Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Year in Review

2015 was a bit of a downward spiral for me. I try to focus on the good, and there was a lot of that, but make no mistake about it this was one of the years where everything started to unravel. Thank God I have my family standing behind me.

Annual totals:
Swim: 215 miles, 111 swims
Bike: 292 miles, 22 rides
Run: 1057.8 miles, 122 runs
Strength: 53 times
Yoga: 138 times
Average weight: 177.6 lbs, 19.5% bodyfat
Min Weight: 171.6 lbs, 16.7%
Max Weight: 189.9 lbs, 23.7%

Running was only good through the spring and fall, and I swam a TON over the summer (sometimes 6 days a week). My scale was also broken over most of the summer so I didn't get to record my weight when it was typically at my lowest point of the year. And obviously I didn't feel like riding the bike at all.

To give a valid comparison, 2014 (with a full iron at Rev3 Cedar Point) had 131 miles of swimming, 2170 on the bike and 1227 running while 2013 (beach 2 battleship full) had 119 miles swimming, 3869 on the bike, and only 847 miles of running.  So I swam almost 100 miles more this year than ever before. That's totally the fantastic kind of nuts.

The Good

I did still finish 12 (ok maybe only 11) races, took 3rd place overall in a 5k in January, and finished 6 marathon or longer distances. One of those was only getting 28 miles in a 50 mile race (DNF), and I also DNF'd a 50k in Maryland after only 8 miles. I finished my first swim marathon, and finally got to race a Beer Mile.

The kids actually rocked school this year. Going across the grades was really smooth, they are still getting good grades, they keep on growing.

The Bad

2015 had a lot of bad. It started with a new VP of Software coming into the company I was working for. He got rid of the manager I really liked, then all of the other senior developers left. I got promoted into a team lead, which was ultimately good, but having to deal with this guy directly on a daily basis was more than I could stand. I really enjoyed that job before it was ruined by personnel. This led to a series of other bad decisions where I may have pissed off some recruiters that could prove to be detrimental to future jobs as well. I went to work for the state of NC for about 5 weeks. Every stereotype you have heard about state jobs is true. I couldn't take it at all and got out of there as fast as possible. I landed in a contract that I keep on showing up too, even though the commute stinks. So work went from good to bad to worse. Makes me wonder what I'm going to screw up in 2016.

In February I had my first DNF, bailing on a trail 50k in southern maryland. It was the right call, but it's the first time I've allowed myself to quit something like that. Then I did it again in Charlotte at a 50 mile trail race after finishing only 28 miles. Both courses were on single track trail so I'm just going to be done with single track races and try not to beat myself up about it. But I'm still beating myself up about it. Will I take the same mindset into the 50 mile, 12 hour, and 100 mile races I have coming up this spring?

No more single track!

My first and probably only swimming marathon ended with my right eye swollen shut and no contact lens in there. I love swimming, and I'm really good at being competitive in the water. I loved training for this race. The speed I gained in the pool did not translate into speed or endurance in the open water. I think in 2016 I'm going to try the shorter swim races and shoot for speed in an open water mile.

In the spring I had a pretty serious pain in my left hip flexor. I had to take off several months from running. I was able then to throw myself into swimming as a nice distraction, but it took longer than I expected to be able to run without pain again. I believe it was a problem with my running mechanics. I also believe that I have not fixed that problem. Secondarily, my right knee hurts pretty bad after compensating for the left hip pain. That also has not really gone away. Now I'm in the middle of heavy running training for the Umstead 100 and the hip pain returned. I'm going to see someone about it this time to fix my running form. I've been doing more yoga, core strength work, and being mindful of my form right now, and that really does help.

In the summer, I turned 40. This sucked, and it has sucked every day since. My thumbs are killing me. On the first day of 40, I woke up wondering what kind of weird bedrooms stuff Kelley and I did for my birthday that left my thumbs in so much pain. But when the pain didn't go away I knew it would just have to be something I live with. And I have, and I still don't like it. Over 40, the hard workouts need more recovery time. The weight just continues to pile on, and doesn't go away. Used to, I could just imagine losing weight and it would happen, at least to a plateau. It gives me a whole new appreciation for people like Dara Tores making the olympics at 40. Unbelievable. I can barely stand up anymore.

