Sunday, October 4, 2015

My 2015 wrap up: Limp to the finish

Now that my less-than-stellar 2015 season is over, I suppose I could post a recap of the things I remember, or would possibly like to forget.

March - IM South Africa
  This was my main training goal throughout the winter and I went in feeling very prepared. I was travelling by myself (a novelty!), but I remember smiling on the starting line and thinking “I feel ready.” That is a good way to start the race. Most of the race did actually go pretty well. My only two low points of the day were 1) seeing the time for my bike split, and 2) checking my age-group placing after shuffling the mile back to my hotel room. I made qualifying for Kona my only objective, and fell short. Again. Well, it was a top-10 finish at a Championship event.

You know you would rather see cheetahs than race photos....

April - The London Marathon Expo
  Since I was recovering and my husband was gone on a month-long training exercise, April was jam-packed with extra work and helping out for four days in the Timex booth at the London Marathon. I had a great time selling watches and talking to people in English. It was very interesting to watch the race and see the thousands of people running in costume or trying to set a world record for fastest marathon dribbling two basketballs. (What does that guy do at the aid stations?)

June - The Bundesliga does not have a masters division
  After doing so much long-distance training, it was now time for a sprint triathlon, competing for my tri club. The German club triathlon union has different leagues, with the Bundesliga being the highest level - thus meaning that the best clubs in Germany were racing. I was not the only foreigner, as one of the other teams had hired short course star Andrea Hewitt from New Zealand. This race was also the national juniors championship. When I checked the results list, I was the only racer born in the 70’s. In all, it was a cool, but humbling, experience.

Eh...close enough

The next week in June - Injury strikes
  For some reason, I lost feeling in my left foot. As I write this (at the end of September), I still do not have an answer why. The military health care system here in Germany is a HUGE source of my frustration.

July - Roth Marathon
  I remember standing in line to register last year and being so excited for this race. We held a contest to find a swimmer. I had grand plans for a new marathon PR. But with my mystery injury, I was absolutely dreading it. Plus, I flew back to the US for my grandfather’s memorial service and returned to Germany the Friday before a Sunday race. I remember seeing the 2km sign and thinking “well, 2 of 42 down.” I toughed my way through it, but it was pure torture. I am still not sure if I am proud of myself (you are a tough cookie!) or mad at myself (you are an idiot for doing this!).

August - Red Bull 400
  I also did an Olympic distance race in Frankfurt, where my major accomplishment was running 10km without stopping, although slowly. The next week I competed in the Red Bull 400 in Bischofshofen, Austria. It was only 400m...but up a ski jump. The atmosphere was fun and the race was pretty cool. The hardest part for me was getting my footing: the hill was covered with nylon bristles and there was a cargo net over that. Slipping and then stabilizing myself took a lot of energy out of my legs. The next day we went to cheer on the bike course for the 70.3 World Championships.

Our spectating spot. The sign says "14%" uphill.

September - My Sherpa debut
  Timex teammate Tim Stutzer raced IM Wales, so I went along to help drive and carry things. (The drive from Frankfurt to Tenby was about 14 hours, including the Chunnel.) It was a strange feeling to be in the race environment, but not racing myself. After we drove the bike course, I was very glad I was not racing, since it looked tough! We lucked into good weather for race day, and I had a great time biking out to parts of the course, talking to people, and ringing my cowbell. Tim got second in his AG and the coveted Kona slot, so I was happy about that. It is also great to be able to walk around the day after instead of hobbling/shuffling.

Apparently, this guy is a police officer for his day job.

What’s next?
  That’s a good question. Lots of factors play into that:
  1. WTF is this injury and how can I fix it?
  2. When are we moving and where are we going? The need to sign up for some IM races a year ahead of time does not mesh with the Army’s assignment policy. We might know more in December, but that is still a question mark.
  3. Do I have the effort in me to do an IM next summer, assuming I can enter one? I am still trying to figure this out.

So, I have exactly zero races on my calendar, for the first time in a great while. Priority #1 is fixing myself, then I’ll see what the situation looks like. Until then, I will have to live vicariously through all of my awesome Timex Multisport teammates. Good thing they are tearing it up!