December 2015Greetings and salutations this holiday season! I hope this note finds you well. For me, 2015 was another crazy year of travel and racing. I added to my lists of state attractions- 4 more highpoints for a total of 46; 7 more Capitols for a total of 40; and 4 more marathons for a total of 12.
Ironman Lake Placid is a very hilly course, and I arrived in July undertrained. It chewed me up and left me for dead, but my feet just kept moving. When I finally entered the Olympic speed skating oval late that night, with less than 10 minutes to meet the 17-hour cutoff, and the crowd was whipped up and cheering for ME, it was by far the happiest Ironman finish I've ever had. Ironman Maryland in October was an ordeal of an entirely different sort. While I was en route for the race scheduled for the 3rd, I got news it had been postponed due to Hurricane Joaquin. Since I had a car and the time, I took a road trip to visit some points of interest. It was unprecedented and somewhat miraculous that Ironman was able to reschedule the race for two weeks later, so I flew back. There were fewer athletes and volunteers than there would have been for the original date, but the crowd and volunteer support were on par with any other I've done, which is to say it was excellent and did not feel like an afterthought. The course is pancake flat, but the weather was quite challenging with high winds and cold temperatures. It was bad enough the swim course had to be altered due to a small craft advisory for the Choptank River, making it dangerous for the support boats, let alone the swimmers.
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont on two of my trips northeast for Ironman. The other state I did a marathon was Oklahoma, in November at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. I also did my first ultramaration in 2015 as part of my training for the Grand Canyon, a 50-kilometer (31-mile) trail race near Austin.
Mt. Hood to the coast with one week's notice. It was the kind of craziness and sleep deprivation you gladly sign up for again the next year. Non-racing travel consisted of ice climbing in Colorado in January and two trips to Virginia, one in June for a Meister family reunion, the other for Thanksgiving.
With a total of 43 timed events in 2015, I can't cover every triathlon, duathlon, stair race, trail race, and road race I did. I will, however, highlight two particularly interesting weeks, one in which I won three medals at two races, and one with three very different races (a beer mile, a 5k, and a stair race).
Looking ahead, I plan to spend New Year's doing 4 races between Eve and Day, a 5k and a full marathon both days. I was unable to complete the "double-double" challenge last year due to injury and poor weather. I will be doing the Austin Marathon in February, a marathon in Hawaii in March, half Ironman races in April and June, and full Ironman races in August (Boulder, Colorado) and November (Panama City Beach, Florida). I also would like to hit the highpoints of Hawaii, California, Nevada, and Maine to finish the 50 states.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,
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