This journey began back in my UMD days as my ROOMMATE Drew BAMBOOZLED me into running with him for reasons we'll leave for another story or previous post. Then since sucking at one sport was getting boring, I entered the triathlon world in 2015 for reasons you can also find in previous post. As I look back onto this 2018 season, it was a pretty great year! The images below start at Rock N Roll Arizona, a Polar Plunge, racing with the guys, a muddy 70.3 and rocking the W at IMAZ.
The season started at Rock N Roll Arizona, a race that always kicks my ass. Training indoors, on a treadmill and then bam...the Arizona sun and pavement kicks you in the shorts! I then cooled things off a bit and did my first ever polar plunge which was a blast! Can't wait to do that again and it's for a great cause too! Luckily one of the first triathlons of the season is right in my backyard, like honestly, the run course goes right past my house! It's always a fun race and Branden and Corey come and crush the course with thier freaky fast speed.
I was on the fence for a long time and decided to run the Fargo Marathon. I thought all else fails it would be a great training run versus "racing" a half marathon. Well Branden was nice enough to let me stay at his pad and I guess there is something special in that water because it turned into a marathon PR! Guess being relaxed and having fun equals speed, who knew. The real goal for 2018 was the back to back weekend of IRONMAN Wisconsin 70.3 followed up by Grandmas Marathon. If you can't tell, the word "taper" is not in my vocabulary.
I woke up in Madison on race day to a thunderstorm. Rain, wind, lightening all meant that transition was closed, the race was POSTPONED and I was freezing my ass off and already soaked before even entering the water. There were athletes dropping out of the race before it even started! Once the visibility was good enough for the lifeguards and the whitecaps cleared, we started the race. As I finished the swim and came into T1, it became a tough mudder as the whole area was saturated and a muddy mess. I hit the bike course with a bike, shoes and myself a muddy mess. After that damp and chilly bike ride came a half marathon with soaked shoes and a personal battle with my brain who kept telling me this was the single dumbest thing I've ever done. All this became worth it because it was a 70.3 PR with a great story! I now had a week to clean up my everything and get to Duluth.
I just love Grandmas marathon. Love Duluth, love running next to Lake Superior and going back to UMD. I wasn't feeling too bad after madison but the goal was to just have a good time, race my HARDEST and see what happened. I stayed in the dorms at UMD, woke up bright and early and took that lovely bumpy school bus ride to Two Harbors and lined up at the starting line. The miles flew by and I tried to keep with the pace group and stay ontop of my nutrition. As I entered canal Park I knew it was going to be a great day as I totally crushed any expectation I had and had a new marathon PR. I think the motivation came from not wanting my marathon PR to be associated with Fargo!
After Madison and Grandmas it was just short course races planned. With that still came plenty of excitement and the opportunity to race with BRanden and Corey some more. On the back half of the season I achieved my best finish ever with taking 3rd overall at the Minnewaska Traithlon. It's just a small local race but was still great to have a podium finish even if they didn't have a podium haha. The final multisport race was a duathlon in Fergus Falls. Like most of the races this year, the weather was not ideal. It was frigid and windy but it's a fun little race with great food! I took home a 1st place age group finish and couldn't be happier with how the 2018 season went. There was just one more event to go, the YMCA Turkey Day 5k. Again, it was as cold as a walk in freeze but lots of people showed up which is great for our local y. I eyed up the fellow runners and had it figured out I'd be racing for 3rd or 4th place. I finished 3rd and was happy to take home a medal. you know, we collect those things like they are actually worth something, us silly runners and multisport athletes!
To cap off the year, I took a little trip down to Tempe to watch Branden race his first full IRONMAN. I traveled down there with COrey and it was a great little trip. Those two are not only freaky fast but great friends. Corey and I followed Branden and ALexa around all day and just took in all things IRONMAN and the AZ sun which to us Minnesota boys felt great! Those lucky ducks are actually in the process of moving to Tuscon and it will be fun to watch them continue to excel in the triathlon world. Just hoping someone qualifies for Kona so I have a reason to go back!
Well if you have made it this far, I guess it's part MIRACLE part your just killing time at work. All that talk up top there can be SUMMARIZED into a season with a 70.3 PR, a 26.2 PR followed by another 26.2 PR, career best 3rd overall finish and a 5k PR. Sound great right!? All that success with swimming, biking and running left other aspects to falter though. I've been a boring friend to most with Friday and Saturday nights consisting of early bed times, weekend alarm clocks going off at 4am and even a career change. On top of all that, I had to witness more than one personal relationship fizzle and have some tough decisions to make in the upcoming near future. Luckily for me running gives you a great OPPORTUNITY to think and clear your mind.
As 2019 is just aroudn the corner, I only have Rock N Roll Arizona planned. I'm obviously hoping for a new 26.2 PR so we'll see how things go in the desert this time around.
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6