Sweat! Swim-Bike-Run: 2014 in Review & My 2015 Plan

Happy Monday! Happy first full week of 2015! Happy OMG back to reality and everything and I wish the holidays were still here!

You might want to grab a second cup of coffee this morning ... this post is loooooong (that's what she said).

2014 was a truly amazing year.  I swam, biked, and ran my heart out.  I poured tons of time and effort and blood, sweat and tears (yes, all of those things literally) into my training.  I finished my Ironman, I qualified for the Boston Marathon.  I got age group awards.  I PRed at every.single.race that I did. This year was, without a doubt, the best year ever for me athletically.  I'll get into the stats shortly, but to sum up by the numbers ...

2014 RACES
  • 2 -- number of times I placed at a race*
  • 4 -- number of triathlons I did**
  • 3 -- number of marathons I did***
  • 2 -- number of half marathons I did****
*3rd place age group Devilman "Half Lite" Triathlon (May 2014), 3rd place age group Black Bear Sprint Triathlon (June 2014)

**Devilman Half Lite Triathlon (May 2014), Upper Dublin Sprint Triathlon (May 2014), Black Bear Sprint Triathlon (June 2014), Ironman Lake Placid (July 2014)

***Ironman Lake Placid (July 2014), Steamtown Marathon (October 2014), Philadelphia Marathon (November 2014)

****Philadelphia LOVE Run (March 2014), Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon (September 2014)

2014 MILES and HOURS
  • 86.92 -- number of miles I swam in 2014 (152,965 yards)
  • 56:11:55 -- number of hours I swam in 2014
  • 1,974.89 -- number of miles I biked outside in 2014 (this doesn't include indoor trainer time)
  • 180:12:21 -- number of hours I biked in 2014
  • 1,157.09 -- number of miles I ran in 2014
  • 186:34:33 -- number of hours I ran in 2014
Here's a month by month recap of what went down in 2014.


swam: 4:44:59 hours
biked: 16:18:31 hours
ran: 12:41:39 hours

Remember the polar vortex? Oh.  I sure do.  Remember the snow and the ice?  I trained in that.  With no races in sight, January was as challenging mentally as it was physically.


swam: 6:25:39 hours
biked: 15:02:20 hours
ran: 12:24:39 hours
RACE:  Ambler Frostbite 5 Miler: 39:42* (*PR)

February was still cold and snowy and icy.  I logged more treadmill runs than I ever wanted or thought possible.  75 minute treadmill runs became the norm because it was simply too icy to run outside.  I felt like this.

Because of this ...

I actually had a race in February: the Ambler Frostbite Five Miler.  My goal was to run it in under 40 minutes, and I did it in 39:42.  That's a hard fought PR for me!  


swam: 6:15:25 hours
biked: 15:28:18 hours
ran: 11:37:56 hours
RACE:  Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon 1:49:52* (*PR)

March got a little better weather-wise.  I noticed that I was swimming a lot lately and figured that would stay (it did).  Pool time aside, I was able to get outside a bit more, which made me happy and do the dance of joy.  Oh and still loads of time on the trainer, which did not make me happy and did not make me do the dance of joy.  

The Philadelphia Love Run (half marathon) was at the end of the month.  I ran it in 1:49:52, which, at that time, was a new PR.  It was a rainy, miserable day for a race.  And I was running as hard as I could at the end when I realized I could break 1:50.

This is what racing a half marathon looks like.  


swam: 6:19:46 hours
biked: 24:10:47 hours
ran: 12:48:25 hours

April showers bring May flowers ... or in our case, April snow showers brought ... snow.  In Lake Placid.  It was warming up at home, but when Amy, Bill and I went up to Lake Placid for "Spring" "Break" in mid-April, an icy Mirror Lake and snow and ice covered roads awaited us. Nonetheless, we worked with it.  Our coach had us do two loops of the Ironman bike course without the out and backs (amounting to 85 miles total).  That exercise turned out to be a truly pivotal moment in training:  it humbled us and showed us how much work we needed to do in the saddle; we battled freezing cold (literally) on a freezing descent to Keene (literally) with horrendous pavement (which was later repaved come race day).  Knowing that I had survived such harsh conditions on that course - and survived - in April was a nice little reminder on race day that I could absolutely do it.  


