Thursday, January 28, 2016

2015 Season Wrap Up

It's taken a little while to get around to writing this but here we are, almost 20 days, well 30 now, into 2016 and I've finally decided to 'close out' 2015.  2015 was a big year, two Ironman race, two international trips, a family wedding, friend's weddings, etc.  I was nervous going into it, but overall I think it turned out better than I could have imagined.  You can go back and read race reports and updates from throughout the year in this blog, except for that last race of the season, Annapolis 1/2 Marathon.

Annapolis 1/2 Marathon Recap
We had assembled a good crew of friends to head to Annapolis the Saturday before Thanksgiving for a Annapolis 1/2 Marathon and 10k.  Not only was there racing to be had, but an awesome post race finish line part, delicious brunch, and we finished it off with an awesome house party.  This race will definitely remain on my radar as a great way to wrap up a season.

Adam and I were fortunate enough to head out to Annapolis on Friday afternoon.  We helped our host prepare for Saturday's party before walking over to a local dinner spot.  Part of the allure of Annapolis is the small town walkability, I love the small town feel.  We called it an early night and tried to get some quality sleep before Saturday's race.

I went into Saturday's race with some goals and a plan.  The weather was with us this year, as opposed to last year, and delivered a mild and sunny day.  We did a nice warm up jog to race start, hit the port-o-lets and merged into the starting corral.  The first couple miles of this course tend to be fast with a downhill and flat profile.  I went out and stuck to my plan, doing a little leap frogging with some other friends that were out there.  I felt great and before I knew it I was at mile 5 just about to
Team Snapple at Annapolis 1/2
head over the big bridge.  Somehow, I forgot how tall that bridge it since the race last year, at least you get rewarded with a little downhill on the other side.  A couple out and backs on the hilly side of town before it was time to head back over the bridge.  I was sticking to my plan, but unfortunately the mile markers were getting more and more off, so I was sort of clueless as to what my finish time might end up being.  I was able to finish strong and come out with a new 1/2 marathon PR (even on a 13.4 mile course).  It was a nice surprise to actually finish 2nd in my age group in a decently sized running race.  Step by step, it's all coming together!

Off season commenced immediately after crossing the finish line. :)

All in all 2015 was a year of learning lessons, big improvements, and seeing new parts of the world.  I think one of the biggest things I got out of the year, especially between IM Texas and IM Chattanooga was improved mental fitness.  I've also realized throughout the year during training and racing that I am capable of more than I may have ever imagined.  It's crazy how day by day, and piece by piece it all comes together.  So much so that the small daily and weekly improvements sometimes don't seem like much, but when you step back and compare yourself to where you were 1 or 2 years ago you're already doing things that you thought were out of reach.  Just keep believing.