After a lot of thought and contemplation, competing on the national stage for cross country this year will not happen. I’ve decided to shut down the 2014 race season. As a competitive athlete, the season is long enough as it is, so including another month of hard workouts while adding in nearly 11,000km’s of travel over the month of November will be too physically demanding. My work life comes first, that is my priority.
Looking back on the year, I could not be happier with how it turned out. During the whole year of 2013, I remained relatively injury free and was able to run all 12 months in the year. My progress was noteworthy; shaving nearly 4 minutes off of my half marathon time, slimming down my 10K time by almost 2 minutes, and improving my 5K time by a full minute, all within a 5 month time span. Not bad for a dude with below average muscle mass. After that very successful year and a broken tibia in February, I nearly gave up on 2014 as the odds were seemingly against me. This year was supposed to be a recovery year, but it was much more than that.
In June, my runs were less than 10K at an average pace of 4:28’s. Pretty slow for my standards. My fitness level was poor, probably sitting around the 37 minute mark for 10K; if I were to race. From that point, I quickly grasped onto the trails and found a new love for the sport. During a hot, sunny day at the end of June, I found myself blazing up the trails in West Bragg. It was peaceful, I was alone, and during that time, my thoughts were wild and the mind was creative. That was when Nacho Libre was born. For those that don’t know, Nacho is my Strava handle to punk kids trying to take our segments. The character of Nacho quickly caught popularity within the Strava community, influencing me to keep the name.
Once July rolled around, I began doing marathon pace workouts; once a week, running a total of 5 days a week with one long bike workout in there too. This was ultimately a recipe for success moving forward. As the runs got longer and the workouts increased in difficulty, my fitness quickly returned. In the month of August and September, I managed to pull out three wins (one of them being a Night Race, which actually is more of a fun run, but whatever. A win is a win). The third win in there was the Dino Dash; dropping my 5K PB from 16:00 achieved in August 2013 to 15:34. From there, I managed to drop that previous 5K PB by 5 more seconds to 15:29; in the middle of a 8K race, placing third. Continuing progress to Stewart Cup where I landed another PB in the 10K for XC, placing 2nd in the Alberta Championship. Oh yea, I forgot to mention that this all came while starting a new job with New Balance and working 50-60 hours in a week. Now, I’m not trying to position myself above everyone else, but hard work pays off; this is the example.
So what is in store for Nacho? A whole lot of work, because as mentioned above, work comes first, but by properly managing my schedule, I’ll be able to train. In February, I’ll be aiming for a win in Vancouver’s first half half marathon. From there, I’m going to prep for Calgary half marathon. Once again, I’ll be aiming for a win in that one too. Actually, every race I enter in 2015 will be with the sole purpose of a victory. My fire is back, I’m healthy, and when you believe in yourself like I do, anything is possible. I also believe that as a tech rep, it is important to represent the company well in the field and on the race course. It’s a two part job.
Without forgetting to mention, a big thank you goes out to Simon Donato and the Stoked Oats Team, for believing in me and giving me the chance to represent the team through out 2014. We’re going to continue to make big thing happen!