swam: 7:07:41 hours
biked: 30:05:20 hours
ran: 13:23:58 hours
RACES:  Devilman "Half Lite" Triathlon 4:07:48* (*PR & 3d place age group)
Upper Dublin Sprint Triathlon 1:13:05* (*PR)

Sh*t got real in May.  Really real.  30 hours on the bike! 7 hours in the water!  13 hours of running!  And two hard fought races.  We started out with the Devilman triathlon in Cedarville, New Jersey, which is just a hop skip over from my hometown.  Devilman is a "half lite" distance, which is .8 mile swim, 41 mile bike and 8.8 mile run.  I beat my 2013 time by 20 minutes!  I was psyched.  A few weeks later, and the day after an 85 mile bike ride, I competed in the Upper Dublin Sprint Triathlon, which was my third year doing so.  I had a two minute PR over my 2013 time, which made me happy especially considering my ride the day before. 

May also meant warm weather! No more snow! No more ice!  I found the Lululemon running tank, which became a staple in my running wardrobe.

May also meant a lot of long rides.  This was the first of many up in Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos.  Biking in the mountains was the best training for Lake Placid. 


swam: 10:57:32 hours
biked: 35:00:20 hours
ran: 15:26:10 hours
RACE:  Black Bear Sprint Triathlon 2:01:10* (*3rd place age group)

June was also an intense month, which included a four day stint in Lake Placid at training camp.  But first, we had our last race before Placid - the Black Bear sprint in Lehighton PA.  Black Bear is all hills on the bike, but with a beautiful swim and a fun run.  And best of all, the three of us walked away with age group medals!  Winners winners chicken steak dinners!  This is also the race where, at the time, I unknowingly passed a woman in my age group in the final stretch and nabbed that 3rd place! 

It got hot in June.  Oh and I saw a snake in the lake in June.  We had great bikes in June ... I am so glad we took a moment to stop and take pictures in some of the amazing places we got to bike to and see.

Camp!  The last weekend in June was training camp in Lake Placid.  It was hard work but also a lot of fun.  We swam, biked and ran a ton, and doing so prepared us for race day. 


swam: 9:57:25 hours
biked: 30:25:54 hours
ran: 17:01:10 hours

July was all about that race bout that race, no treble.  Ironman month, baby!  Ironman was at the end of the month, so first up we had some training to log.  I had two memorable workouts in July:  the long brick the day before the 4th of July and the long run a few days after the 4th of July.  The long brick was, by far, the hottest most difficult workout I have ever done.  It was a long brick: an 85 mile bike with an 8 mile run. It was hell.  It was hot.  I can't look at these pictures without getting a shudder of PTSD.  

The run after the 4th was also pretty eventful: it was a 15 miler and I fell into a ditch on the side of the road and rolled my foot.  Thanks to my PT and some luck, I was able to race.  

I also aqua jogged.  Because I had to.  Because I couldn't do real running.  It was awful.  And mortifying.  I can't even with the aqua jogging ... but I feel the need to shout that I HAD A TWO HOUR LONG RUN AQUA JOGGING. Do you have any idea what it feels like to aqua jog for 2 freaking hours?  I sure do.  And it's not awesome. 

But I had my eye on the prize, which was the Ironman start and finish.  And start and finish we did!  July 27, 2014 goes down as one of the most amazing days of my life.  We battled lightning, thunder, monsoon like rain ... and finished Ironmen.  

And then we ate all of the glorious food.  

And just like that ... the journey was done. 


swam: 2:10:56 hours
biked: 5:14:24 hours
ran: 20:55:57 hours

August was still a pretty good month!  I took a few weeks of down time but then focused again. I was running the Steamtown Marathon in October and hoping to qualify for Boston.  Since I was still recovering from Ironman, my coach had me aqua jog.  I protested.  I also bought an m-dot sticker for my jogger belt. Just so everyone would know to LAY OFF ME I AM AN IRONMAN.  That sticker, however, did not stop a four year old at the pool from asking why I was wearing a bubble. 

Speed workouts were back.  So was running without walking (our coach had us train for Ironman and race Ironman with a 9 minute run/1 minute walk or 4 minute run/1 minute walk).  It was a tough reentry and took a few weeks. 

