Sitting here as the final days tick down I have to admit I am not totally satisfied with my athletic achievements during the past 365 days. I set some big, but obtainable, goals for 2011 but only cashed in a few solid performances.
Looking in the mirror, as scary as it may be (HA HA), I can only blame myself for the short comings. I laid out a silly schedule that I hardly stuck to. On workouts, I got lazy on the bricks and it showed big time on the few duathlons I competed in. Lastly, I never really got serious about my eating habits and raced almost every event 5 to 10 pounds over my desired weight. If I really want to take my performances to the next level in 2012, I will have to get serious about cutting calories. This older body just doesn't have the metabolism it once had.
So thinking back on the year, here is a quick month by month account of how 2011 played out.
January - things were going really well to start the new year. Tyler had us geared up on the spinning and strength end of the training with several group sessions per week. I was getting through the routines with more ease than a few months earlier so I was getting pumped about the season. At the end of the month I went on a work trip to the USVI and this set me off track with the food and drink.
February - Back at it with the gang until I made a bad lift with the kettle bells and trapped a nerve in my upper back. This required several weeks of physio and reduced my running and cycling for most of February and March.
March - A lot more rehab on the back continued to slow my desired speed work I had planned. Due to the condition of my back I decided to hold off pre-registering for any races until I knew I would be ready to race up to my potential.
April - My back and neck were feeling much better so I jumped into the Spring into Motion 5k to see how things were lining up. It turned out to be a tough day with wind and snow but I managed to go mid 17 minutes so I felt OK with speed. With Mississauga Half Marathon as a priority race in May, I had to adjust the rest of my duathlon schedule as I would not have recovered enough to race Victoria's Du.
May - As my first major race arrived, I felt ready to run fast but at the Mississauga Half Marathon the wind was not our friend and I missed out on sub 1:20, again. This time by less than 20 seconds so that was disappointing but I took the positives and keep training hard for my first duathlon in June.
June - This month was rather busy with the Milton Duathlon to start things off. I was third on the opening run, first off the bike but suffered on the run to finish second to a new friend. This should have motivated me to pick up my brick training but I brushed it off thinking I will get back in the next race. The second race was a four person, 5k relay. It was after work so I rushed down to Exhibition Place to meet Jo Jo and the crew. I ran a strong 5k but still mid 17 minutes. Lastly, I ran the 10k portion of a triathlon relay team in Guelph Lakes. With Ang and Richard, we pulled off the win but I still wanted to go faster than 37minutes. At the end of the month I changed my Peterborough Half Ironman Du focus to the Tri as Syd and Ryan asked me to guide Brian Cowie.
July - Brian and I completed the Peterborough Half Iron Triathlon on a very hot and humid day. It was quite an experience and I am very happy to have had the privilege to race with Brian. We have stayed in contact since the race so I am very thankful for this opportunity to make a new amazing friend. After Peterborough, I had to travel twice for work (Calgary and California) so my schedule had to be adjusted again. This meant I missed out on the Provincial Duathlon Championships in Cobourg.
August - With my commitment to Centurion Collingwood to my FMCT friends, cycling took a front seat for the next few months. I spent a lot of weekend time riding with the gang so running was not too important. I did not want to go into a 100mile bike race without the proper training. In early August I did wet my duathlon whistle one more time for 2011 and raced the Niagara Duathlon. It was a decent race and I managed the victory to add some confidence to my future training.
September - After joining the Ontario Masters Association (looking to do fall XC races) I decided to take a flyer and race Carrotfast 5k. It was the OMA 5k Championships so I tested my running legs against all my cycling training and was able to match my earlier 5k time of 2011, winning my AG for the 2011 OMA 5k Championships. After that it was all about Centurion. Leading into the race I ended up tearing a muscle in my lower abs that hurt my running but I could continue to ride. When race day finally came, I settled in with a good sized chase group and did well to navigate through the challenging hills of Collingwood. I did end up falling a part in the last 10k but still beat my expectations on time and average pace so that added to the cycling fire.
October - With our cycling legs still in fine working order, the FMCT gang decided to tackle the 100km Tour de Hans in Waterloo. My injury continued to hurt on my runs so I skipped a xc race and jumped on the tour and had an amazing race. I hung with the lead group for 30k and then battled hard to create a new chase group and ended up in 21st overall. My next race was suppose to be a shot at sub 2:50 in the Scotia Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I was not sure if I was up for it but the injury was feeling better. I was then called out to California the week before race and once again had to ditch my plans due to travel. I probably was not ready for the marathon but now wanted to finish the season on a good note so signed up for the Hamilton Half Marathon.
November - In this month I ended up striking one goal off my 2011 list. In the Hamilton Half Marathon, I raced to a 1:17:41 time and finally went sub 1:20 for a half marathon. I was then taking some time off when a friend asked me to run the Mississauga Canoe Club 15k so I decided to just go all out and try to see what I could do. It was not my best effort but I still beat the FMCT club record so I could take some positives out of the race.
December - This has been down time. I was going to race the Boxing Day 10 Miler but I had a conflict with work so I just kept running and added some swims and bike rides in there. I hope this time to recharge the batteries will get my motivation fueled up so I can get off on the right foot in 2012.