This year was a bit of a “lumpy” year when it came to my fitness. With a surgery scheduled in July (and COVID), and the recovery from that, I had to split my year into two cycles.
The first half of the year was dedicated to training for the Kettle Moraine 100K race, my goal race for the year. I dove into a training plan as soon as we returned from a couple of weeks out west, and managed to knock out around 500 miles before toeing the line for the race. Overall the 100K went well, though I know there were a couple of spots I could have made improvements. However, I mostly executed the way I wanted to, and things went accordingly.
I did manage a couple of other small races during the training cycle such as Storm the Park, and the Sugar Badger half-marathon. The wife and I turned the Sugar Badger race into a nice little vacation weekend and had a great time hanging out in small town Wisconsin. I didn’t break any land speed records in these events, but I’ve gotten more comfortable lately that my speed is not what it once was. I’m OK with that.
After my surgery I was back into rebuilding mode. I managed to get back up to some double digit longs runs by September and then moved into dedicated training for my final big race of the year, the Tuscobia 80 Winter Ultra. My friends Mike and Beth are joining me for this adventure, and this will be my third attempt at completing it. The first year I didn’t train properly, and last year I had a bike mechanical.
Because of my back issues I had to do whatever I could to get that part of me strengthened. That meant tire pulling. Beginning in October the three of us started a program of weekly tire pulls that got longer and longer each week. And sure enough, as we ramped up mileage it got easier and easier. My body was doing what I wanted it to do, and when the snow came and we switched over to loaded sleds, everything was feeling good. The race starts in two days, so only time will tell if I’ve been successful, but I’m feeling incredibly positive.
Since the Tuscobia 80 takes place over New Year’s Eve this year I’m not sure how Strava will count the mileage, but where I stand right now is at 1068 miles for the year. Given the disruption in the middle of the year, I’m happy with this number. I feel good about where my running is at, and now that I’m back at it, I have lots of big plans for 2023 (more about that in a different post).
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been since 2010 since I’ve been a runner. I’m happy and proud of what I’ve accomplished so far, and I’m hopeful that I have many more decades of running ahead of me, but even if I don’t, I love what this sport has brought in to my life.