I waited a little long to wrap up 2008, so I'll combine posts. I want to grade myself on accomplishing my goals this year.
The goals were to swim under 22:30, ride under 1:05 and finish overall under 2h10m.
Check, to all 3. The swim was 22:23, just a few seconds off my PR there, but represented over 2:30 faster than 2007. The bike was 1:04:44, which represented a PR by 5:30. This was a HUGE breakthrough. Overall I went 2:08:40, which was a nearly 9 minute PR. I finished 27th overall (including the 12 pros ahead) and my bike split was 13th overall (2nd amateur I believe behind my friend Joe).
The goals were to run a 16:30 5k, run my road PR in a 10k (34:08), run under 58 minutes for 10 miles, go under 1:17 at Philly Distance Run and run a 2:45 marathon.
Waaa-waaa, didn't hit a single one. 16:48 at Shamrock was as fast as I would go, but in fairness the event I would have expected to run 16:30 was cancelled, and at that point I didn't care as much. I only did the one open 10k, and it fell in the middle of some other bigger races, so I didn't take it as seriously, and I got fairly close to the 10 mile goal (58:12 at Broad Street). Had I been able to keep pace with Arjun after mile 7 at PDR, I would have slipped under my goal, but definitely fell apart and we all know what happened with the marathon.
I did, however, accomplish one running goal of winning a race - Terp Trot 5k.
The goal was to win my age group and qualify for Hawaii.
I did not. Enough said.
Other random goals
I wanted to take off fewer than 26 days of training and run 2,000 miles. I also wanted to compete in 26 total races, including 8 triathlons.
In actuality I took off around 42 I think it came to, and fell shy of 2,000 (1,874, still up from 1752 or something from the year before). I did 27 total races, including 7 triathlons and 1 bike TT.
I'm pleased with the results, it was a long year, and it felt long before I even hit the fall. The curse of August is still very much real, with some weird injuries plaguing me again in the late summer/early fall and curtailing some of my fall fun. After a little time off post-NYC and some mental refreshing, I feel ready to go. So far I've got a 32 day active streak going, and am already on pace for hitting some larger than usual volumes early in the season.
Just as important at looking back is setting new goals. I think I'm going to structure things slightly different this year, and not be as concerned with things like total mileage, number of days off, number of races. I want to race less, that's for sure.
For me it's also very easy to have specific goals for each race I do, since I know what races I'll do this year already. The triathlons are real easy:
Columbia - I want to get into the 21:xx range in the swim, go 1:02:xx on the bike and 37:xx on the run. This would yield a good time and undoubtedly a solid placement.
Eagleman - Avoid the pitfalls from last year, for starters. I know I've got the wheels to do a 2:12 on the bike and 1:20 on the run, and if I could swim under 30 it would be an amazing day. No more qualifying spots for Hawaii means the pressure's off a little.
NJ State Tri - fastest bike split and top 5 overall
Ironman Arizona - I am preparing for a fast time but will not be disappointed with anything I do. I believe a one hour swim and five hour bike are reasonable, and then the run is a wildcard. It could be 3 hours, it could be 3.5, it could be 4. Either way, I absolutely want to be 9:45 or better.
The running races are a little different, because they won't be my first focus this year. At Miami next month I'd like to go under 1:20, and then not run slower than 60 minutes at Club Challenge. At Shamrock I think I can run a few seconds faster than last year, and then Boston Marathon will be the next big event where the goal will be to run an evenly paced, as comfortable as a marathon can be run.