2013 was a year of ups and downs for me. Early in the year, I battled injury, family loss, and faced the challenge of balancing work along with a D.J. radio show, and duties at the Dallas Running Club, however I rebounded to have a pretty good fall marathon season and along the way marked my identity as a pretty darn good pacer, both in training and in racing. So as I have done every year with this blog, here is a recap of the last twelve months.
January 12 - First run with the 3:50 marathon group. This was my first run as an official pace leader for the DRC. I had done some pacing under the tutelage of co-pacer and future DRC coach Steve Griffin the season before, but now I had the official responsibility of heading a group.
February 24 - Cowtown Marathon - Completed marathon number 4 in 4:30:07, despite fighting through a lower leg injury and taking a 10 minute potty break.
April 6 - Fairview Half Marathon - Paced the 2:15 slot with co-pacer Robin Wacaster; my first ever pacing gig for a race. Official time shows 2:16:29 however the course was mis-marked 0.2 miles longer than what it should have been and we didn't know until we thought we were approaching where we thought the finish line would be. It was also the day immediately after we buried my father.
April 14 - Paced my first full marathon, the Big D Texas Marathon. I paced the 4:45 slot for what was supposed to be 26.2 miles, but yeah, it kind of turned into an unexpected ultra marathon. So we won't count that one.
June 16 - The infamous day that I got "Clayed". Damn shame that is a running term now among the DRC, meaning to be severely dehydrated to the point you are rushed to the emergency room after taking in a gallon plus fluids and cramping up in every muscle on your body and having to take in another couple bags of saline solution. In the end however, I think it really put the awareness out there of the dangers of dehydration and it also made me more popular in the running community. "Oh you are Clay? Aren't you that guy that... ". Yeah, I'm that dude. Haha :)
July 6 - DRC Independence Day 10K - Up until this point, I thought that I had lost "it". In the heat and humidity, of course I didn't break my 10K P.R., but I did manage to finish in 50:04, an 8:04 pace. Got my mojo back.
November 3 - DRC Half Marathon - My best pacing gig yet with co-pacer and good friend Jackie Colón. This one was really fun, and felt like a complete joint effort. Jackie and I seemed to have good 'pacing chemistry'. And it showed. Per our Garmins we hit the 2:05 target right on the mark. The chip time showed otherwise, however 7 seconds off at 2:04:53 for me and 2:04:54 for Jackie.
November 24 - Williams Route 66 Marathon - The long awaited return to the marathon course ended up in disappointment initially for me. I was again seeking that coveted sub-4:00 marathon. But I learned to not go into any race expecting anything except to perform as well as you can with what is given to you. That be your health, race conditions, and difficulty of the course. Every race will be different as every course is different for a golfer. At some point, I will have a killer race. DRC training director Vishal Patel says my best race is still in front of me. And yep, and it still is. That just gives me something to push harder for.
December 3 - Last official training run of the 2013 fall season with DRC - This was the last run of the season which should have been followed by the 2013 Metro PCS Dallas Marathon which was cancelled due to inclement weather via ice storm. It was the last run with the 4:10 a.k.a. "3:70" marathon group which I had served as pacer. More on that in a second.
December 19 - Received DRC Honors for Pace Leader of the Month. This hit me by surprise, but from what others say not a surprise to them. Nice to be rewarded for the work I have done. I have just been trying to give back the same thing which was given to me.
4:10 DRC Fall Marathon Group (3:70)
The 3:70 What a year it was. In the beginning I felt we had the perfect tandem of Kristin Gonzales-Vega and myself as pace leaders. Kristin went down to injury early on in the season and it left me solo with the group. I would have loved to have her with me through the rest of the season but I guess things happen for a reason. It forced me to step up and be the leader that I didn't even know I was. Toward the end of the season I really saw the trust and respect from the group. I also gained a bunch more great friends during the process.
Congrats to the following who were fortunate enough to run a marathon, or two or three this seasons (not to mention most all of the 3:70 crew raced the DRC Half Marathon and put up personal records)
Brandon Cumby - Whine Not Another Marathon
Jacqueline Smith – Cactus Rose 50 mi, Rough Creek 26.2, Lost loop 50K
Jeanette Rooks – Marine Corps
Jeff Luechtefeld – Rock N Roll St. Louis
Jessica Atkins – Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Fort Worth Marathon, Whine Not Another Marathon
Kate Rumsey – Williams Route 66 Marathon
Michael Beaudoin – Hits Austin Marathon
Michael Columbus - BCS Marathon
Michael Millett – Marine Corps
Rebecca Baker - Whine Not Another Marathon
Travis Gilles – Fort Worth Marathon
For everyone else who missed out this fall, we are working on getting ready for The Cowtown Marathon in February. The positive out of that is that they will be even that much more stronger having three more months of training. It will be fun to see as I will be racing right along with them. Can't wait to get back out there hopefully again with the 3:70 and with my partner in crime Kristin Gonzales-Vega who will be all rested and healthy after her marathon in Michigan. Let's go do this.
MY FAVORITE PICS OF 2013
There were many great pics in 2013, these stand out the most for me
|Midway through pacing the Big D Marathon. Flanked by DRC co-pacers Sanjay and Jorge|
|Bleacher workout early summer with friends |
from the North Texas Runners running group
|Me around mile 8 of The Cowtown Marathon|
|Gettin' down and dirty in one of my |
favorite things to do now, trail running
|Funny now but not funny at the time. In Presbysterian Hospital |
Flower Mound after my "Clayed" incident being overseen by Coach Steve.
|Just before my first job as a half marathon pacer, group pic. |
A mixture of runners from DRC, NTX and WRRC
|At the finish of what I feel was my best performance ever, albeit a 10K race. |
The DRC Frigid 10K. I finished in 48:12 for a 7:45 pace.
|Routine Saturday long run on the White Rock Creek Trail with the 3:50|
|Pitstop with the 3:50. This was the first Saturday which I had paced Solo.|
|This pic made me realize that I am pretty darn fit to be 45 years old :)|
|The Nite Train. A dailymile friend gave me that nickame because at the time I was |
doing most of my training in the wee hours of the night
|Me finishing the Patriot Half after losing most all of my posse on a double hill at mile 8.|
|Me and my young running bud Sophia George, whom I assisted in training for a 5K in 2012 |
completed her first Half Marathon at the Rock N Roll Dallas. Like a proud papa, I was there for support.
|Me and the great Jackie pacing at the DRC Half.|
|This was the only photo I could find which pictured most of the 4:10 marathon group. |
Kristin and I in the lead with baby Mara who was with us on most of our runs.
|After the last official training run with the "3:70". Kristin coming off of her injury was able to rejoin us :)|