Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Goals Year In Review

Every year I set specific goals to reach for on the year.  Some of them are so high it makes me work really hard.  Sometimes I forget some of the goals and focus on some of the others.  The 2011 goal results and 2010 goal results were pretty shocking.  And FWIW, here's a link back to the 2009 year in review. This year, my 2012 goals were really high for a non-ironman year.

These are the goals I set back in January

  • Time goals:
    • 5k under 20 minutes: Fail, I never even cleared my 5k pr of 21:58 this year.  But I am ok with that, my 5k times have been getting a lot faster over the last few months, and I may be able to PR sometime next year.
    • 10k under 42 minutes: Fail.  I ran a handful of 10k's both open and in olympic distance triathlons.  All of them were in the 45 to 52 minute range.
    • 13.1 under 1:40: Fail.  My fastest half in a race was 1:50.  I did break 1:40 once in 2011, not this year.
    • 26.2 under 3:30: Fail.  But I did break four hours for the first time in Charleston in January.  3:54 is pretty dang decent.
    • Oly under 2:15: Fail.  I did PR at Lake Logan again at 2:32, but that's ain't 2:15.
    • 70.3 under 5:30: Fail.  I only did one half iron this year, the OBX and turned in a 6:00:19 out there.
    • Yes, that's how to fail at completely everything.  I ran 27 races, set PR's at 8 of them.  And still managed to miss every time goal.  Looks like I tried to get a little ambitious this year.
  • Qualifiers:
    • USAT Short Course Nationals:  Fail.  Lake Logan was a qualifier, I had to finish in the top 1/3 of my age group.  I missed it by 6 minutes.  That was pretty dissapointing.
    • Race USAT Short Course in Burlington, VT: Fail.  Didn't happen thanks to #1 up there.  And if I had actually made the oly time goal of 2:15, I would have been there.
    • Qualify for USAT Long Course:  DNS?  I didn't race anything that would qualify for the long course championships. 
    • Another complete fail at everything?  Why yes, that's exactly what happened. Wow.  And  yet I still consider it to be a great year!
  • Placement
    • Top 3 age group in a triathlon: Success*  I took 2nd place in my age group at the second Aquathon.  True, it's a run & bike multisport event, not a triathlon.  But multisport all the same.
    • Top 3 age group in a running event: Fail.  I've been in the top 10% overall and top 10% in my age group for lots of running events, 5k, 5 mile, and longer.  But Raleigh is a very competetive market, and I'm in a very competetive age group.  Even when I finished 42nd overall (out of >400 people) I was still 5th out of 18 in my age group.
    • Top 3 age group in an open water swim race: Success! I took 2nd place in my age group at The Big Duece, a 2 mile open water swim race.
    • Race in a new market, preferably Washington DC.  Fail!  I stayed in NC all year.  27 races, all in NC.  Never even went to Virginia or SC for a race.  That's actually a surprise to me, I didn't plan it that way.
  • Join a sponsored triathlon team: Fail.  I tried pretty hard on this one.  Applied to a bunch of teams, but I think I may have been fighting out of my weight class on this one.  I applied to a lot of teams that want people much faster than me.  Perhaps if I could have hit more of those time goals....
  • Yoga - get on the mat 300 times this year: Success!  I made it on the mat 302 times in total this year.  My practice really evolved and I love it.
  • Professional - learn mobile development: Fail.  I'm still doing web development and loving it.  I ended up changing employers in September, and they only need me to develop web sites.  It's pretty fantastic.
This teaches me that I really missed the mark at setting goals this year.  2012 was GREAT!  I know I can only do one ironman every other year, and this was an off-year for Ironman training.  I tried to make it a speed year, getting faster at short course racing.  While I didn't actually execute that plan too well, I did manage to get into some fun stuff anyway. 

I kind of played it fast and loose this year.  I completed both the spring and fall series of the Second Empire Grand Prix, finishing 4th in my age group in the spring and 5th in the fall.  That turned out to be a ton of fun but was completely unplanned.  And I completed my first ultramarathon running 40 miles at Pine Mountain.  Also unplanned. So when the year turned from speed racing (for Lake Logan in August) to volume training for the half iron in September and the ultra in December.  I didn't have enough time to make the switch for either distance.  I even started the year by getting into the Marathon Maniacs, running 3 full marathons in only 65 days. That should have been a goal.  And I got into my first trail event, pacing a friend through 25 miles of the Umstead 100. 

