The State of my State: 2009 Review Edition

Every year that I’ve been blogging I write a recap of the previous year, and then a post on what lies in the year ahead.  Normally I do this late-January, but things got kinda busy, so I’m a little behind.  But no worries, I’m giving you some breathing room from everyone else’s annual recap posts back in December.  Plus, for those of you who have just started falling me in the past few months, it’ll give you a chance to catch up a bit.

(Side note: Here’s last year’s, and the year before)

So with that, let’s get it on!

We’ll start with the raw numbers, before getting into the races and what-not.

First up – cycling:  Last year I cycled 4,076.42 Miles or 210.53 Hours.  This is just slightly more mileage than years prior, but slightly less time.  I do know that somewhere in there I’m missing a few bikes…but I’ve temporarily given up on sifting through training records.  You see a pretty significant drop in my cycling once mid-November hit, and I’m in the off season a bit then.  Oh, and as a note, all of these pretty pictures are from TrainingPeaks.com


Next up – Running: Last year I ran a total of 1,149.82 miles which took me 149.60 Hours.  Interestingly, this is also down from the previous year in mileage.  Why the difference you ask? Well, the first part of 2008 (the previous year), I spent a lot of time just simply laying down miles every single day – without any specifity or purpose.  So essentially a ton of junk miles.  This was before I got Coach.  Also, you see the drop in running once I hit December this year, as I pulled back then for the offseason.

image Last up – Swimming: I dislike swimming the most.  But, I still swam some 360,635 yards, which took me 117.53 hours.  You may notice a massive spike there in late February of 17,600 yards. I went back to check this wasn’t an error, and sure enough it was correct.  It ended up being the perfect storm of having one day with two swims, plus the normal swims that week, and then a substitution of a 2+ hour run with a swim (Coach has said just go swim instead, and I thought he meant for 2 hours, so I did.  Turned out he only meant a short swim…doh.)


2009 Racing Overview:

Ok, let’s get it out of the way first – 2009 was sorta disappointing from a racing standpoint for me.  That’s not to say it was a loss, it’s just not that some of the goals I set out to achieve, didn’t happen.  But that’s OK, I’ve learned a bunch from it, and I’m pretty excited about the upcoming year.  Last year was all about going long, so all of my training was focused on that.

Let’s kinda walk through some of the major ones:

  • Escape from Ft. Desoto Sprint (Early April): I started off the tri year with a bang.  I won my AG and almost took Top 10 overall (perhaps had I not gotten lost on the course…).  My bike and run both rocked, but I loved the fact that I averaged 25.5MPH on the bike.  Woot!
  • Boston Marathon (Mid-April): 10 days after that sprint I ran the Boston Marathon for the first time.  I had qualified in Philly that previous fall, and was simply out to enjoy the day in Boston. Rob and I (remember Rob, polar creek plunge Rob…) ran Boston together and just had a blast.  If you check out that Boston post (we took 150ish pictures during the race), we had the most fun ever…and still threw down another BQ time.  Best race of the season.

  • US Dextro Olympic Triathlon (June): Skipping ahead a few races, I went out there and really did very well in this race even though I had no taper.  I took 3rd in my AG despite stopping to throw up a bunch.  Ironically, it seems I’d do better in races with virtually no taper…

  • Rhode Island 70.3 (July): I had hoped to pull out a Clearwater slot here, but the race ended up offering Kona slots and that brought out some nasty competition.  It was a rough day for me, my bike was a wash improvement-wise, and the run was a bit of a disaster.  While I did set a PR at 4:40, the whole thing ended pretty ugly with an all-expensive paid trip to the Med Tent after sorta collapsing at the finish line.  But I technically made it across the finish line…so that’s what matters.

  • Ironman Canada (August): This was without question my planned A race of the year, and it just didn’t go that well.  While I had trained well and was positioned for a 9:45ish time, I let the mental aspect get the better of me.  I let the fact that I was having a rough bike eat away at any promise of a good race and sorta gave in.  In reality…everyone was having a rough bike.  One of those things where you have to trust in the numbers and keep on pushing through – as you never really know what else is going on.  I PR’d again, not by much, but finished in 10:38.  Overall a disappointment, but still…another Ironman Finish.

  • Nation’s Tri Olympic Distance (September): Less than two weeks after finishing Ironman Canada I did this local Oly course.  Not really sure what to expect given the lack of recovery from IMC, I just gave it all I had.  And I had a blast.  I PR’d with a 2:12 and really had an solid bike and an awesome run given the two week recovery window.  I really had nothing left at the end, and I was fun – I enjoyed every second of the race – something I can’t say for either IMC or IMFL.

  • Ironman Florida (November): Seeking a bit of revenge after IMC I went out signed up for IMFL and tried to give it one last shot at the Ironman distance.  By this point in the season I honestly just wanted it to all end.  There were some miserable long cold training rides in October.  I learned at IMFL that I suck at aero position (and rock at climbing hills…which there are none in Florida) – my bike split was almost the same as IMC…which has like 7,000 feet of climbing.  In the end, the run did me in and I finished with a PR by a few seconds. :-/

  • I would round out the rest season with a few local fun races (Turkey Trots and what not), but nothing I trained for – just went out and enjoyed racing.  I then took off a fair bit of structured training time in November and December.  I still ran and bike (and every once in a while swam), but by and large I did whatever I felt like doing, without any specific schedule.  I ran hard when I wanted to run hard, and ran easy when I felt like it.  I and couch surfed when I wanted to.  It was nice to break out of the mold for a bit.

    So, in summary – 2009 was mixed for me.  It was my third year racing triathlons, and I think I’m starting to learn what I enjoy and don’t enjoy.  I’m also learning which race styles and what formats I excel at – and which ones I suck at.  All of these things I’m taking forward towards 2010 with my race planning and race selection.

    And the good news is that at the moment I’m actually having a blast again training – which is good, even with all the crappy weather we’ve had around here.

    As for my races next year…if you’ve been around this block a bit you know that comes in the next post…


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    1. No matter what you said in your post about how your races went… you still rocked the 2009 season! I bet 2010 will even be an even more rockin’ year for you!

    2. Nice numbers and interesting that our bike & run numbers were similar. Out of curiosity, how much strength training & stretching type of activities did you do? Do you plan to do more in 2010? I remember you saying that staying in aero is probably mostly a flexibility issue.

    3. You still PR’d most of your key events, even if they did not end up as you had planned. Unfortunately, the 2 things that you cannot control (your competition and the weather) seemed to determine some of the success on your season. Looking at just the times, you can easily say it was an improvement.

    4. Ray, it seems as though a lot of athletes are cursed with the “never good enough” state of mind. Like “LiM” said, you PR’d most of your races and got some valuable data on how/why your races go the way they do. You also crossed over and raced in four different distances, which is crazy!

      I’m very excited to see what your race line-up looks like this for this season. Since you like hills… how about SavageMan?

    5. Another year in the bank, and TWO, count them TWO IM finishes just a few months apart.

      Its really good to hear you’re enjoying training again. Sometimes, as you know, its good to just take a little time off to reset, and reevaluate why you do what you do

      Can’t wait for the 2010 schedule, hope you’re ready to tear up some Short Course pavement

    6. I hope you have loads of fun focusing on the Oly distance this year. I still suggest some Pilates/Yoga for flexibility.

    7. Nice review, and those are some impressive totals. Also, how do you copy TrainingPeaks graphs to the blog?

    8. Impressive numbers. I’m always impressed and inspired by your dedication to training.