Will Thames

swim, bike, run, tech

2013 in Review

2013 was a bit of a mixed year - I didn’t have the same kind of breakthrough successes as in 2012, where I smashed 24 minutes off my 2011 marathon PB - indeed both 2012 marathons were better than my 2013 effort.

Successes

5km PB - I broke the PB I set at North Lakes (20:50) at New Farm (20:40), then again at Mitchelton (20:23). I also bettered the time at Sandgate too (20:42). I also attended five courses new for me, including two inaugural runs (Mitchelton, Bunyaville). I think I did around 25 park runs this year - just under one a fortnight. I also did a few social runs with the Sandgate Parkrun spin-off, Bayside Breezers. One of my happiest moments was pacing Dean, co-event director of Sandgate, to his 5km PB. Although amusingly I later found that I’d been pacing someone else for the last km.

10km PB - this year I managed to get to the start of the Bridge to Brisbane on time which meant that the traffic was far easier to negotiate, and I ran three minutes faster than the previous year. I wasn’t 100% fit so I know I can do better.

50km PB - this year I didn’t go the wrong way, and I just about made it home slightly quicker than last year. I don’t think it was a better performance, but the heat got to me (the heat got to me the year before, so who knows!)

The North Face 50 - I finished it. In a time I was ok with. I vowed to give up trail running during the event. Of course I’ve since signed up for the 100km next year. But I do plan to be better prepared!

Lots of other trail races - Mt Glorious, Wild Horse 30km, Mt Mee to Dayboro trail marathon, Glasshouse 50km, Beerwah at Night 30km. Lots of trail running with friends from Bunyaville Trail Runners.

Failures

Brisbane marathon - I did so well last year, and it wasn’t looking bad at the halfway point this year, but the wheels fell off around 25kms in. I’d been suffering a little from injury, and suspect that while my speed and stamina were still well trained, my endurance wasn’t sufficient. I suspect heat and nutrition issues, of which the latter I must address in future.

Injuries in general - at one point I’d suffered almost every runner’s injury going in short succession - shin splints, plantar fasciitis, hip flexor issues, pulled hamstring. Ok, so that leaves illiotibial band and achilles tendonitis, but I managed to acquire the latter in the last run of 2013. Lessons learned are to work on strength, core, balance and flexibility, and not to ramp up too much. Recovery will be key for me. Also better warmups might have prevented niggles picked up at Kingscliff parkrun (hamstring) and Bunyaville parkrun (achilles) - I must be more diligent about warming up.

I didn’t do a half marathon in 2013 - I missed both twilights (I can’t remember why I missed the first but as it got stopped halfway through due to the storm (in which a runner was sadly hit by a falling tree and later died), the reason why is relatively unimportant) and no others really took my interest.

The North Face was tougher than I expected, mostly due to the last 15km being more of a challenge - a lot of steps. I could have found this out and been better prepared, even if only mentally! Still, at least I’m forewarned for 2014.

Lessons for 2014

  • Practice steps.
  • Warm up better.
  • Work on flexibility, strength and balance.
  • Try not to injure myself!
  • Get race nutrition right.