Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016: Year In Review

1st Light Marathon

2016: Year in Review
Like most out there I think I can say this has been a crazy, hectic year. There have certainly been ups and downs and a few all-arounds too! But we made it here, with just a few days left!
For us this year brought some calm to our racing, at least as far as distances. We took this year to explore new events and to really have fun.

We raced in 10 new events in 2016. All held new adventures and challenges. 
We had close to our best marathon at 1st Light in Mobile, Alabama. The course was just right for us, some cold chills and wind and a few hills, but that day the stars aligned and we had a good race.   
Frogman pre tornadoes
Unfortunately the weather would not be on my side when it came to the Frogman swim which for the first time was canceled this year. I guess when you wake up to tornado warnings and the strong gale force winds shut down bridges no one wants to go for a swim! We still got to meet some good people and be motivated by all that is sacrificed for us each day. This event while no race was involved really hit an emotional motivation for me.
Oh Yeah Patrick broke his foot.
We went on to race in Destin, Florida, for the Destin Bay, Bayou, and Back half marathon. This race while not the coldest we have ever raced was a good contender. I recall at one point going over the bridge I actually ended up drooling on myself as I didn’t realize the side of my face getting hit by the wind was basically frozen!
The adventures continued with the Big Beach Half Marathon and the Crescent City Classic; both fun and friendly races with great after parties.
After the kicking off the year with running, we were ready for the opening of triathlon season. This year we raced six new triathlons (seven for Patrick when including this was his first Xterra). We raced Traditions in Mississippi, St. Anthony’s in Florida, Crawfishman in Lousiana, Heartland in Florida, Capital of Dreams in Alabama, and Storm the Fort in Tennessee. Turns out ALL of these places have HILLS!!! 
Patrick raced St. Anthony's with a broke foot- finishing in a boot!!! Plus the Fiesta 10K! This is tough until you consider that he broke his foot in the parking lot after a half marathon. Love him!

The Fort
Pre Storming
The most challenging and rewarding of our triathlons this year was Storm the Fort a small 70.3 in the middle of nowhere. The race held its own challenges with a looping swim, then uphill exits from transition and then more uphills followed by a few more uphills (but there was an AWESOME downhill too), the run too had more hills and was a double loops so you knew what was coming after the first time! With only a few people going the 70.3 distance it was also a lonely race. I like the silence and only brief passes with others, but for Patrick the solitude adds another challenge. Not that he talks much during racing but he is a people person and is energized and motivated just being around people. What made this race special though were the race staff and volunteers.  They stayed, with smiles, through it all, even the rain. They would rush from their trucks to hand us water and ask if we needed food or anything else. They would cheer as we passed through and then by transition. We know where we stand in a race, when there is no back of the pack in a small race we become the back of the pack, but they stayed out there cheering and keeping the finish line up. We were not trained up for this race, as I had been focusing on my swimming for the Lighthouse swim and was spending most days in the water not running or even biking. To top it off what made the race even cooler for me was that I placed in my age group and took home (well, had mailed to me) my cannon!!!!
Alligator Lighthouse
Post Alligator Kisses
After storming the fort, we headed down to the Keys for the Swim to Alligator Lighthouse. This was truly an adventure in place and emotions. After training all summer for this event I finished nowhere near where I wanted to be. I got sick and then more sick and then more sick- kind of like the hills of the sea it just kept coming! I was able to finish the event but found myself disappointed and frustrated, making motivation to train even harder to find. While it wasn’t what I wanted to have happen that day I have come to terms that it is what happened. I am choosing to take away from this event the fact I pushed through even when every part of me wanted to stop and when I was barely moving through the water. I am also focused on the overwhelming love and support from Patrick, sure he got moody with me a few times, but he never left me (for long) and he encouraged me to go when my body and mind and soul was yelling for me to stop and give up. This race will be on my radar again, someday.
Detroit with smiles
New races ending out our year  was the Detroit Free Press Marathon- OUR FIRST INTERNATIONAL RACE!!! This race was made more fun by being with friends who we had not seen in awhile and who laughed and supported us through the first half. We got to run in the unusual autumn heat wave that struck Michigan bringing with it rains that were not as heated!  We ran through Canada for the international portion. This race was difficult due to lack of training on our part, but again fun to be together and experiencing our surroundings.

Lots of woods time

Crawfish Man
In total we raced 30 times this year, racking up in racing and training miles-
442 Running Miles
607 Cycling Miles
191 Swimming Miles

We realized something very important too- while we CAN just go out and run the race training REALLY helped!!! I suspect we will be back on the training wagon in 2017 (although a little late to the start with our first marathon being in February).

Well 2016 with this we say our goodbyes.

2017- Welcome! Here we go again- 226 m/m!!!!  

Donation Site for Tampa Bay Frogman 2017

I am are continuing to raise money for the Navy Seal Foundation.  For more information please read this: Supporting the Navy Seal Foundation- Frogman Swim 

We've been blogging for a while now. If you enjoyed this one, you may enjoy others. Look though the Blog Archive on the right, for more of our experiences and random thoughts. 

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