So this past year was a bit of a mixed bag for me. No big ones… but lots of others to keep me out of trouble.
I did a few tri’s… Eagleman 1/2 IM was the big one early in the season… and a few open water races… Caledon Quarry Swim 1, The LOST Race, The Toronto Island Lake Swim, Caledon Quarry Swim 2… Swim Master for Annaleise’s 42.2 km and 30 km swims across Lake Erie… a couple of trail races… Sulphur Springs 50k, Iriquoia Trail Test… and a few marathons… Marine Corp, Bahama’s, Boston and most recently Erie Marathon… all in all a pretty decent trip across the calendar!
Having said all that… the training is as much fun as the racing. Although I have to admit… I love racing. I love racing when I’m good shape and can have one of those rare times when there are no excuses needed and you actually feel good about a race. Could always do better, but it’s nice to feel content. But I know that I’m a true “racer”, because I even love racing when I’m out of shape and really suck. Which unfortunately more often than the former. But as much as I love racing there is no way that I would do any of this if the training wasn’t fun. And honestly… having people to train with is what makes it fun. Regardless of the sport, having training buddies is everything!
As I have for the past 18 years or so, I trained with all the usual running/tri buddies. We don’t really have a name or a team, but these are the guys that helped form LOST swimming and are still key to LOST today. There are also all the LOSTies that I really love training with. As I’ve said before, I love being surrounded by positive, enthusiastic (and sometimes crazy) people… it just makes life more interesting… and training a helluva lot more enjoyable too! And despite the differences in speed and ability, that is one of the common denominators between all LOSTies… we all seem to be pretty positive, enthusiastic and somewhat crazy about sucking the most fun out of life. The other common denominator is having the guts to go for a swim in nice cool water!
There is a running group that Joanne and I joined this year that we have been a part of in previous years called “Connor’s Runner’s”… and they seem to have the dry-land DNA of a LOST Swimmer. Just a bunch of fun-lovin’, beer-drinkin’ people who still want to train hard and race as hard as they can… but mostly have fun.
So we all went down to Erie for the marathon. “Our gang”… and our Connor’s Runners buddies. About 10 from our gang and 34 from CR. Two great groups, although with all the dinner’s and drinks and splitting time between the two groups it felt a little like an athletic version of “Three’s Company”!
Having said all that… what a great marathon! Here’s why:
- flat, flat, flat
- beautiful… double loop course on a peninsula that goes out into the lake… very scenic
- just the right size… not too big… not too small… about 1000 runners
- only 3 hour drive away
- great tradition… 41st year!
- cheap!… $50 bucks… try and beat that for a full marathon! (cheap hotels too)
- the narrow double loop is great for spectators
- the only weekend where you can get qualify for the Boston Marathon for the next 2 years!!!
- a very fast course
But maybe I shouldn’t say all that. Now everyone is going to want to do it. Oh well, I’m not good a keeping my mouth shut.
So having said all that… how did I do? I sucked… a 3:49. I was “hoping” for a 3:30 to get back to Boston… but I knew that wasn’t going to happen, the training hadn’t been there and 3 weeks of construction on the new house wasn’t exactly the perfect taper… coming home exhausted every night is much harder than my old desk job! (right Adrian and Al!… don’t know how you guys do it!). Oh well.
There were some great races though and a ton of “double BQ’s” too! Congrats to all my speedy friends, LOSTies and speedy Connor’s Runners friends! (tough break for Joanne… she missed Boston by 48 seconds!… at least I missed it by a mile!… well, actually several miles!)
In case you noticed there were only 9 points above, and not 10… that’s because “a beautiful little town” was missing. I mean Erie is nice enough, but not one where you’d want to just laze around for an extra day… unless you were going for the laser tag and water slide, of course… or… unless your car broke down. Which mine did. So I got to spend 2 extra days there. On the up-side… laying in bed watching movies for a whole day after running a marathon isn’t really a very hard sell. It all worked out.
Anyway… on to the next adventure!
PS. stay tuned… there will be a few ideas and invitations bantered around in the up-coming off season!