2015 Miscellaneous Debris
I started this crazy sport in 2009, so this was my 7th year of hobby jogging.
- 5,633 km jogged (A personal best; 2014 was previous best at 3,744)
- 582 hours jogged (A personal best; 2014 was previous best at 425)
- ±161,000 m climbed (A personal best; 2014 was previous best at ±133,000)
- Set PB's in 10k, 12k, and 21.1k
- Completed a 222 day running streak (ended due to major ankle sprain)
- Most Memorable Moment (Good) - 24 Hour Strathcona Park Solo Adventure
- Most Memorable Moment (Bad) - Having the worst race of my life at the IAU Trail World Championships in France. A long way to travel to have a race suck so bad!!
- 74 Mount Benson Summits (Personal best is 2014 at 93)
- Strava https://www.strava.com/athletes/752741
THANKS so much to my WIFE, KIDS, FRONTRUNNERS NANAIMO, friends, chocolate, and ice cream. I couldn't do any of this inane nonsense without you!
Cliff Notes Recap
Jan to April (Great Times)Running was awesome. Winning the Cedar 12k in February was amazing, both because it was the historic Island Race Series AND that it was the local Nanaimo race. In March, although I was hoping to run a bit faster, I was thrilled to run 1:12 at Comox as my road marathon debut. Diez Vista 50k in April was the strongest I have ever felt running an ultra. Confidence was brimming. Training was strong.
April (Training Error)
With confidence brimming, I made a training error, running a full on downhill FKT attempt effort on Mt Benson six days after winning Diez Vista. Ankle ruined, and only six weeks to go before World Trail Championships. six days no running, and another couple weeks before I could really train properly again. It sucked a lot, but I kept positive and knew I had a lot of fitness already built for worlds. Could my ankle be ready?
May - 2015 IAU Trail World Championships - France (The Worse Race Ever)
I still haven't said too much publicly about this race. It was the longest and most painful of my life. In short - my ankle still wasn't right, and was the main reason I struggled in this race. The absurdity of having a painful bout of existential anxiety in the middle of France in the middle of a race was not at all lost on me! During this race, I told myself I would never compete again. Yeah, I was in a LOW place mentally. What was the point!? Why did I travel half way around earth! I am just a hobby jogger.
June to Aug (Down the Hole)
I call this the "I quit competitive running and am in a depression" phase of the year. I was in a big hole after France. Part of the problem was that I didn't just man up and face head on the incredible disappointment I felt after my race. I felt I had to make the best of it, to put on a brace face. I felt ungrateful to complain after such an amazing opportunity. So many people asked me about my trip, and I didn't want to sound like a spoil sport/sore loser. So I put on a smile and pretended it was awesome when people asked about it. I rallied in the middle of June, doing a fantastic solo adventure and getting some much needed catharsis. After that 24 hour effort, I also came to realize both my body and mind needed a break from serious training. I had been going pretty hard from Sept 2014 to June 2015. Although I had originally planned to race in July and August, I had absolutely zero appetite for it. I needed a break bad.
I shut down my running for July and Aug, running about 5 times per week for 30 minutes or so at a time. I swore I would never race again, and had a lot of negative feelings about racing, and questioned my motives for running. A lot of friends in the sport told me to be patient and that my mojo to race would come back. I wasn't hearing any of it though. I gained 30 pounds!!! (yes you read that right) over the summer. I felt betrayed by my own motives. I only ever started running for fun, and blamed my ego and competitive thirst for derailing my goal setting process. Originally 2015 was supposed to be all about setting FKT's on Vancouver Island, and instead I went all the way to France to show how much I suck on the world stage, only to come home and not do any serious mountain running (or FKT setting) for the two best months of the year. Or at least that is how I felt about it at the time. I felt like I had let stupid racing goals take me away from what I really wanted to be doing. In hindsight, I don't feel this way, but I definitely felt like that at the time.
Sept to Dec (Climbing Out)
Regardless of how I felt about racing in the future, after the summer I knew I was ready to start training like a proper runner again. I decided I would start running high volume, get this weight burned off, and get my fitness back again. As far as racing, my only attitude was I would just take it as it comes. Not saying yes, but not saying no.
And so I got the ball rolling again. Slowly and painfully at first. The first couple months of high volume were met with a lot of slow and tired slog it out runs. But the fitness started to come and the fat started to drop. I ended the year with 9 weeks straight averaging over 160km/week and feeling like a strong runner again.
I think I've mostly reconciled the struggle between my desire to compete and to just "run for fun". I am excited for what 2016 might hold. And as I reviewed the year 2015 in images, I realized how truly lucky I am. This whole narrative of losing my mojo, getting depressed, getting fat, turning it around.... it's all old hat. Garbage In. Garbage Out. When I look back on the year, there can be no regrets, only a sense that I really am a lucky man.
This first image from January 4 was taken on Mt Benson in Nanaimo from one of my favorite viewpoints. It is a bit misleading, in that winter turned out to be a total bust on the Island. All the better for summer mountain running!
No reason to share this, other than I have three cats, and they are all awesome. This is Luna the Tuna.
My sister Katie and I both nabbed 10k PB's in Cobble Hill in January
Some adventuring on Mt. Cokely in February.
Not jogging, just bragging. The Tragically Hip Row 2 for the Fully Completely 20 Year Anniversary Tour.
Early season training was going well. This was taken from the ferry heading over to the mainlaind to preview the Diez Vista 50k course.
And 7 weeks later, my reward for winning said 50K
Unfortunately, I made a grave training error 6 days after winning that race. 222 day run streak came to an end. I rolled my ankle trying to set an FKT downhill time on Mt. Benson. With 6 weeks to go before the 2015 IAU Trail World Championships this was a real drag.
I got in some night time photo hikes while recovering the ankle. I was running roads, but mostly staying off trails while it healed. I did some hiking with an ankle brace to keep getting in the vertical.
Hike up Mt. Arrowsmith.
I hiked Mt. Arrowsmith twice in 24 hours on this day (and over 8,000m climbing this week) in May. I had my camera in tow on this occasion.
Hanging in Chamonix, France before IAU World Championships. I could die happy here.
Checking out some city trails on the Mediterranean Sea. Savona, Italy.
Pre race carb loading in Annecy, France.
Such a fake smile! This was after maybe 10 hours or so. Bad race aside, this 85k ±5,300m race course was unreal!
An outing to Mt Albert Edward on Vancouver Island in June.
Some jogging in Manitoba with smoke filled skies.
Outside 100 Mile House in July.
From our campsite at Jasper National Park in July.
A run with my family while they rode bikes at Mt Robson Provincial Park.
The mood in Tofino in August was perfect for some much needed introspection.
One last mountain run for the summer... the Augerpoint Traverse was completed at the end of August with Russ and Darren. One of my favorite runs on the Island to be sure!
Some October jogging with Yann, the Bird Whisperer.
One parting shot from Mount Benson.