Here it is at the end of the year, a perfect time to look back and take stock of how the year went. Basically I am going to grade myself on how I feel I did in relation to my original season goals for 2013.... using a regular old school grading system.
My original goals for the season were:
Complete a 100 mile trail running race - stretch goal: under 24 hours
Win tandem category at the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel road race
Win Tandem Category at the Ore to Shore MTB race
Win Tandem Category at the Cohutta 100 Mile MTB race
Run well at the Georgia Death Race trail run
Run very well at the Marquette Trail 50 mile running race
Break 4 hours at the Snake Creek Gap TT course on the MTB tandem
Beat my previous time at the Duncan Ridge 50K trail run
How did I do? Let's take the goals in chronological order:
Snake Creek Gap
Dalton Georgia, Jan / Feb / Mar
Grade: A -
This event is a 34 mile MTB race in a time trial format over some really rough terrain in the mountains of North Georgia. The weather for all 3 of the race weekends was cold and wet. One of the weekends we had some serious snow accumulation on part of the trail, but we did accomplish the goal of sub 4 hours at the March race. It was not easy! The course was dicey all of the weekends... and I think we could go a lot faster on this course in better conditions... or if I can get more confidence and pilot the bike a little better. I still give us a good grade for this goal.
Georgia Death Race
North Georgia Mountains, Late March
My first 100+Kilometer trail run on a course that lived up to its name. We started in the dark at 4:30 am and and I finished (top 10) in around 14 and a half hours. A REALLY hard day and I was absolutely destroyed after. The is the first and ONLY time I have ever puked after a race... let me tell you it was not pretty.... BUT I performed as well or better than expected.. .so a good grade here.
Cohutta 100 mile MTB race - Tandem
Ducktown TN, April
We were prepared quite well for this race... and then the rain came the night before. Pouring rain, very cold temperatures on the ridge tops, and slick, nasty mud on parts of the course made handling the tandem an absolute nightmare. Originally I thought we could do this course in about 9.5 hours. In the rain and mud it took us over 12 hours!!!! This was NOT a fun day on the bike... Even through the lens of time this was a miserable day... but we got it done. Of course we were the first place tandem because we were the only ones dumb enough to do it :) . Grade B for my whining and complaining all day ... but the physical performance was pretty good.
Dirty Kanza 200
Emporia, Kansas , June
We never got to the starting line... even though I feel like we were prepared well to put in a good performance... this goal slots into 2014.
Ore to Shore
Marquette MI, August
This is a 42 mile point to point MTB race on really fun, fast trails on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We had a mediocre start, but turned it on and were placed pretty well before getting stuck waiting for a train to pass at a crossing. After that it was a mess with rider traffic. We rode really well, but just squeaked in under 3 hours. We won the tandem category against some good competition, but we were not as prepared as we could have been. We need to work on our start and high end to go a lot faster next year. This race will also appear on the 2014 goal list.
Marquette Trail 50 run
Grade: either an F or an A
This ended up being a VERY difficult, technical 50 mile course on a hot and humid day. To make a long story short: I was running really well... in 5th place... tiring and suffering, but still going fine. Then I decided that splashing some nice cool lake Superior water on myself would help. Because of cramping I ended up a little more in the water than I intended... then just as I got going again, I passed out. EMS came and gave me IV fluids, but my race was over with just 7 miles left to run. I am really disappointed about this one.... I was performing really well... then a questionable decision and circumstance led to a DNF... after 44 miles of hard work. So an F for the DNF, but an A for my performance up to the point in question. Again, this will be a 2014 goal... I need redemption on this course !
Mark Twain 100 Mile trail run
South East Missouri, September
Grade: A +
Yup, an A+ for my huge season goal. After my mistake in Marquette I honed my preparation... and everything went 100% perfectly for my first 100 mile run. The course was beautiful (4 x 25 mile single track loops in the Ozark Mountains) and the weather was great. My nutrition was good... energy levels good... perfect. I finished in 23hours and 19 minutes. I will try to do a separate post on this event and my preparation for it.
Duncan Ridge 50 K trail run
North Georgia Mountains, November
A great way to end the season with a 20 min personal best on this tough mountain course in cold, wet weather. Felt good before, during and after.....
BONUS GOAL EVENTS:
Sturgis, SD June
So I ended up doing 2 events that were really special. First, in June I had the opportunity to do the Tatanka 100 MTB race in South Dakota and it was an absolute BLAST. I had never been to that area and this was a great way to see the Black Hills and the amazing trails there. I had a decent performance as well (6th in the open men category). I rode well for the first half, but seriously suffered the last 30 miles or so. My preparation left something to be desired, but I had to include this event here. I will give myself a B+ for this one.
Unbelievable! Definitely an A here as this was almost as much of a "lifetime bucket list" event more than a 2013 goal. See my previous blog post for the details... enough said!
Ok, so that was my 2013... how did you do with your goals last year?