Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Year in Review

2011 will go down as one of the greatest years of my life.

This is the year I learned about myself, what I am capable of and what it means to know that Anything Is Possible.

There was alot of self-doubt at the beginning of this year. A long journey to reach my first Ironman, and then the question of what to do once it is 'all over'. Firstly though, I had to learn to stay the course and honestly fulfill my training plan. I learned how to motivate myself, how to turn off those negative thoughts and just get the workouts done. Indeed the toughest part of all this training is just getting a workout started. No excuses. Along this journey I have acquired the tools necessary to do anything I could ever want. Don't ever question my commitment. ;)

Along the way I measured progress and found out what works for me. Here is a summary of my season, and what each race did for me.

March 2011 Around The Bay, 30Km Run Race, RACE REPORT
My first running race ever. After a looong cold winter this was the place to validate all those snowy wet runs. This race gave me the confidence I needed to finally call myself a capable 'runner' as I succeeded in nailing my most optimistic goals. I even beat the LBG (experienced runner friend) which I hadn't thought possible in even my most wildest dreams. I got lucky, but it meant alot to me to finally put 'sucky' running behind me.

June 2011 Woodstock Triathlon, RACE REPORT
The day before this race I did a very intense 100 Mile bike ride. This was just a 'training race' to see what all the training has done for me. I had my first panic attack in water and survived, but I didn't feel like I 'pulled through' it. Had a blistering fast bike and run that was fun the entire time. 4th place finish DOH! Extremely happy but I missed the podium by 4 minutes. I can't help by wonder 'what-if' I hadn't done the 100 Mile bike ride the day before? A podium finish... I ache for a podium finish one day.

June 2011 Guelph Lake Olympic Triathlon, RACE REPORT
This is where I learn to SIU. Panic swim, but actually felt like I regained my composure and I gained the confidence I needed for swimming. I held back way too much on the bike, and wholly screwed up my calorie intake. Lesson learned, balance the gel intake with water! I had the most wicked stomach pain on the run. Some pain just cannot be 'run through' and I walked a bit to start. Valuable lesson, happy to have figured this out here instead of Ironman. Biggest highlight was beating Training Payne. He was running me down but ran out of race course. I take great satisfaction in this :)

June 2011 Welland Half-Iron Triathlon, RACE REPORT
Most fun race of the year, even above Ironman. Cold but steady swim, was killing the bike until I got two flat tires. I took it in strides and never lost my cool. Luckily I got going again with help of some bystanders and I went deep into the hurtlocker intentionally. I wanted to start my run with empty legs and see just how I could handle the toughest Brick-run of my life. The run was my most fun run EVER! Running down a fellow friendly competitor, reeling him in and succeeding in an extraordinary effort made this a very precious moment for 2011. I could do anything if I just believe it is possible.

July 2011 Ironman Lake Placid, RACE REPORT
I could not have asked for a more perfect first Ironman experience. I showed up confident, knowing that I was well-trained, ready for anything. Killed the swim, beat even my most optimistic goal. Died on the bike. Got absolutely murdered on the bike, I was taken back by just how quickly things fell apart on the second loop. I acknowledge the fact I concentrated on my inept running ability and inadvertantly let my cycling fitness slip. You can't fake an Ironman, it will reveal all. Glad to have regained composure and put together the exact run I had trained for. Happy to have run down Rodney, just barely though, and vindicate my failure at Muskoka. :) I did leave room for improvement though, obviously on the bike but I had also missed the dream goal of a sub 12hr finish by a small margin. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey, and looked forward to continuing with endurance events.

Muskoka 2010
September 2011 Ironman Muskoka 70.3
I swore I would never do this race again after the first time. What a mistake this race was. Coming off a 'finishers-high' of excitement after Lake Placid I impulsively registered for this race. Horrible experience, a really tough course made tougher by GI issues from hell. Mark my words - NEVER AGAIN. Muskoka, forever on my sh*t-list. One of those races I just want to forget, I didn't even write a race report. Let us pretend this just never existed.

For 2012?

This is the year of Ultra's. Instead of going faster, I'm going farther. Stupid-far! :)

Ultra Trail Run 50 Miles
IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant 140.6 Miles
Double-Iron Virginia 281.2 Miles

I don't see me doing any other races. My training plan is hard enough as it is without squeezing in races!


  1. You had a great year! Can't wait to watch your journey this year! Happy holidays to you and your family!

  2. Awesome year!! Wait. You don't have meeting me as one of the greatest things in your year?? WTF?? ha ha

    AND I think that pic of you kissing Fran at IMLP should be there. Just saying that is an awesome photo.:)

    2012 is going to be awesome!!

  3. Great recap and great year! Love the first 2 lines of this post. You are going to rock it out in 2012!!

    Unrelated sidenote: I've earned my first mtb battle scar... and I'm oddly excited about it. I crashed going down a rocky descent (maybe a bit aggressive for my 2nd mtb ride...) a few days ago and am now sporting 4 stitches near my elbow.

  4. What Mandy said.. the Fran pic should be here.

    Amazing year John, I look forward to see what you are going to do in 2012.

  5. Really great 2011 John & Fran! Congrats!

    Wow, Ultra Trail Run and Double IM for 2012! I just checked the results for the Double IM and it took the participants between 23:30 and 35 hours to finish. You are way of my league just by thinking of doing a double IM.

    Happy New Year and best of luck in 2012!



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