Way back in 2013, I started getting myself back into shape. A month or so after I began going back to the gym, I picked out a shiny goal to keep me on track. The 2014 edition of Ironman 70.3 Augusta was the right mix of interesting and terrifying. I knew that if I didn’t keep up with my training that I probably wouldn’t see that finish line.
Since crossing that line, I’ve been able to complete all sorts of other interesting endurance challenges. Some marathons, some ultramarathons, a bunch of shorter distance triathlons, one particularly hot and humid edition of Ironman 70.3 St Croix (beautiful island but mysteriously all uphill when you’re on a bike or running) and one abortive effort to complete a hundred mile ultra.
Somewhere along the way my motivation started to slip. My desire to go run for 14 or 15 hours at a time started to wane. After completing a 50 miler and setting a new personal best at the Gate River Run in 2018 I took the summer off from running. I spent a lot of time riding the bike to keep some fitness up and decided to take on the Guana 50km in December.
After the gun went off I quickly realized my goal time was not going to happen so I shifted my focus to working on nutrition and in-race recovery and kept plodding along. Some combination of those 50,000 steps made my knee pretty angry. I basically took a year off after that without any clear goals or a whole lot of motivation. I had signed up for a triathlon that got postponed because of a tropical storm, which was a good thing because I really wasn’t ready for it by the time it rolled around.
I was finally able to complete that triathlon a couple weeks ago. My first race in over 18 months. And I really wasn’t ready for it, after a slow start to the year in terms of training. Twisting my ankle in April didn’t help matters as it took 8 weeks before I could begin to run again. As I look down right now it’s even still swollen. But the race felt good. Being with a bunch of like-minded crazies, cheering for others as you urge yourself on, it was awesome. And it was 17 weeks out from the 2020 edition of the Guana 50km. Just enough time to get my fitness and mileage back up and try and notch a sub 5-hour 50km for the first time.
I’m enjoying week 1 of training so far, eager to push myself, which has not always been the case when prepping for longer races. So we will see how it goes. Having a plan and a goal feels good though.