I ran a fun 5K with my friend Heather in Atlantic City.  I paced her and it was great.  In the end, you got free crab fries and beer! Who cares that it was 9:30 am!?!  


swam: 51:55 minutes
biked: 7:05:59 hours
ran: 19:43:20 hours
RACE:  Philadelphia Rock n' Roll Half Marathon 1:49:33* (*PR)

September was completely running focused with Steamtown looming.  I swam a couple of times as an active recovery workout, and I biked in my Firm's City to Shore bike team (though I did the 45 mile option).  Still, the run was where it was at.  

I had a work retreat and discovered they had a near-Olympic sized, beautiful indoor pool. I bought some spiffy new goggles and swam in a sports bra and running short.  Not ashamed.

The Rock n' Roll Half Marathon (formerly Distance Run) is my favorite course in Philly.  My coach allowed me to race by having me run and easy 5 miles before the start of the race.   This race was really tough - a true battle.  The weather was awful:  so humid.  And unfortunately my tummy didn't cooperate and I had to take a bathroom break a little over half way through the race.  Still, despite all of those things, I eeked out a half marathon PR.   You can see how excited I was at the conclusion of the race.  Horizontal smile all the way. 

The only silver lining in this race (well, besides the PR), and it is one heckuva silver lining, is this race photo captured at mile 3.  Guess who loves running? And guess who eats glitter for breakfast?


swam: 1:00:41 hours
biked: 0 hours
ran: 17:44:56 hours
RACE:  Steamtown Marathon 3:42:48* (*PR & BQ!)

October brought glorious running weather: crisp and cool.  I had very happy (and patriotic) runs.  My friend Marci somehow found the now-discontinued Candy Cane flavored Gu and sent me some.  I expressed my joy and super-mega cuddled those Gus.  

The Steamtown Marathon arrived and I was ready.  I raced my heart out and finished in 3:42:48, which was a 15 minute marathon PR and good enough to qualify me for the 2016 Boston Marathon.  Crossing that finish line was incredible.  I was exuberant.  


swam: 43:27 minutes
biked: 0 hours
ran: 20:13:36 hours
RACE:  Philadelphia Marathon (paced my friend Heather)

But that's not all!  I had to keep on keeping on.  I was set to pace my friend Heather in her first marathon at the end of November.  I stopped working with my coach in November, since I knew I could get myself to the race in good shape, but promised I would resume working with him in early December.  November had a lot of good long runs.  November also meant dark mornings, which meant ... singlet and headlamp.  Meh. But also yay for safety.

Heather and I ran a few long runs together, and I had a few solo where I enjoyed the stunning Fall colors.  

Marathon day arrived and it was, without a doubt, the most amazing marathon weather ever.  Heather finished in just over 5 and a half hours and it was an incredible experience being with her as she reached her dream.


swam: 0 hours
biked: 2:00:26 hours
ran: 13:03:22 hours

December meant colder, darker running.  My plan became running-focused again.  My coach had my rest days be my choice of rest, swim or bike.  Obviously, based on the big fat goose egg in the "swim" column above, I opted to either rest or bike.  I hit the track.  I got back in the saddle.  I wore my headlamp and singlet a lot.  

2015 GOALS

I managed to snap this shot of a truly stunning sunset right at the end of the month, and I thought it was a good cap off to an incredible year.  2014 was the year where reaching my dreams was a repeated and palpable experience.  I am not sure if I can ever replicate how it felt to cross that Ironman finish line or that Steamtown finish.  But I will keep trying.  There are always new goals and new best times to beat.  

As for 2015, I am focusing on running and getting faster.  I have a half marathon in Austin in February and then a marathon in NJ in April.  I'll still do some triathlons, but they will probably be sprint distances.  And then another marathon in the Fall.  After the whirlwind of Ironman, it's nice to step back just a bit and enjoy a bit of a reprieve in intensity in a training schedule.  

I'll keep running and keep trying to beat my current PRs.   I've got miles to log, races to run, PRs to crush, horrible music to lip sync to while running, dogs to avoid and more goals to reach.  I can't wait to share the journey with you.   

See you swoon,

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you wrapped up your whole athletic year! What a fantastic journey to behold!