Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 Year in Review

Where do I start? I could whine and complain about my knee injury, and subsequent surgery, and just write this off as a bad year. But that would be just lazy, there was a lot of good things that happened in 2013. Let's start with the stats:
  • I will finish the year with something close to 1275 miles, down nearly 50% from my past two years.
  • Vertical gain will be something like 135K for the year, also down about 50% from previous years.
  • I completed a PR in the 50 mile distance at Old Pueblo in March, finishing 20th overall
  • I set a PR in the mile (6:01)
  • My first ever DNF was in April
And now here are few things that are highlights of my year (and things to be thankful for):
  • I summited two more 14ers, including the 2nd tallest mountain in the continental US (Mt Elbert)
  • Four new runners entered the ultra community because of my influence, two of them are planning to run 100 milers in 2014
  • I have am beginning to understand the best way for me to train
  • My first experience as a crew member happened in 2013
  • I did something that scared the crap out of me and rode in a 50 MTB race
  • Both of my kids are regularly running 5Ks and participate in a run club
  • I drank a rare beer at the summit of Hope Pass

Old Pueblo 50

In March, I went down to Arizona and ran with my buddy Steve in his first ever 50 miler. I finished 20th overall and set a PR despite being off course and lost for nearly 30 minutes.

Another belt buckle for my collection.

Leadville Guys Weekend (6/21-6/23)

On Friday, we ran the first half of the Silver Rush course to see it first hand.

On Saturday, we climbed Mt Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado (14,439 feet)

At the top of Colorado -- literally!

On Sunday, Chuck and I ran from Powerline back to May Queen. It would be along the Colorado Trail that I finally realized my season was likely done. By the time we returned for the Leadville Silver Rush weekend, I already had surgery scheduled.

Leadville Silver Rush Weekend (7/12-7/14)

On Friday, we hiked Hope Pass and split a Sixteenth Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker.
100 milers to be: Chuck (on the left) and Steve (on the right)

On Saturday, I rode in my first MTB race, 50 miles and 8K of vertical gain.  Said my buddy JP: "First thing I did this morning was laugh at u going on a 50 mile bike race, untrained and with a Walmart bike."  I finished!

I wasn't smiling on the inside.  At least I wore a helmet.

On Sunday, I crewed four sub-10 hour finishers in the Silver Rush Run, including the 6th place runner.

Jon, Mike, and Steve all finished in under 10 hours. It was Mike and Jon's first ever 50 miler.

Chuck finished in under 7.5 hours, 6th overall

Mt Bierstadt

Dylan and I summited Mt Bierstadt with some friends on July 20th.  It is his second 14er (Gray's Peak) and my third (Gray's Peak and Mt Elbert).

Dylan climbed Mt Bierstadt once before, but we didn't summit due to weather.


On August 7th, I had arthroscopic knee surgery. The doctor removed scar tissue from the medial side of my knee, removed some of the fat pad from the front of my knee, and repaired my lateral meniscus. I was able to start doing some light running 7 weeks later. Overall my knee feels much better know. However, I am still struggling to find the confidence to trust strength of my knee and push it. Every niggle and twinge sends me into dark corners in my mind. Hopefully I can start 2014 with the courage to sign up for some races again.

2 days post surgery, moderate swelling.

What's in store for 2014?

If I have to be honest with myself, 2013 was always going to be a let down. Both 2011 and 2012 were HUGE years for me. Lots of racing and epic adventures. I was lucky to make it through the Leadville 100 and it took me quite a while to get right. My greatest hope is that my knee injury is a thing of the past and that I am something close to 100% by the Spring time. Short of injury, I plan to race two more ultras, including my second 100 -- Bear 100 -- in 2014. As is the case every year, I hope to continue to find more balance in running and life. 2013 really pushed me to "put running into perspective".  Running has given me so much -- family adventures, personal adventures, health, happiness, kids that enjoy being active, etc... But I also need to learn that there is more to life than running. That is a daily struggle for an obsessive guy like me. If I had to pick goals for 2014, they would be to qualify for Western States 100 (again), and to get to the start line 100% trained and healthy of some race, any race, by June.

No comments:

Post a Comment