I finally feel like I’ve recovered from Ironman 70.3 Austin, and have started back to training. I’m going to CrossFit Chickasaw a couple of time a week, and I’m back to running/riding on the weekends. So what’s next? What grand stupid things do I have planned to torture my body in 2016?
I’ve been running for a little over 5 years now, and after getting beyond the initial suck of running, I think I fell in love with it because of being outdoors. My parents loved to camp, and as a kid I went with them. I used to like camping so much I’d set up a tent in the back yard during the summer so I could sleep outside. When I discovered trail running, I found my Zen/Heaven. My body disagrees more often than not, but get me onto a wooded trail, and I could just keep on going forever. I get lost in my thoughts, enjoying the sounds of the woods around me, the birds, and any other wildlife that is nearby.
So, it’s back to trail running, and racing for me until mid-March.
My first 50K, and still my favorite, I’ll be returning to the Swampstomper 50K at Shelby Forest in Millington, TN in January 2016. For those that have never run this race, I believe it to be a typical trail race, with the exception of the knotted roots and tree stumps that liter the course, oh and then there’s the red loop. The red loop is 3ish miles of hell in the middle of the out and back route 25K runners take once, and 50K runners do twice. That’s right, doing the Red loop once isn’t enough torture, so around mile 18 you’ll see it again, and it’s even less friendly the second time.
I have never done the Sylamore race before, but have MANY friends who have and love this race. I’m joining a decent sized group of Lift Heavy Run Long athletes that will make the trek to West Arkansas. There is also a 50K option at this race, but I figured I’ll have already done a 50K, and have another race two weeks after this one, so no need to kill myself.
Mississippi Trails 50 miler
My first and only 50-miler was at the MS50 race, and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the race, so I’m returning again to see if I can not be the dead last finisher of the 50 mile race. In 2013, I finished the race in 11:51, just 9 minutes shy of the 12-hour cutoff. My primary goal is to complete the race in under 12 hours again, but maybe if my training goes well, I’ll make some secondary goals to push myself and see what I’m really made of.
In April, I’ll go back into triathlon training. I don’t like to not be good at things. I’m not so conceited (or whatever) that I need to be the best, but I don’t like when things get the best of me. As a result, I will continue my path of triathlons until at a minimum I can complete a race and don’t feel completely wiped out, and that I had a good showing at the race. I do have my long-term sights set on completing a full Ironman, but after my less than exceptional showing at Ironman 70.3 Austin, I feel like I will not be ready for that challenge in 2016. That’s OK though, my body has plenty of years left in it, and I don’t think I’ll give up on triathlons any time soon.
Memphis in May Triathlon
My first ever triathlon race was the MIM Olympic Tri in 2015. I barely finished the swim, felt strong on the bike, and was wiped out for the run, but I did it (wait, this sounds familiar). I will return again in 2016 to improve on my previous times. I’m undecided yet whether I’ll do the Sprint, Olympic, or potentially even both races. I’d really like to do the Olympic at a minimum to measure my improvement from the previous year.
Ironman 70.3 Augusta
I am planning to take my next shot at the Half Ironman distance in Augusta, Georgia in September. I haven’t registered yet for the race ($350 is a LOT of money!), but plan to early in 2016. I plan to train just as hard, if not harder as I did for my last race. The swimming is by far the most difficult leg of a triathlon for me, and I will work on getting as much open water practice as I can to ensure I don’t have any issues at this race.
We’ll just have to see how I feel after that. If my training is going well, and I’m feeling good, I’d really like to run the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis again, but I won’t do it unless I feel like I can PR. I’d love to do a century ride, and I’ve got a couple I’m looking at, so that may happen in 2016.