I look to 2013. The race calendar is already taking shape, headlined by the Lake Placid Ironman on July 28th. That is, if the world really isn’t nearing its end.
Strength, Heart, Determination.
2013 Race Schedule
Saturday, March 16, 2013 – Rock N Roll USA Marathon
Saturday May 11, 2013 – The MD Half Marathon
Sunday May 19, 2013 – The Columbia Triathlon
Sunday June 2, 2013 – Revolution3 Quassy 70.3
Sunday July 28, 2013 – Ironman Lake Placid
Sunday September 15, 2013 – The Philadelphia Rock N Roll Half Marathon
Sunday, October 27, 2012 – Marine Corps Marathon