Well, I never thought I would run more than I did in 2013 – but in 2013 I had a lot of injuries – constantly battled an ankle issue and still got over 2500 miles. Fast forward to 2014 and a year where I learned what to do and not do with my ankle I was able to break 2900 miles – including walking and running.
Training and injury
What I learned was that I cannot really run on my ankles on tough trails often – I can do them, I love them – but if they are every day I end up having trouble walking – let alone running. So 2014 saw me do some road running – which I almost never did before and running more and more on easier surfaces – wide forest roads, bike paths, rail trails etc. It worked.
In late April I returned for the third year in a row to the TARC Spring Classic 50k – had a great run – so nice to see so many friends again!
In the area of “let’s try something new” I was led on again with Eric Sherman to try a fixed time event. I went down to New Jersey to run the 24 hour race at 3 Days at the Fair. We made a trip out of it and had a great time. We lucked out as our date of choice was warm and dry – the prior day was a monsoon! The day was a bit on the warm side but the overnight was great. I cruised right along – pretty much mixing up 25/5 (minutes) and keeping the stops to a minimum. Chafing got the better of me and started to slow me a great deal in the early morning. Around 5 am after I had long since PR’d for distance I stopped at our car/camp and got in the car to warm up as the sun was beginning to rise. At this point I had 79.5 miles. After about a half an hour I got out and carried on what was perhaps the ugliest ½ mile ever turned in – must have been about a half an hour – but I got my 80 miles, a PR and 10th place. Very happy – cannot wait to go back again next year!
I did something a little off beat and different too last year. In memory of my mother and along with my family I was a team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Peabody. My plan was to run the entire event the best I could. It was on a high school track with hundreds of people on it. A great experience – the family camped and walked and I ran as much as I could. At the end of the event we had raised $3000 for ACS and I ran 62 miles. The kids did great – both getting well over 10 miles!
After that was out of the way it was time to recover a bit and focus on the fall event – the return to Ghost Train. Yet another attempt at 100 miles. Last year was great until about mile 55 and then it fell apart – I wanted to give it a shot. As like so many New England ultras it was great to see so many friends – and to meet so many new ones! Scott Baver, Kim Vanyo, Luciana, Gail Martin, Colleen, Gwen, Eric Sherman…it goes on and on – great group of people! Kim and I more or less ran the first leg together and then did run the next 60-65 miles together – Eric Sherman was there for support and was going to join us for some miles after mile 67.5 to hopefully get us to the end. Much like last year I was really good until I was not. Looking back I know I did not take care of myself at the last aid station I was at and I slowly over the next four miles deteriorated to the point that Kim went off to get help and Eric walked me into the aid station. I will always think in hindsight I quit to easily. Kim fought off a very tough overnight of fatigue and got her first 100 and Eric who was just going to do a few miles on his pre-surgery knee ended up pacing her for the last 30 miles! A great experience!
- Total miles 2903
- Running workouts 232
- Walk/Bike workouts 234
- Total cardio workouts 450
- Calisthenics sessions 137 (epic fail – major disappointment – especially considering that 76 of these sessions were in January and February)
- Total hours of cardio 614 (1.65 hours/day average)
- Total hours of exercise 651 (1.75 hours/day average)
Total elevation gain 130,352 feet (a lot less than last year – but was not training for a mountain 100)
Other crazy stuff
- Number of runs over 5 miles 208 (50+ from 2013)
- Number of runs over 10 miles 71 (+11 from 2013)
- Number of runs over 15 miles 28 (+ 4 from last year)
- Number of runs over 20 miles 13 (+ 2)
- Number of runs over 25 miles 9
- Number of runs over 30 miles 9 (+ 5)
- Longest run 80 miles at 3 Days at the Fair (18 mile PR!!)
Where I ran and walked (number of times)
- Willowdale/Bradley Palmer 11
- Middlesex Fells 26
- Lynn Woods 10
- White Mountains 14
- Danvers Rail Trail 49
- Treadmill 14
- Roads 290
The Aftermath – where do I go from here
Well – I am just going to keep on running and walking fast. It works for me – it makes me happier and I love my running friends and the few events I do each year.
In 2015 I will do the TARC Spring Classic 50k again as part of my training for 3 Days at the Fair 24 hour again in May. The Relay for Life is happening again – but the city forced some changes. It is now 6 hours shorter, does not go overnight and is not on a track but in a field. My initial plan was to run two separate marathons in the 12 hours – but I am not committing to anything until after I see what the course looks like. If I do not like it I am going to walk the entire 12 hours.
In a sudden curve ball I threw at myself on a whim the other night I decided to enter the Vermont 100. I was bumming out when my friends entered and I said “the hell with it” I want another crack at a 100 and not be the crew, pacer or following online. So this will motivate me a ton to get thru my training. Need to work on elevation, running and power hiking – and I will!! I also really need to be much more consistent about my cross training – core stuff cannot slide like much of it did in 2014!
Thanks for listening – and all your support – hope you all have a great 2015!