Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Column: The Ironman - The Rearview Mirror

  • Local Ironman competitor, Dr. John Anders writes about his training, marathons and musings.
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  • With 2012 now fading into the distance, this is the time when I like to look back and remind myself of what went on over the year. There are always some highlights of some sort. And then there are lessons to be learned as well.
    I began the year with my own private marathon, 26.2 miles of running on January 1, 2012. There were no cheering crowds, no aid stations, and no other participants. It was just me and my GPS watch tracking the time and distance as I meandered through town. I'm not even totally sure why I did it; probably just to prove that I could do it any day I chose to.
    In February I spent my birthday running a "real" marathon in Fort Worth, Texas. I told anybody who asked that I was turning 29. I doubt I had many who believed me, but it was worth a try. That was certainly my best marathon of the year based on finishing time.
    My real running goal for the year though was supposed to be the Boston Marathon in April. I trained hard for it. I did all the speed work, the long runs, and then hoped I'd have great weather to run in. As luck would have it, I was present for the 2nd hottest Boston Marathon ever. I was sweating and thirsty just standing at the starting line waiting on the race to begin. I took it easy, ran an even pace, stayed hydrated and had a good time; at least as good of a time as a person can have running 26.2 miles in 95 degree heat.
    May's big event was certainly not one of my own. We got to go watch our son, Eric, run his first marathon in Marian, Indiana. Sometimes I wistfully think of the days when I took this young man to run his first races, as a 7 year old. For years I finished races and then waited on him to finish, and now it is the other way around. His effort and race made us proud parents that day. I think he was most happy about beating my best marathon time, in his first one. It makes me wish I had been as driven at that age as he is.
    Then it was time to turn my attention to the triathlon season. Throughout the summer Eric and I squared off in a few triathlons. These are the fun times. The races are mostly local, a little lower key, and we usually place pretty high. As is now the norm, I never did finish higher than he did, although I do claim to have finished one race ahead of him, because he did not make up the starting time stagger for the different waves we began in. I think he called it a "head start" for old guys. And in one other race I was actually leading everyone in the race, but Eric caught me in the run and beat me by 30 seconds.
    Page 2 of 2 - The big race of the year was Ironman Louisville in Kentucky, held in late August. I don't know whose idea it was to race an ironman when you will likely have a heat index over 100 degrees. Oh wait; yes I do. I believe it was Jeffrey Bonham, the same person who dragged me out into the furnace to train many times over the summer. It was enjoyable having friends and training partners in the same race for a change. Everyone had a successful finish, although my race concluded with an hour and a half visit to the medical tent for fluids. The heat was harder on me than I would have thought it could be, and it took me months, instead of days, to fully recover from this race. If ever there was a reason to give up that length of race, this would have been it. But there is another scheduled for late May in Houston, Texas. Peer pressure is the pits some times.
    How about spending some time thinking about your past year? What would you like to see more of, or less of, this year? Maybe you want to work out more often or eat better. Maybe you have friends you would like to see more often, or you could have some you should see less because their presence brings you down. Whatever the situation, how about making 2013 the best year yet? Live Well. Live Wellington.
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