After the Club XC meet I took a nice 14 day break from any activity. Zero, zilch. I did nothing. At the time it felt good, but by the end of the two week break I was just itching to get back into the normal routine. I have to believe the break will benefit me, but as I begin to reintroduce running to the mornings I have found myself a bit sore and tight in many spots. The terrible weather conditions play a bit part in that and once I can get out and enjoy some trails I think life will be better from a soreness aspect.
I finished off the year by running three of the last four days of the year.
12/28: 6.7 miles
12/30: 6.5 miles
12/31: 6.4 miles
YEARS TOTAL: 2557 miles
As for 2013 I can say I was pretty pleased with how the year went. I had a really decent build up for the Boston Marathon and then had a terrible race. I was shocked with the degree of downhill running. My quads were beat to a pulp by half way and I did a lot of slow jogging the last 10 miles. It was not the result I wanted but really, for the event it was awesome and having our day effected by a couple of selfish assholes was just enough for me to sign up again. I am going to toe the line in Hopkington again come April 21st. I want more out of Boston than just a result. I want to run well, but I really want to soak in the experience even more than I did this year. The people of Boston are like no other and I just want to go back and personally thank them for all the support and strength they offer. I want to see how a true Bostonian parties after a good Boston Marathon. It will be, for the lack of better terms, EPIC!
After the big let down of Boston, I was committed to running the USATF Half-Marathon Champs held in conjunction with Grandma's marathon weekend. It was not the official Masters Half Champs but they let a bunch of us old local guys in the race to chase the youngsters. Chase I did, and I got an experience of a lifetime. It was by far the most competitive race I have ever participated in and having it unfold in my hometown was just a blessing. I didn't have the running gods on my side and I had an "off" day by about 90 seconds. By doing this I finished dead last. I'm 43 years old, I ran 1:14:08 and I was dead last out of about 120 runners. I couldn't believe it, but the placing really didn't bother me as I was just very honored I had the opportunity to be in the same race as our country's best young runners. I had a blast and I would do it again if I ever had the chance.
The second half of the year I focused on a trail marathon in October. It was the inaugural race and the trails were going to be tough. A fair amount of vertical gain/loss as the race was at a local ski resort in the beautiful Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I had a decent block of training heading into that race and was very happy by placing third overall and first Master runner. In preparation for this marathon I managed to race a 5K and have a time I haven't hit in quite some time so that was a nice added bonus. I followed that up and raced our local Thanksgiving 5K in my course PR. The conditions were very cold but doable. My late fall focus was on USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Bend, OR. It was listed as the most competitive Masters field ever assembled. I have to say they were right on. I raced decent but had a side stitch to deal with and I placed about the same position as previous year but I feel I ran much better in the process. Overall, another great opportunity I feel very honored to be able to have participated in.
That is a quick summary of 2013. Like I stated, I feel like it was a good year and I hope to build on this year and keep motivated for 2014. Yes, I am getting older, but I am not ready to slow down. Not just yet. That day is coming much sooner than I desire, and I plan to put up the best fight I can to keep this slowdown at bay.
Here's to a super 2014!