A Year Of Firsts,Set Backs and Thanks Yous: 2013 A Year In Review
Last year when I first started my blog I had some pretty lofty goals and I did a video post of me thanking so many people. This year, I decided to cover the details of how I made out as well as to make sure I thank all those that helped me out throughout the year.
A Year of First
The new year start off this a bang and I did my first Disney Run. This race was an absolute hoot and I highly recommend that any runner should do at least one Disney Run. Running with 27,000 of my closest friends coupled with Disney characters allowed me to be a kid again.The pre and post race party were a highlight and goes to show you that Disney knows how to stage an event.
In March, I ran in the 30K Around the Bay Road Race for the very first time. It was the furthest distance that I had completed to date. Though I did not have the result I wanted, it was thrilling to just finish. Body permitting, I will be back in 2014 to better my time.
Photo by Sports Shooter
Along came June and the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour. This was my first ever long distance bike ride with a large group of people. This tour also resulted in my longest one day ride at 178K and my longest combined two day ride with a total of 358K. It was a fun experience with friends that I look forward to doing again sometime in the near future.
Shortly after the Rideau Lakes Bike Tour, I took part in my first kilt run. Each year, the town of Perth, ON puts on a run/race to set a record of the most people to run in a kilt. It was certainly a differenct experience running in a kilt. This was a fun race to be a part of and I have already signed to do it again this year.
Photo by Sports Shooter
Without a doubt, the biggest first for me was completing my first triathlon. I competed in the Cornwal Triathlon in August with a number of friends that had all completed at least one tri. This was going to be a learning experience for me more than anything else and boy did I learn. It was a thrilling experience I will not soon forget, the triathlon bug has bitten me very good.
Photo by Katherine Lapner
Again this September, I volunteered to help with IRONMAN 70.3 Muskoka. I find that you learn so much from helping out at events like this. This year came with an added bonus, for the first time I got to meet one of the greats in the sport of triathlon, Mirinda Carfrae. It was amzing to see her in action at Muskoka and then to watch her capture he second IRONMAN World Championship on TV just a month later. She is certainly one the great ambassadors of the sport.
It was one of those years of two steps forward and one step back it seemed but progress is still progress. The year started off with me under going some pretty intense physiotherapy on my right leg, with a treatment called dry needling. The lack of strength in that leg limited my training for Around the Bay. After three months of therapy, I was almost back to normal.
Just when everything was progressing so well and training was ramping up for Ottawa Race Weekend the injury bug bit again. This time in the form of not one but four stress fractures in the right foot. I most likely had stress fractures prior to this but being the guy that I am, I just ran through the pain. I was on a training run when I came upon a cobble stone sidewalk that was a little uneven. As my foot hit the ground I could feel and hear something was not right. I ended up limping the last 1.5K back to the start point of the run. I took a little time off as Race Weekend was approaching and I wanted to be in good shape to compete in the half marathon. I did not seek out a diagnosus until after Race Weekend which leads into the next set back.
Not sure if I was going to put this next event in the Firsts or Set Backs section of this post but given how it effected me mentally, I decided to put it in the Set Back section. Going into the Ottawa Race Weekend Half Marathon, I had a gut feeling that things were not going to go too well. The first 7K of the race I was feeling great and I was on pace to reach my finish goal time. Then at 8K, the pain started in the right foot and by 9K the pain was unbarable, so I pulled out of the race, my first DNF. Looking back, it was the right decision but at the time, I beat myself up pretty good for not completing. Shortly after the race I went to a sports doctor who confirmed the stress factures.
For the most part, the summer was uneventful and once my stress fractures healed, I resumed my training. I had an awesome summer and my training was at its’ best since I started my journey to complete an IRONMAN. I had just completed my first triathlon and I was feeling great. Mentally and physically I was in a great place, that is until September 14 when the injury shark (what happened was too much for a bug) took a big chunk out of me. While mountain biking, I took a spill that resulted in two broken wrist, two cracked ribs and a messed up knee. This was going to be my biggest set back and challenge to date. Though I am still healing, the recovery has been longer and harder than I had hoped it would be, both mentally and physically. I hope to be back in training mode sooner than later.
