19 January 2017

A 2016 Recap

It's been a while since I posted and it is time to catch-up on 2016.  It had some ups and downs but ended up being a pretty good year with over 3500 miles of running/cycling, a few good races, a fun cycling vacation, and a big purchase.

Race highlights: REVEL Mt Charleston Marathon, TOUGHMAN - Washington State Duathlon, Harvest Moon Duathlon and a triathlon relay at Pumpkinman

REVEL Mt Charleston was my big race for the first half of the year.  It was my fifth marathon and I picked it because it literally ran through my backyard.  It was 26.2 miles of primarily downhill and I was able to do a lot of my prep work on the course.  I felt great about my training but had some foot issues late in the race that caused me to greatly slow down over the final six miles.  Things that worked well for me were my nutrition plan and bringing my Orange Mud backpack for self-hydrating.  The highlight of the race was my boys joining me for the final half mile and escorting me across the finish.

entering the finisher's chute at REVEL
I will be back at REVEL this year to run the half marathon and am going to make it a PR attempt. Downhill training starts this weekend.

TOUGHMAN Washington State was a big travel race for the family with us planning a family vacation around a race and making our first trip to Washington as a family.  The race location and course were nice with it being flat and on a small peninsula with part of the run being on the beach.  The weather was rough with heavy rain and winds blowing in from the ocean.  The format of the race was supposed to be a 3.1/56/13.1 mile run/bike/run but 15 minutes prior to the race start, the first run was nixed and it was changed into a bike/run format.  It also turned out that I was the only person doing that particular distance with all other duathletes opting for the shorter Olympic distance.
cold and wet coming into the transition

crossing the finish line and feeling great

Despite the weather, I felt great about this race.  My training went great and I was well prepped for it. The cool/damp weather was pleasant to run in. Well, OK, running into the wind and rain stung a bit but I wasn't overheating like summer running in Vegas so it was great.  Unfortunately, the race company was going out of business with this being their final race and they dropped the ball on a lot of things.

Harvest Moon was in Boulder, CO and was a race that I was really excited about.  It was a very well managed race and had a decent turnout for the long course duathlon which was in a 3.1/56/13.1 mile run/bike/run format.  The first run was a flat out-n-back on the reservoir dam. The bike was a two loop course with some long uphills, fast downhill sections on the first two thirds of each loop and a bit of rolling hills on the backstretch.  The second run was a two loop rolling hill course and primarily on dirt roads and trails.  

The race started out great but the uncharacteristically high temperatures did in a lot of racers with a fair number of DNFs from the triathletes and duathletes, primarily on the run.  For me, I had some hydration issues shortly after starting the run due to switching from my standard Powerade to what was available on the race course but gutted it out and finished the 72.2 mile race.  No pictures to add for this one since I was travelling solo for the weekend with the kids being back in school.

BBSC's Pumpkinman was a fun race. My wife, oldest son, and I did a sprint relay with her swimming, My wife was prepping for a big race and my son and I were pretty much done with our seasons so it made for a fun family event.  I'm pretty certain I got the hardest leg since most of my 12.4 miles were an uphill climb from Lake Mead to Boulder City.  It was a fun event and we definitely need to do it again.
Team G-Force rocking the finisher medals

As part of our vacation that took us to Washington, we stopped in Oregon to visit Crater Lake National Park. It was awesome! My wife and I rode the 33+ mile loop on our tri bikes.  Much of the road was closed to automobiles due to rockslide debris on the road and as a result, we were rewarded with beautiful views on a challenging (lots of climbing) ride with just us plus a few other cyclists and backpackers on approximately half of the loop.  This needs to be on every cyclist's list of things to do in the Pacific Northwest.

Enjoying the cool air!

glamour shots for my Cervelo

Now, the big purchase - I bought my Cervelo in early 2015 and put all of my cycling miles on it through August 2016.  Since then, it has been solely a racing machine with training time spent on the trainer in my living room. Why?  Because I bought a road bike - a Felt F5.  It is my first carbon bike and has 11 speed 105 components. I racked up the miles after purchasing it to include my first 200 mile week and a long ride of 90 miles.  I look forward to putting a lot of miles on it this year.
my Felt F5
Finally, I need to finish this up by mentioning the biggest athletic accomplishment that the family had in 2016. My wife is now an Ironman! She finished Ironman Arizona in November with a strong finish that was well ahead of her expected finishing time. After tearing her ACL in an OCR late last year and getting it replaced in December, it looked doubtful that it was in the cards for 2016 but she was relentless in her rehab and training. Great job, babe!
My very tired and happy wife - You are an Ironman!

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