So,I finish 2012 with:
1601.5 miles running (107 miles with my dog)
3350 miles cycling
So, it was a good year getting into the ultra distances in both running & cycling. I surpassed my running & cycling totals for 2011. . .
It has been an interesting year. At the start of the year, I set out a few goals:
- complete a half-ironman distance triathlon
- run an ultra-marathon
- ride three double centuries and get a California Triple Crown
- finish the California Death Ride
- ride the NorCal Aids Ride
Those things happened but the year then turned in a direction that I did not anticipate but it's been a great year all around. . .
My current crazy athletic lifestyle started three years ago when I decided to train for a triathlon. As I have become a crazy endurance athlete, I don't really consider myself a triathlete. I prefer the sports individually moreso than all together. But, I like to do triathlons here and there.
This year, my only goal in the triathlon area was to finish a half iron-man distance triathlon (70.3). In May, I did the Napa Vintage Half-Iron Triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). I finished under my goal of 7 hours so I was happy with that. After that, I didn't do any more triathlons. I had other goals in mind. . .
At the start of the year, I had the intentions of making 2012 a big cycling year. I had a big running year in 2011 and felt like 2012 should be a big cycling year for me. I set out some BIG and CRAZY cycling goals on the agenda.
In March, I finished my first double century -- Solvang Spring Double. In May, I had four EPIC days riding 450+ miles in both the NorCal AIDS Cycle and the Davis Double Century. In June, I finished the Grand Tour Highland Double Century and becoming a California Triple Crown Winner (someone who finishes at least 3 double centuries in a year). And then, in July, I finished all 5 passes of the California Death Ride.
By July, I felt satisfied with all I had done with cycling but I felt done with cycling for the time being. I also found that I preferred running over cycling. And, I decided to turn my focus back to running. In late July, I got in a pretty bad bike crash in Napa causing some serious damage to my teeth. It took me a little while to get back to riding again and the latter part of the year had a lot less miles on the bike than the first half.
While I discovered I am more of a runner than a cyclist, somewhere along the way, a new relationship developed with a wonderful, cyclist. An unexpected surprise but a rather happy surprise. Together with Craig, we shared many fun cycling adventures including riding Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tam, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Wildflower Century, the Auburn Century, the Grand Tour, and the Death Ride. He also built me a brand new (and improved) bike.
As for cycling goals in the future, I am not too sure. I think I will just ride for the fun of riding. I will throw in a few events here and there but no big major plans for 2013.
Early in the year, I started training for the Way Too Cool 50k. Along the way, I met numerous ultra trail runners. And, there's something about the ultra world that really sucked me in. I would finish the Way Too Cool 50k in March and pace a friend for the last 23 miles of the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run. I then tried to turn my focus into my cycling goals but the running world continued to lure me back.
But, as Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run came around, the yearning to run that race emerged. I knew I wanted to do that event some day but when June came around, that yearning grew. Then, I started looking for a 50 mile event to qualify for the December lottery.
I would finish the year running three more ultras: the Tahoe Rim Trail 50k, Folsom Point 50k, and the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile. I finished my 50 miler under 11 hours to qualify for the Western States lottery. Unfortunately, I did not get picked in the lottery. So, I have to wait another year and another lottery and hope to get in for 2014.
Also, during the year, I would start volunteering for a program called Up and Running Again. A program that works with at-risk individuals and help them train for a half marathon. The program was a wonderful experience. It really was wonderful to take what has given me and share it with others individuals. And, to watch people who could barely run in week 1 be able to finish a half marathon 14 weeks later was just priceless.
The Up and Running Again program is also what got me to start running back on the roads again. I ran mostly trails in the earlier part of the year. But, the roads called me back. Just as I had learned I am more of a runner than a cyclist. I found that I like having a good balance between trail running and road running.
Getting back to the roads, I started working on getting my speed back. So, I ran various road races at the end of the year including the Urban Cow Half Marathon, Run to Feed The Hungry 10k, Davis Turkey Trot, and the California International Marathon. Most of the races went well for me. CIM did not go quite as I had hoped so I intend to run another marathon to remedy that.
But, my running focus is primarily Western States. For 2013, I hope to be running even more and doing more ultras. I want to become a stronger runner and be better prepared Western States, whenever that may be. I ponder maybe doing a different 100 miler in 2013. But, for now, I'll just see where the trails/roads take me in 2013....but, believe me that, the craziness will be up'd a notch. ;-)
This year, I did far less swimming than I did the prior couple of years. I can swim a little farther as my overall endurance has grown but I did not spend a lot of time in the water. I am also not that great at swimming so it makes it hard to be motivated to swim.
But, at the end of the year, I got back in the pool. I have had a little bit of coaching to help improve my swimming form. So, I hope to get back in the water more in the new year.
All in all
I finish the year having accomplished all the initial goals set out for the year. Along the way, new goals and new directions had emerged. I have enjoyed where the year has taken me. I have found that while I like cycling and swimming, I just have a strong passion for running, especially the ultras.
The best part of the year is that in all my crazy adventures, I have met and befriended many amazing, crazy athletes. I have shared many countless moments with these great friends. And, I could not have accomplished all that I have done without the inspiration, support, and encouragement of my fellow crazy friends. I thank all my friends for all the adventures we have shared and all the support you have provided me in all my crazy adventures. Thank you!
And of course, I would express special thanks to Craig, who has made this year an extra happy year for me. I feel very lucky to have found someone who loves and supports all my crazy endeavors. :)