The Ugly

This is most likely just in my mind. I know that to run a 100 mile trail race you have to go slow and log lots of miles in training. But I'm having a difficult time accepting that I can't roll out 8 minute miles anymore. I can't lose weight. I can't seem to make a professional decision that won't have horrible long term ramifications for my family. It makes me feel slow, fat, and dumb.

Yet I'm still grateful to everyone who has stood beside me through all of the mess this year. Good times and bad times both come and go. 2016 could be better than this, or it could be worse. The only thing I can do is be mindful of right now. Make the best choice for me, right now. Get this workout done. Don't lose the confidence that took so long to build up.

Finally, here's some other pictures from 2015 that didn't make it into any other post. These are not a part of "the ugly", just the most positive way I can finish talking about this year.

DC Marathon - took 2 attempts to get MD checked off of my 50 state list

Waiting to start the Lower Potomac River Run Marathon

at a Stop Hunger Now event with Evil Genius and her Indian Princess tribe

Selfies at the Waffle House with santa

running on Christmas Eve in a singlet and shorts.


CautiouslyAudacious said...

Well if I had to guess you like most other triathletes I know are your own worst critic. Hope you have an awesome 2016!!!

Alecia Taylor said...

That's rough with work. I'm sort of on that path right now. Love what I do, but I feel like the company I contract for takes major advantage of the folks on my level. That combined with me knowing that I'm damn good at my job has cultivated a high level of sass and attitude. I'm trying to go solo, but until that pans out, I may need to dial it back a bit. -tin can treader

Abby said...

See you say 40 is tough - I look at that mileage and think damn he is a F-ing bad ass. Just know to others you are still killing and working out the way I someday hope to be able to.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

You really accomplished a lot in 2015! It's impressive to see it all listed out. And on top of that you are an active father and you work full time. So give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it!

When I look back at 2015, I want to say it was a great fitness year for me, but all i can focus on is not making my sub-4 hour goal at the marathon. I hate that that is what my mind gravitates to because I had other great achievements like PR'ing at the 10 mile and 1/2 marathon distance and completing my first sprint tri with a solid performance. But it just nags at me that I came close to my goal but didn't achieve it. But I'll give it another solid shot this year. One thing I want to do going into marathon training is to be down in weight a bit. I'm about 5 pounds heavier than I was when I ran the marathon and 8 pounds heavier than I'd like to be ideally so I want to slim down and be at a good racing weight for my June marathon. I don't have much to lose and given the fact that I once lost 40 pounds, i know I can take off 5-8.

Jenny said...

Sorry about your work woes, it totally sucks that a great workplace was ruined for you and I hope that you find something good this year. And I hope you're kidding about the aches and pains at turning 40! I've got that to look forward to but I'm most concerned about going up an age category (haha, showing my vanity) Congratulations on placing 3rd in the 5k and completing so many marathons! All the best for 2016.

Jess Milcetich said...

Ick I'm sorry about the work stuff. I know that can really put a damper on a lot of things since we spend so much of our time at work. But you did a lot of otherwise awesome things in 2015, and hey, here's hoping 2016 kicks some butt!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

You kicked butt in the swimming this year! And although the cycling seems low to you, to me it's great! It's all relative, isn't it? I know for me, I feel like I didn't really run as much as I wanted to, although I ended up running a lot of miles...

Sorry about the job thing; I know it's hard to make a change and even harder when the change ends up being just as difficult as what you strayed away from... I am in a good job now, but it took me a while to find it!

Amber said...

That's the thing with trail running - it really slows you down! I couldn't believe it when I saw that my average pace over all my runs in 2015 was like 12 minutes a mile - what!?!?! But it's because 90% of my runs are on the trail these days where the pace is 12 - 14 minutes per mile. I love the trail so I can't complain too much though.

I hope your work situation turns around for the better this year! It would suck to spend 40 hours per week doing something you really don't like!