Taking Stock – 2017 Year in Review

By all accounts, 2017 was a very good year for me and continued my upward trajectory in triathlon.  The injury bug had bitten me somewhat in 2016, but by and large, I had been feeling good all year long.  Piriformis issues continued to nag me from time to time, but monthly deep tissue sessions and cupping by my friend Tressa kept that problem under control and helped me stay loose and relatively pain free.  I was frequently sore and tired from training, but overall, I was feeling well.  Staying injury free is becoming tougher and tougher as I age, and being able to train is more important than the training itself.

My main goal for 2017 was to finish Ironman Chattanooga in 12 hours or less, and despite a hot and humid race in September, I’d smashed that goal by more than 23 minutes.  Between the hills, the heat and the humidity, it was definitely the biggest “gut check” I’ve ever had, and provoked emotions over the span of 11 hours and 36 minutes that ranged the entire psychological spectrum.  I suppose that’s the draw of Ironman though…the ability to persevere through the lowest of the lows and to end somewhere above the normal “runner’s high.”

130_3rd-2211159-CERT_US-1818_181614-11757915.JPGAs to my training, 2017 marked the first full year of training with Karen and Erin on the ProK team.  Karen gives me my swim and run workouts and Erin focuses on the bike.  The best thing about coached training is that you are fully accountable for doing the workouts as prescribed.  Somehow, that is the worst thing as well, and the ladies seem to know that shaming me is generally the most effective way of motivating me.  There is a fair amount of constructive criticism, and at times, even praise, but I tend to be able to make myself suffer better with a little goading.  I think they picked up on that fairly quickly, and my nicknames include “Big Baby,” “Clown Baby” and even “Crybaby Clown.”  I can’t question their methods when they get results…

From a training standpoint, I went from 303.37 hours in 2016 to 394.79 hours in 2017.  I’m no mathlete, but I’m pretty sure that equates to a 30% increase in volume.  That was up from 228.79 hours in 2015.  I was doing 4.4 hours per week in 2015, which increased to 5.9 hours per week in 2016, and then to 7.6 hours per week in 2017.  I’m never making it to Kona on 7.6 hours per week, but I’m pleased that I was able to fit that into my work/life schedule.

Sometimes I have to get creative to fit in my training, but mostly, it involves training instead of sleeping so as not to interfere with work and family obligations.  To be honest, I watch a lot of Seinfeld re-runs on the DVR while riding the bike on the Wahoo Kickr in the bonus room at 4:30 a.m.  If I could get to Kona by quoting Seinfeld, my ticket to Hawaii would have been punched a long time ago.  I can tell you that George Costanza’s fake house in the Hamptons had two solariums and horses named “Snoopy” and “Prickly Pete,” but sadly, quoting Seinfeld is not a life skill.

My goals for 2018 focused on making the age group podium in most of my triathlons, along with improving my run speed (as always).  I had no plans to do a full Ironman in 2018, but was planning on scheduling several Olympic distance races and a 70.3 at the end of the season.  Thus, the winter of 2017/2018 was projected to include a fair amount of track workouts. 800 meter repeats were in my future if Karen got her way, and I knew better than to protest too much.  Doing so would only increase the frequency and volume of the 800s, and would be likely to generate text photos of Crybaby Clown.  Honestly though, I just don’t see the resemblance…

 

Crybaby_Clown.png

 

 

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