The year 2013 was a pivotal one for me. I decided toward the end of 2012 that it was time to get serious about checking things off of my bucket list. Doing so would require me to learn how to swim, buy a lot of gear and enter some events that involved more than just running. During the off-season I did just that. I went out and bought a racing bike, new bike gear, a wet suit, Garmin watch, subscription to Training Peaks and some swim-training equipment. I also learned the freestyle stroke and spent the entire winter swimming relentlessly at a local pool and running on slick sidewalks to keep my legs fresh.
The ante had been officially upped. As spring 2013 approached, I began the process of signing up for races and laying out my schedule for the upcoming season. The season revolved around 3 big “A” races/events which were a century ride in April, a triathlon in July and a marathon in October.
After a brutally long and cold spring, I started to get a little nervous about the century ride. Although my training was cut short, the ride itself was great. After that however, I had a string of bad luck. Of the next 4 races planned, one was cancelled for pool renovations, one was cancelled because not enough people registered and another was postponed because of weather which caused me to miss it. When August rolled around, I had yet to do a triathlon even though I had planned on doing two by that time.
My luck finally changed in the second half of the season. I found a sprint triathlon in September and signed up. It was the last one for the season in Minnesota so if something went wrong, I would have to wait until 2014 to do a tri. Fortunately, everything worked out this time and I completed my first triathlon. I also had a marathon scheduled in October which also went well.
More events led to more work, planning and frustration but it also resulted in some pretty satisfying finishes and PB’s. The highlights of which were my first sub-4:00 marathon, first century ride and first triathlon. All of that and I somehow managed to remain injury-free. Pretty cool.
Now it’s time to focus on the off-season and get ready for 2014. Still not sure what to focus on yet but 2013 laid down a good foundation for the future. I have all of the equipment needed to be competitive in triathlons as well some experience. Another cool thing that happened is 2013 is that my wife and both daughters have been bitten by the triathlon bug. There’s a good chance that we could all be racing along-side each other next year. Could be interesting.