Though this was going to be a 2014 event, the decision to withdraw from IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant came in 2013. It took a lot of effort on my part to finally pull the plug on this goal but again it was the right decision to make given my health and level of training. One of the deciding factors for me was my lack of swim training. Without the extra three months of swim training, my weakest link in triathlon, I knew that it was going to be hard for me to finish the event within the time limit. Also, given the nature of my injuries, I did not want to push myself so much that I hamper my recovery or do more damage.
When reaching for a goal, especially one as big as IRONMAN, one cannot do it alone. So, here in no particular order I would like to say a big thank you:
The medical team: Dr.Ashikan, Dr. Pollock and the E.R staff at Kamloops General Hospital, who have put this humpty dumpty back together and keep me put together. I am grateful for having you in my corner in 2013, but with all due respect, I hope that I do not need you or your services in 2014.
Blog Buddies: 10000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts (Tony), Fit Recovery (Jim) and Chatter Gets Fit and From Meltdown to Ironman (Simone). Thank you for keeping me entertained, informed, motivated and educating me on so many things. I never thought that writting a blog would have connected me with such great people, some on the same journey as myself.
Team Tasting Blood (TTB): Laura, Diane, Katherine, Colleen, Jamie, Christian, Richard, Nicole, Amira, Julie, Ben-Zion, Andrew, Michael, Andree-Ann, John, Rene and Jesee. A great group of people whose athletic abilities far exceed mine, thank you for your encouragment, helpful tips and your friendship. I look forward to training with some of you in 2014.
Photo By Alistair Warwick
Alistair’s Cycle Group: Alistair, Catherine, Michele, Monica, Howard, Peter, Cal, Dodie, Tayeb, Mike and the member of TTB that came out of this group, Laura, Diane, Katherine, Colleen, Jamie, Christian, Richard, Nicole, Amira, Julie, Ben-Zion, Andrew, Michael, Andree-Ann, John, Rene, Jesee, Dawn. Thanks for the company on those great Saturday rides and the encouragment to get up those Gatineau Hills on Thurdays evening. Hopefully next year I can be a part of the ski group.
Photo by Alistair Warwick
Running Room Crew: Grace, Laura, Peter, Alain, Isabelle, Heather, Wahl, Elaine, Donna, Greg M, Greg B, Joleen, Michelle, Laen, Heather G, Michael, Jenn D, Jenn H, Phil, Shawna, Julie, Natalie, Dougie. Thanks again for another awesome year. It is always a pleasure to see you guys and run with you as well. Your encouragement and support especially over the last few months has meant a great deal to me.
Darren Clark: Thanks for your encouragement, help and the time you spent listening to me. I hope we can get in some more riding in 2014.
Jenn Hood: What started off as me pushing you, you ended up pushing me through those last few Ks of the Around the Bay. Thank you for your friendship, encouragement and company on those long runs. Heres to many runs together in 2014.
Photo by Sports Shooter
Brigitte Bernier: Some of what I accomplished this year would not have been possible without your great physiotherapy treatments. Thank you for getting me back out there and keeping me in check when I needed. Though I wish you did not smile so much when you were putting those needles in me. LOL
Friends and Colleauges: I want to thank you all for your encouragement, support and taking the time to read my blog. Your comments on my posts and on Facebook mean a lot to me, some more than you will ever know.
Family: Having the support of family is paramount to acheiving any goal and I am lucky to have that support. Though some shake their head and think I am crazy but still support me any ways. Thank you all for being there for me when needed you the most.
And last but not least, the Missus, Renee. Without her support and encouragement, the goal of reaching IRONMAN would not be possible. She has kept me grounded when needed, lifted my spirits when they were down and helped mend me when I was broken. Thank you for not beating me over the head with a shovel for putting you through so much in 2013. I hope that 2014 will be less taxing on you.
Well, it was certainly an eventful year and in certain areas I do not wish to repeat, but as I always say, it certainly could have been worse. I have to take the good with the bad and try not to dwell on the bad but concentrate on the good.
As I put 2013 behind me, I look forward to many joyus occasions and reaching a number of new goals in 2014 which I will post in the next few days.
Until then… Happy New Year and a successful 2014