Going to focus on highlights from the last several weeks rather than detailed training summaries as in previous posts:
- New Year at Sage Cliff (Cave B) with Cindy and the dogs. A great time had by all, nice and relaxing and a chance to re-charge the batteries a little. Good food, good wine, wonderful company and of course a couple of short very very cold runs. Beautiful views of the Gorge and the Columbia River, will explore this area more in the Summer fingers crossed ;)
- First Week of the New Year. A great training week which saw me hitting 16 hours or so of training with great balance. Only downside was getting lazy about signing up for Bridle Trails and for the first time in its history it sold out leaving myself and many other team mates out in the cold. I see this as a good thing though as it means the popularity of trail running is continuing to rise and people are gettting outside and getting it done.
- Rock n Roll AZ. A much needed escape to the sunshine with our training group who had been preparing for the last 20 weeks or so. Cindy and I left late on Friday which was not optimal but once there soon found our bearings and with the use of our good friend Eric Wynn's condo and car for the weekend we were all set. The Saturday was a bit of blur, woke up, ate breakfast, did some work, went to register, ran a solid six miles, then out to dinner with the team at Oregano's and back to the condo ready to get some sleep after getting race kit ready for the morning.
- The Race. Well what can I say I had an absolute blast pacing Max (and Joe for a while but he was suffering with some kind of stomach bug from earlier in the week, long story but between porta potty stops he still locked down a Boston qualifying time) to a huge marathon PR (over 20 minutes) and enjoying the atmosphere along the way. It was a great way for me to help a team mate and get a solid training run in. Max finished in 3:09:54 and was rock solid all day never once faltering even under my shouts and screams to hold things together in the last 8km (which he did) when the going got a little tough. We essentially even paced the entire run with mile splits ranging from 7:10-7:15 for the first 22 miles then a combination of the climbs and the fatigue slowed the next three miles to 7:20's before the final mile where I ran strong knowing Max would do his best to come with me and in the process break 3:10. He only needed to go sub 3:20 for Boston so he really knocked it out the park, awesome experience. I will do more pacing in the future (truly enjoyed it) so if anyone wants to shoot for Boston who knows they are a little erratic and/or need a little motivation when the going gets tough look me up ;).
- Team Mates. Cindy had an awesome day in the half for her comeback race after getting hit by the car several months ago and ran 1:35. Not her best time but considering the lack of any speed work and limited mileage a great performance. We had five Boston qualifiers as a team and a bunch of people with PR's and satisfying experiences on race day. A real success for the Rock n Roll run program and something we will repeat for next year with a few tweaks here and there.
- 4th Dimension Racing. Roger Michel and Kevin Reinkensmeyer did a fabulous job of putting on a super great Off Road Duathlon at Ft Steilicoom this weekend. It was race one of a two race series and was a blast. I am no mountain biker but thankfully there was nothing too technical and other than couple of rookie errors I got through the ride okay, so don't fear the bike course you guys, come join us for race two on Saturday February 26th. Some great racing to be had, what a way to test your fitness against some very elite MTB's. Now if only that second run was 20km ;). Thanks to all the volunteers (many provided by Team Vo2Multisport) and Roger and Kevin for such an awesome awesome race.
Thanks to everyone following this blog and those of you that are supporting me in my coaching, training, and racing. My sponsors Brooks, GU, TYR, nuun, Sports Reaction Center, Headsweats, Dilettante, Rudy Project, QR, and Orca Compression all make my life so much easier as I have everything I need to race fast, recover well and look sharp.