Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 Recap

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 Col√≥n.  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.


Robin and I pacing at the Fairview Half
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.
DRC Pace Team for the Tyler Half/Full Marathon.
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
I'm not sure why I like this pic so much.  Maybe because it shows me pacing in action and with 'followers'.
This is me and Shea Needham pacing at the Patriot Half Marathon.  In front of me giving a
'low five' to a spectator is Shelly Pfuhl whom ran the entire half with bronchitis.
Me finishing the Patriot Half after losing most all of my posse on a double hill at mile 8.

Being chased by youngsters at the DRC 3x2 relay 
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 :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gettin' Back on Track

Well... I'm not going to blog much about the 2013 Dallas Marathon.  There are already a bunch of great blogs out there so I'm not going to beat a dead horse.  For the most part it seems people have accepted what didn't happen and are moving on to "plan B".  Plan B is The Cowtown Marathon for a lot of folks, and that marathon was already on my radar.  In fact, it will probably be my "A" race every year.  The weather is always great, it is a pretty good course and the support is awesome.  And seems like every race that I have done in Cowtown:  El Scorcho, Honored Hero and Cowtown has went well.  I ran Cowtown last February with an injury (lower leg ligament tear) but still managed to squeak out a 4:30.  And that is with a 7+ minute potty break. 
Let me tell you though, after running in Tulsa 17 days ago, I have let up a little.  As I should have.  Marathon 101 tells you that you should take at least two weeks to a month off of running for recover after a marathon.  I have ran occasionally with my marathon training group, "the 3:70", but not much more than that.  I was supposed to have a double race weekend, the CIGNA Mayor's Race 5k on Saturday then the Dallas Half Marathon on Sunday.  Since both races were cancelled, that gave me unexpected additional leisure time and time to eat everything under the sun.  The rest was good, but so is food.  It is so easy to revert back to bad habits.  Time to let go of the chili dogs, loaded french fries, beer... um, well maybe not the beer just yet.  But yeah, it time to get back on the program.  Weight training too, because I kinda let that go about a month before Tulsa.  Up next, my first ever trail race on New Year's Day.