Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Review and 2016 Preview

2015 was a huge year from a fitness perspective for me. Perhaps not "cheap", but my goal of seeking fitness was certainly met. I pretty much met all my goals in terms of fitness during the year, and I tacked on a monster bonus achievement at the end of the year.

The 2015 race list:

I don't race much, and prefer training to racing. But I had two major goals for 2015: 1) complete my first ultramarathon, and 2) complete the Great Floridian iron distance triathlon. The first goal was met in January at Skydive Ultra. The second goal was met in October. Those two pieces alone made for a successful year, especially once I discovered I had placed in my age group at the Great Floridian Triathlon. 

2015 was a success. Perhaps not as cheaply as I would have liked, but a success. I met my goals. I actually did well in my races. I didn't experience any major injuries. I began planning for 2016, and set one major goal...complete a 100 mile ultramarathon.

Then I got invited to Ancient Oaks 100 Mile ultramarathon...4 days before the race. I went for it because why the hell not. Then I finished (in large part to the help of others!) A monster bonus achievement! It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fast. Recovering from the race has been slow. But whoda thunk I'd sneak in a 100 miler into my first real year of endurance events? WOO!

What of 2016?

Then came the let-down. I had for a couple months been building up my big goal for 2016, to finish my first 100 mile ultramarathon. I had a plan in place. I'd take my first shot at 100 miles at Skydive Ultra in January. Knowing many fail at their first attempt at 100 miles, I had planned to take a second shot in December at Daytona Ultramarathon. But now that goal, that first 100 miler, had disappeared. 

Post-race blues were magnified. I couldn't run while I recovered from the 100 mile effort (I still can't run with any intensity or length.) I was done reaching a massive goal...a journey had ended. And I no longer knew what to make of 2016. I needed to figure out what to do for 2016 and get my mind focused on that...and quickly!

I haven't quite finished formulating my 2016 fitness plans, but have a basic outline. First, the big new goal for 2016 is to run my first multi-day race. A multi-day race is a whole different beast than single day races, and I love the idea of pursuing something new. I'm considering the Race Across Georgia, but haven't made a decision yet and am hoping something more local materializes. 

In 2016, I also continue to plan to build toward racing Ultraman Florida in 2018. Toward that goal, I plan to participate in a one or two half ironman triathlons and perhaps a seriously long open water swimming event. I'm also going to go to Skydive Ultra at the end of January and give 100 miles another shot. Assuming I'm well-recovered from Ancient Oak, I'm going to take many of the lessons and make a sub 24 hour finish a real goal. That will require figuring out problems with my feet and blisters and being much more cognizant of the amount of time spent in aid stations. I estimate I spent at least 3 hours at aid stations during Ancient Oaks. Finally, I'm still considering Daytona 100 at the end of the year. I'd like to give the 100 mile distance a shot with real preparation, planning, a good taper and see what happens. However, if things go well at Skydive, I may go the opposite direction for the remainder of the year and focus on shorter distances and speed...perhaps find out what I can do in an open marathon with solid training. (I've never run a marathon.)

2016 will also include spending more times with my kids on fitness. My son loves triathlon and wants to start a kids' triathlon club. I may look into this with him. He and I will definitely be running his and my first 5K together. My daughter is not a big fan of fitness, although she tolerates swimming reasonably well. I plan to explore different sports and fitness endeavors with her in 2016 to see if we can find something she enjoys more.

2016 For This Blog & Myself

In 2016, I'll continue using this blog as a space to write about my fitness endeavors. However, I'm also going to add posts here about whatever strikes me worth writing about. It could be fitness related, or completed unrelated to fitness. This space is just going to become a place for me to scratch out thoughts on whatever strikes my fancy. In fact, I've set out a few non-resolutions for 2016, more habits than resolutions, that I look to do more of in the new year. This blog will be a space to achieve some of those habits. So, I leave you and 2015 with my non-resolutions for 2016:
  1. Sleep more and eat better.
  2. Put down the phone & laptop more often, and enjoy people & nature more frequently and fully.
  3. Read books on paper (I love the convenience of ebooks, but have found I just read much less than I used to since I switched to ebooks.)
  4. Write...every day. Even if it's garbage. Just write.
  5. Reengage with my profession.

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