My speedwork training wasn't very effective over the summer.  I didn't get as fast as I was expecting.  I didn't miss the mark by much, but I traded endurance for speed and strength.  The strength part was pretty nice.  But I tried to do to much.  After the speedy oly in August, I didn't have enough time to build my bike endurance up to the 56 mile ride needed for the half iron in September.  That race was coupled with a stressful job change, our family vacation was cut short because the vacation came 9 days into my new job, and that only left about 8 weeks to get my running endurance from half marathon shape up to ultra marathon shape.  And that's not enough time.  I only got in two 20 milers, and only one 30 mile weekend when I should have done many more.  27 races is just too many to be effective at any distance. 

So yes 2012 was a wacky, wild and free flowing year.  I took everything as it came to me, and left plenty of myself out on the racecourse.  I experimented with different nutrition plans, kept my weight, overall health and total fitness in constant check, and took the opportunities that came my way.  So what do you think 2013 will hold? 

I'll finish with the final numbers from 2012:

Swim: 2800 - 2 swims
Bike: 22 miles - 2 rides
Run: 43.1 miles - 2 runs, 2 races
Strength: once
Yoga: 25 sessions

As expected, December held the start of the offseason. The 40 mile trail ultramarathon was on December 2nd, and the last race in the fall Grand Prix series was a 5k the week after that.  The offseason means I've been eating anything I feel like and only working out on the weekends.  I actually did a swim/bike brick once and it felt great.  I know I need to take this time to rest, but I really miss triathlon training.  The regular grind, constant improvements, measuring progress, I am so ready to get back into it.

Also appropriate for the offseason, with Dec 31 being on a Monday I'll post the final MMNW of the year.  I weighed in at 184.8 lbs with 20.5 lbs of body fat.  I know taking a month or so off doesn't wreck my fitness or speed.  But this is over the high end of my happy weight.  Once I'm back into regular training that will get back down under 180 and under 20% bf in no time.  I'm not worried a bit.

2012 overall:
Swim: 138,450 yards = 83.9 miles
Bike: 1591 miles
Run: 765.3 miles
Strength: 93 sessions
Yoga: 302 times

Not too shabby.  I'm really surprised that I didn't hit 1000 miles of running this year, what with the 4 marathons and the ultra.  All of that speed training over the summer did not contain enough volume to really make me fast, even though I did get stronger.  Also the 1591 bike miles is a bit lower than I expected.  This is a non-ironman year, but I really tried to work on bike speed too.

Overall this year was pretty great.  Here's to a high volume 2013!

Some of the highlight pics:

At the OBX on vacation in september.  Having my mom come to the beach with us was a real highlight of the year

After finishing the Myrtle Beach marathon, Kelley, Charlotte, me, and Gina all got to have fun hanging out.

Finishing the OBX half iron

Little Washington ended up being a fantastic small town to race in!  But the 50 mile distance is kind of strange.

Perfect swim form in an open water race.  One of my favorite pics of the year!

Hanging with The Snail after finishing the Pine Mountain 40. He was the race director.

Finish strong!  Still feeling ok after 40 miles.

Loving those big mutton chops.  And getting to race with my sweetheart.  This was at the Run for the Roses 5k

After finishing one of the aquathons.  Great race!

Finishing Lake Logan
with Bigun at Camp Seafarer

I loved having the girls come race with us

Punkin carving!

with my sweets


hebba said...

WOW! What a great year! Set them goals high again in 2013. Lots of PRs, no fails whatsoever!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, you had a great year. While you might not have achieved all your aggressive goals, you definitely have a lot to be proud of! I mean 27 races - that is insane, dude!

I am glad that I got to meet you in person in 2012! Seems like a distant memory now as I think it must have been in February? But it was fun to meet you, Kelley, and the girls!

Hugh Jass said...

That was a lot of racing. 2012 def looked a lot different than your 2011 I'M training year.

Diana said...

As far as I'm concerned, I don't see anything there that I would call a "FAIL"!
Great year for you John! Congratulations on all you've accomplished and best of luck for what's to come!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

You had a great year for fitness! I am really surprised your total running mileage was not higher, since you did all those long races! You really kicked butt in those races for having not a lot of training miles!