Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year In Review

Moose mountain with John and Philippe the goat
With the year coming to an end, it makes a guy look back and contemplate the happenings in 2013. Overall, I'm thrilled about my running this past year on five fronts. Besides a very minor injury in early February, my body held up to the demands of my training. I'd like to thank my main man Tyson Plesuk at The Downtown Sports Clinics for all the amazing physio and keeping my body healthy. My friendship with my running buddy John Hubbard, who helped me get over many training hurdles this year, continues to grow strong. I was also fortunate enough to receive 3 sponsors to help ease the financial burden and support my running needs going forward. A very heartfelt thank you goes out to New Balance, Gord's Running Store and The Downtown Sports Clinics! I was able to train harder and longer than past years and as a result I had a race season that went very well.

Pneuma trail with John
New Balance kicks…sweet
My base season and training was at an all time high in 2013. This year I ran 4700 K in 202 runs. My average run was 23.2 K in length and per week would average 3.87 runs per week. This meant I had an average of 3.13 days per week that I was recovering. More recovery=more time with the family, which was a goal I set early in the year. Another goal I set was not to go over 70 K in one run during training, which I think resulted in many injuries the year prior. The vast majority of my running were done after night fall when my children were asleep, a routine that worked well with my family priorities. My longer training runs this year were no longer than 60 K but I would do multiples of these in the same week. Speed work was another focus in 2013. Getting out at least once a week to push the threshold was a great benefit at this year's ultra races. In 2012 I struggled to hold a sub 3:45 min/km pace but this year I ran a 35:30 10 K and consistently ran a 3:30 min/km pace in training! Woot woot!
Moral support at Grizzly 50K
Best crew a guy could ask for
Sam, Adele and Julia




  My racing was the best part of 2013! The year started with a fizzle with a DNF at Gord's Frozen Ass Fifty. My soleus suffered a minor tear at the 30 K mark which resulted in an immediate stoppage. Next was the 100 K National Championships at the Elk Beaver Ultra in Victoria, BC. I finished the race in first place with a time of 7:51. Couldn't be happier with that at this point, the best race of my life! Two weeks later I ran the Blackfoot 50 M just east of Edmonton, AB. I realized at the 60 K mark, I needed a hell of a lot longer to recover from a fast 100 K than two weeks. Struggling through the final 20 K I finished in first place in a time of 6:57. Next I took on my first 100 M at the Lost Soul Ultra in Lethbridge, AB. Super pumped, I took off like a shot completing the first two loops (107 K) in course record time. My lack of experience and issues on the final loop slowed me to come in at 21:26, about 30 min. off the CR but still in first place by around 2 hours. That race was one that I learned the most on; a turning point of sorts. My final race of the season was the Grizzly 50 K at the Canmore Nordic Center. This race attracted some of the best 50 K runners around. Though I am not a strong 50 K racer, I felt that I ran a solid race at Grizzly. Finishing in 6th place in a time of 4:19 I felt like it was a great way to finish the year in an absolute beautiful setting.
First 100M…ouch
Me and Sharon at Elk Beaver 100K

With my finish at the Elk Beaver 100 K I earned a spot on the National 100 K team which was set to go to the World 100 K championships in South Africa. Unfortunately this event was cancelled. I was so looking forward to travelling and running at the world caliber event but I'll just have to get faster and make the 2014 team going to Latvia next year.

All of this could not be possible if it wasn't for the support and love of my beautiful wife and my three wonderful children. I could go on and on but this post is already long enough. LOVE YOU GUYS!! 

So now I ask myself "What have I learned, what would I do differently and what will I continue doing?"
Plans for 2014: More speed work + more base mileage + more rest time + bigger focus on climbing + more cross training + keep up the awesome physio + represent New Balance, Gord's Running Store and The Downtown Sports Clinic to the best of my ability = EVEN FASTER RACE RESULTS!!!
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