After all these miles, I still can't help but think back to the days when I would dread running. In grade school, I couldn't complete the mile run without walking. I took the easy way out rather than pushing through the discomfort. Now, as I look back at 2019, it was a year full of personal best and great memories. Each event was either a course PR or PR for that distance. It was a year that I got to race twice with Dick Beardsley!
I won't go into details on the times and results since you can find those here but 2019 brought these new PR times. A Marathon time of 3:29:42, Half Marathon of 1:29:27 and an IRONMAN 70.3 time of 5:36:53. While I understand just completing the event is a huge win for some, I don't see any enjoyment of just finishing or just racing to race. From the moment that swim cap goes on or the shoes get laced up, I am there to race and push myself to the limit. Am I the fastest, not even close but the real race is against yourself.
I've had my share of bad runs, days you don't feel like training and also great runs and days that you feel like you could go forever. Sure it is fun to collect the medals, T-Shirts and bibs; the real motivation comes from within. What I enjoy about the sport is that you just can't show up and hope for the best. You can't buy your way to the top. If you want to be successful, you have to put in the work. Nobody is going to do it for you. If I want to run a 3:15 marathon, I have to get my ass on that treadmill and road and put in the miles to train my body and mind. Yes, the mental aspect is just as flipping important. If you are weak between the ears, you will forever be stuck being just okay.
Truth is, it sucks. It hurts. I have put my body through hell and I am sure I will pay for it someday. I'm just praying by that time they can 3D print some new body parts for me! ALl joking aside, I wouldn't change a thing besides being able to swim, bike and run more. The sport has brought me to some pretty amazing locations and some even more impressive people into my life. I can't explain it to a non-runner but the bond we share with each other is incredible. While some are there to compete against each other, some are also competing against themselves yet we tend to go out of our way to help and push each other. From giving mechanical assistance, sharing that extra pair of goggles or tire tube, most of us LEGITIMATELY care about the wellbeing of others.
While my last race was in late October, I have been training for Rock N Roll Arizona marathon in Phoenix/Scottsdale. While I would love to set a new marathon PR, the race usually almost kills me and I'm hoping to just set a course PR and whatever happens more than that will be a bonus. Because lets be honest, it has become tradition to find myself throwing up into a garbage can during this race...and I pay money to do this!
With that unconventional review of 2019, how about 2020? Well, planned so far is Rock N ROll Arizona, Grandmas Marathon and IRONMAN WIsconsin. Yes, after a few years of sticking to the 70.3 distance, I'm headed back to Madison to tackle that wicked bike course at IMOO 140.6. I'll most likely end up adding Fargo Marathon and a handful of long course triathlons but kind of just going to wing it. While being singed up for IRONMAN is exciting, I am also racing with Wattie INk again on the Hit Squad team. While it is more like a family, Wattie Ink is an incredible group of people equally crazy as myself. Filled with weekend warriors and elites, our fearless leaders Heather Jackson and Wattie are incredible people and I can't wait to Rock the W with this crew! I am also thankful for the support of Tribe Racing and appreciate the help and support they bring as well. To all you down in warm sunny Arizona, wish you all a successful 2020 as well.
I'LL SIGN OFF WITH THIS, "MY BODY FEELS LIKE A DEMOLITION DERBY CAR IN THE FINAL HEAT"
WORK HARD. STAY HUMBLE. A LIFE FILLED WITH SWIM, BIKE & RUN. 5Ks TO MARATHONS, SPRINT TO IRONMAN 140.6