Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 Season in Review

 Now that it’s the last week of the year, I can look back on my year and grade it in its entirety.  I probably could have done this in October when my season “officially” ended, but I figured I would save it until the official end of the year.  Plus, you never know when a random race would pop up and I would enter it.  One didn’t, but that would look weird if I graded my season and a few weeks later, I ended up doing another race.

I’m going to review all parts of my 2013 season, and not just the actual races, but everything that encompassed my year.


I didn’t know what to expect this year at all.  With Riley being born, I figured I would have less time to train, have to really focus on my workouts and I couldn’t deviate from any plan.  That’s the reason this blog started any way right?  To track me being a first time new dad and how it would relate to my training and racing.

I have to be honest and say that my training actually went up in performance over the last few years.  Maybe it was the early season marathon that I was training for which led to me having the best base fitness I have had for any season.  I think having the ability to do Boston so early really gave me such motivation and then allowed me to focus on speed and maintaining fitness and distance than having to balance building up my distances.

I learned a lot about what needs to be done during a training season this year.  For example, I started doing a lot of drills during my swim and bike workouts this year.  I could really tell the difference how my body responded to these workouts and it made me have the ability to push through plateaus and also the hard parts of certain races. 

I think the one thing I still need to work on is my swimming training.  I get so bored in the pool and want to stop my workouts early.  I also need to improve my form and types of swim training.  I think I learned how to structure my bike and run workouts, but still need to figure out how I can improve on my swimming.

Training Grade: B+.  I think once I figure out how to encorporate better swim workouts and start working with my power meter and tailor workouts, this grade could go up.  I honestly don’t know how much more I could have improved upon this year.  I learned how to balance training and raising Riley, so I am happy with this past year for the most part. 
This is the hardest part for me to look back on.  There are a lot of things that factor into a good racing season.  My goals coming into the season was to get at least 1 podium finish, requalify for Boston, qualify for the USAT Nationals, and do well enough in the Rev3 Maine Half Iron.
You can read all of my race reports on here if you wish, but as for my grading:
Running the Boston Marathon was an experience that I will never forget.  There are 2 parts of marathon day.  The race itself and the tragedy that ensued.  I choose to look back and have fond memories of the day.  I will remember forever racing Boston and will make it my goal to get back there and race again.  As for the race, I don't think I had my best race that day so once I knew I didn't have it that day, I started to enjoy the course more.  I really wanted to race well there, but some days you have it and some you don't. 
Small Triathlons- My small or prep Tri's this season couldn't have gone worse.  One was screwed up because of bad directions, another was marred by a bad crash the week before, the third had major goggles issues and just a bad time there. I don't have much to say about these anymore except they happened and I'm glad the miscues happened in these than the "important" ones
Rev3 Half Iron- I loved this race.  Everything about it was awesome.  From the week leading up to it, the course itself, the weather, the experience.  It was all great.  I learned how to pace myself during a long race like this, and I learned how my body would react to such stresses.  I'm very happy with this race and can't wait to use the experiences here for a better 2014.
Racing Grade: C+/B-.  This grade can be a little higher but I'm mine own worst critic so I think it should be low.  I did end up qualifying for the Rev3 Age Group championships with a overall ranking of 9th in the country, and did qualify for the 2014 USAT National Championships so I accomplished things I wanted to and even some things I didn't think I could, so overall I'm happy with the racing season, but my results don't necessarily show it
This year, I partnered with some great companies that I have raved about on here for the entire year.  I don't think that I could have done any of the things this year without any of these partners:
Skora: I found my favorite running shoe of all time.  Not just one style from a company, but a company that has a lot of quality shoes.  I found my dream shoe in the Skora Base and raced every single race his year in them.  I can't wait to continue to have success with them.
HoneyMaxx: Over the past few years, I have had issues with cramping, electrolyte consumption, and never truly learned how to fuel my body.  Partnering with HoneyMaxx solved these issues.  I've never felt as strong as when I've been using HoneyMaxx.  It's such a great tasting product and gives everything one needs to have a strong race season.
X-1 Audio: Let's be honest, swimming countless laps in the pool is just boring as crap.  Its tedious, monotonous, boring, and just not a fun experience.  Once I was able to get waterproofing solutions for my ipod and earphones, I actually started to enjoy swimming more.  I'm still by no means a lover of the pool, but at least this way I can zone out, listen to music, and get a good workout in
Misc grade: A.  Finding the right training tools is essential to race day performance and I think I found companies and I products that have the same beliefs that I do, and brands that I can use and be proud of. There are a few other partnerships that I would like to have, which would be the only way to increase this grade, but other than that, I don't think there is anything that could improve here.
Overall Season Grade: a solid B.  There are definitely things that I can improve upon, but there was a lot of good this season.  I learned how to train and plan to train during Riley's first year, I crossed the finish line with him in my arms, I qualified for a bunch of championship races.  I'm satisfied with my 2013 race year, but I know there are a lot higher expectations for me going into 2014. 

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