Friday, December 20, 2013

2013 ... Mind On My Runnin', & My Runnin' On My Mind

Bass Pro 5K ... failed 5K attempt, but still a great year
If I had to sum up my 2013 year in running in one word, I would use ... Great! ... or Awesome! ... or Healthy! ... or Record Breaking!  But probably more than any other single word, I would go with FOCUSED!  More than ever before, in this calendar year, I finally began to "wrap my mind around" and embrace the mental side of running and racing.  I enjoyed the training process a lot more.  I didn't build up races in my mind as much.  I relaxed at the starting line and didn't let nerves and tension sap my energy. And I basically stopped worrying as much about results ... which somehow, led to my best results ever.

I also really cut down my mileage compared to the two prior years, in which I topped 3,000 miles in both.   In 2013 I ended up around 2,400.  It might not seem like a huge reduction, but my legs and joints definitely noticed the difference.  I was blessed with great health all year, and I just felt fresher and more energetic for my fall race schedule.  And sitting here today, I seem fairly healthy going into winter.

In 2013 I was fortunate enough to PR 7 different times, topping my old 10K, half-marathon, and marathon bests twice each.  I also ran my first ultra marathon, and qualified for the Boston Marathon in two different races.  It was the 5th and 6th times overall I had met those time standards, but the first under the new faster format, which was important to me. In my last race of 2013, and my last race ever in the 40-44 age group (I turned 45 on December 16th), I ran my fastest marathon ever at 3:10:39, topping my 2012 PR by almost 10 minutes.  Here's a summary of all my 2013 races ...

2013 Race Results
02/17/13 - Lost Dutchman Marathon - 3:28:59, 7:58/mile 
03/17/13 - Tatur's 6-Hour Snake Race - 5:57:24, 9:52/mile (1st Place 40-49 AG)  Current PR 
04/13/13 - Rock The Parkway Half-Marathon - 1:28:58, 6:47/mile  Old PR 
05/04/13 - One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon - 1:28:09, 6:43/mile (Top 500 finisher out of 30,000)  Current PR 
06/01/13 - Hospital Hill Half-Marathon - 1:35:27, 7:18/pace
06/30/13 - Overland Park Double Race - Back-to-back races, 10K - 39:52, 6:25/pace , 5K - 19:55/6:25/pace, 
               Total time - 59:45, 6:25/pace (2nd Place -40-44 AG)  Old 10K PR 
07/04/13 - Stars & Stripes 5K - 18:51, 6:05/pace (1st Place 40-44 AG)
07/27/13 - Rock The Crossroads 5K - 19:07, 6:10/pace (OVERALL MASTERS WINNER)
09/15/13 - Plaza 10K - 38:41, 6:14/pace (3rd Place 40-44 AG)  Current PR 
09/22/13 - Fox Valley Fall Final 20 - 2:19:55, 7:00/pace (OVERALL MASTERS WINNER)
10/13/13 - Chicago Marathon - 3:14:48, 7:21/pace  Boston Qualifier   Old PR 
10/27/13 - Blue Springs Half-Marathon - 1:39:40, 7:34/pace (1st Place Overall ... out of 39 runners - ha!)
11/03/13 - Bass Pro News-Leader 5K - 18:36, 6:00/pace (1st Place 40-44 AG)
11/16/13 - Richmond Marathon - 3:10:39, 7:16/pace  Boston Qualifier   Current PR  

Keeping warm by campfires on the desert floor before the Lost Dutchman Marathon in January at Apache Junction, AZ

Just thinkin', "Man I'll probably never do
an ultra again" during my first ultra
Some of the other highlights of 2013 were my diet and running schedule.  For calorie intake, I really began to concentrate on a healthier diet.  I really tried to eat healthy "runner foods" at every meal.  Spinach became a mainstay.  I discovered beet juice.  And I cut out a little unnecessary protein.  I also reduced my running to 5 days per week, compared to 6, which I had done for the past few years.  For the most part I always felt healthy, light, and well recovered for training.  The new diet and running schedule definitely were huge factors in my personal success.

I also got to meet several famous runners and American heroes this year.  At the Overland Park Double Race, we met and took a picture with Billy Mills - the 1964 US Olympic Gold Medalist (and still the only American 10K Olympic gold medalist in history).  At the Bass Pro 5K, I was presented my age group plaque by Dick Beardsly and Frank Shorter ...  AWESOME!!!  We met ultra marathon champion and stud, Scott Jurek at Chicago.  Plus, we also got to meet world famous blogger ... Miss Zippy in Richmond, Rachelle from RunningForTrevor in Arizona, and of course Coy from FirstInPhilly at Chicago and Indy!  Meeting these legends of the sport, and making new friends was a lot of fun.

The most enjoyable race of the year was probably the Chicago Marathon.  I love Chicago!  We had the perfect day which made it so much fun running through the streets of the Windy City with literally millions of people watching.  I trained all summer for a good race, and actually ended up PR'ing by about 5 minutes.  A mark that stood for all of 5 weeks, when I later PR'd at Richmond.  We were very fortunate to get into Chicago this year, as it will probably change to a lottery system like New York for future registration.  I'm not sure we'll ever get to run it again, so we enjoyed every minute of it!

My two favorite running pics of 2013 - in the woods with the bright Fall leaves, and speed training on a perfect summer day

Ryder & Papa J

Michael & me at the Plaza 10K, my fastest race of the year (I love the finish line pic because it gives the illusion I have strong legs - ha)

Best wishes in 2014 from Michael & me
2011 will always be hard to top.  I ran 9 marathons total, including my first Boston Marathon, and my first back-to-back marathons.  Best of all, I also ran a half-marathon with my daughter.  But 2013 is right up there ... I've probably never had more fun training and competing.  But if you've followed my blog for anytime at all, you know I love the next challenge.  And I plan on making 2014 - in a new age group - even better than the last.  As always, thank you so much for reading my blog and especially all the encouraging words.  I really appreciate all of your "virtual" and real life friendships. It was an awesome year with my beautiful wife and wonderful family.  I hope you had a healthy and happy year too - best wishes in 2014!
... be great today!


  1. Girls and guys: so different. I'd look at that finish line picture and think, "Ew, my thighs look enormous!" and you're thinking, 'Muscles!". Ha.
    You definitely had a big year: lots of PRs. And on lower miles, too, hm. I guess everyone has to find their weekly mileage sweet spot. I need to start watching what I eat a little, like you did - I tend to eat a lot of sugar and whit carbs (I like to bake and I like candy!) and honestly it makes me feel terrible when I run. Bad habit. I guess it's time to suck it up and start consuming beet juice for meals, haha.

  2. This was such an awesome year for you :) I'm definitely using next year to focus on cleaning up my diet. It makes such a huge difference in how you feel!

    Have a wonderful Holiday and a great 2014!

  3. You have had a great year. You should be happy!

  4. As a member of the 45-49 age group, welcome! You've trained hard, earned PR's and had fun along the way - a great year!

  5. Happy Birthday and welcome to the 45 - 49 age group! Sounds like a great year and I look forward to following you in 2014!!

  6. Wow, you had an awesome year! I've enjoyed following along.

  7. It's been great following you these past few years. 2013 was a great year for you. Looking forward to reading what 2014 brings you!


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