Taylor and I look forward to North Face Endurance Challenge every season. When registration for this year’s event opened back in January, Taylor and I both had different goals in mind. Taylor was eager to race her first 50 miler, and I was hoping to recover from my first 100 miler to be there every step of the way.
Fast forward a couple months: I got hurt, Taylor did too, and the North Face became an afterthought. Although I’m mostly healed from my 100 miler, running a 50 miler on tired legs following an intense, compressed season would have been reckless. Taylor didn’t log a lot of miles after the Berlin Marathon, and we both ultimately decided to forego TNFEC – and that’s ok. The decision to take a DNS summed up my season: unexpected, yet full of personal growth. Now that the 2015 race season is officially in the books, here’s a quick look at the highs, lows, and what’s to come next year:
July 12, 2015: Racing Vineman 70.3 only 6 weeks after receiving clearance to run, and missing my 2014 PR by 7 seconds (5:26:27, 5:26:34)
July 25-26, 2015: Completing Vineman Full Aquabike (3rd place AG) and Big Basin Trail Marathon in consecutive days
September 13, 2015: Clocking a PR Half Ironman (5:18) at Ironman Santa Cruz 70.3, and a 13+ minute PR on the run leg (1:46)
September 28th, 2015: Logging a PR at the Berlin Marathon (3:29:00) 3 months after I was cleared to run
November 7th, 2015: Running 100 miles only 8 months after I broke my foot, and earning a Western States qualifier along the way
February 19, 2015: Breaking my foot (5th metatarsal avulsion fracture) in 3 places
March 7, 2015: Missing out on Way Too Cool 50k after being selected in the lottery
May 24, 2015: Sitting out Mountains2Beach marathon where I planned to attempt a BQ
All in all, I couldn’t be any happier with how this season turned out. While it looked grim after my injury, I returned to full fitness, and achieved far more than I thought possible under the circumstances. Much like running 100 miles, staying positive and returning to form was as much mental as it was physical.
The decision to pull the plug on North Face was motivated in large part by my goals for next season. Another 50 mile run would have put me down for weeks – possibly longer, and I’ve spent enough time on the sidelines this year. I’ve mentioned Boston Marathon many times – it remains my number #1 long term goal, and I plan on taking strides toward it next season. I’ve identified 3 A races – more on those soon, and my season will be structured around them. Included in the A races is a full Ironman – my first since 2012, and a late season BQ race.
For now, I’m focused on fixing myself and putting the residual niggling pains from the 100 miler behind me. Between chiropractic adjustments, ART, Graston technique, massage, and light workouts, my training schedule is full – albeit with a different type of activities. I’m not far off from turning up the intensity – something I’ll need to be well versed in if I’m to qualify for Boston.
Last but certainly not least, I’d like to thank all of our readers for the continued support. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been live for 2+ years now – 2+ years that’ve consisted of major life changes, amazing experiences, and some unforgettable races. Here’s to bigger and better in 2016!