2011 & 2012: Looking Back & Looking Ahead

I’m a week late with this look back, but that’s the kind of week it has been! There is not much use in looking back because I’m already looking ahead.

In 2010, with Ironman Brazil and the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, long distance triathlon was a huge focus, and my “year in review” reflected that. The training, preparation, and travel for these races took a lot of time, and  Ironman was the big theme. Before 201o ended, I made a strong commitment to support Debbie in her ultramarathon trail running endeavors. She put here weight behind me during my Ironman campaign, so I made it my number one goal to support her in 2011. She got top billing within the Livingston clan and her races took precedence.

She had a fantastic year, meeting most of her objectives while winning five of six ultras: Traprock 50K,Bear Mt. 50 MilerLaurel Highlands UltraTARC 12 Hour, Grindstone 100, Lookout Mt. 50 Mile Trail Race. Both she and I got in six Grand Tree Trail Running Series races, though for her, the GT campaign was more geared towards training rather than racing. Also, the major travel and logistics were devoted to her events. She sprinkled in some road races to build her speed, but the trails is where she made her mark.

In 2011, I swung away from the full Ironman distance. I needed a break. I returned to my old pattern of mixing it up. While meeting my goal of crewing for Debbie and caring for our kids, I somehow managed to race more than last year. The events didn’t have the same significance, but I did 36 of them, vs. 31 in 2010. There was no real focus to my training, and I sort of did what was fun without putting a whole lot of pressure on myself for results. Last month, I did an interview for the Hartford Extended Area Triathletes. It sheds a bit more light on my racing thoughts.

  • 36 Races (14 triathlon, 1 duathlon, 1 cyclocross, 2 road bike, 1 mountain bike, 5 road running, 12 trail running)
  • 788 miles of racing
  • ~8 hours per week of exercise, nearly 2 hours per week less than 2010
  • 1,100+ miles of bicycle commuting to/from work

It wasn’t a race, unless you can count it as racing against Debbie, but our one day White Mountain Hut Traverse is the effort that stood out above the rest. It was a fantastic day and a wonderful way to celebrate 10 years of marriage. We did it Livingston Style and it hurt so good.

The triathlons were shorter, and several were off-road. I had a blast with the sprints. My two half iron-distance races were nothing special. I was flat in both of them. I had more speed in the shorter events. My trail running was a real highlight with good results, particularly at Soapstone, Greylock, and NipMuck, Toby, and Busa. I was happy to finish two ultras, Traprock 50K and Lookout Mt. 50 Mile Trail Race, but they absolutely hammered me. The post-Lookout fatigue was a factor in delaying this post.

It was fun to return to the VT50 on my mountain bike, but my race was ho-hum. I didn’t do much road running, but was still pleased with my Manchester Road Race time.

2012 probably won’t be much different from 2011. I’ll try to increase my “training” if you can call it that. I want to swim faster. I want to get in a couple more half iron-distance races, but go quicker. I’ve got a few interesting races to focus on, but I’m not really talking about them. I want to race the short tri’s again. I’ll probably run less trail races. My body needs a break from that. My ankles (both of them) have been giving me problems. I need to alter the cycle that I’m in and recover in certain areas. This is an important mental thing for me to keep interested in endurance sports, particularly the ultra kind.

The other big deal in 2012 is that I enter the “masters” division. I’ll be in 40-44 for most triathlons and 40+ for cycling and many other events. I’m not sure what to make of this yet. I’ll have to come up with something truly epic to celebrate the milestone. I haven’t got it planned yet, and it  may not happen until 2013, but trust me, I’ll come up with something.

Aside from that, this year, I’ll try some new things. I’ve always wanted to go 100 miles on my mountain bike. I want to do better at off-road triathlon. I want to keep having fun. This is another big year for Debbie. She has a wonderful slate of ultras planned. It will take positive energy to keep pace with her while looking after our kids. Business is also improving at Horst Engineering, as it is for the broader manufacturing sector.  Of course, I always have my hands full at work. I definitely want to commute more. It makes for a great day when it starts and ends on a bike. I’m glad the days are getting longer because 2012 is looking brighter by the day.

1 Response to “2011 & 2012: Looking Back & Looking Ahead”


  1. 1 steve tabor (@stevetabor) 6 January 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Happy New Year Scott & Family,

    Congratulations on your racing successes. I wanted to get your perspective on “Chronic Cardio” training that Mark Sisson writes about. In very simple terms, he advocates exercise from the “good old” primal times, when we spent several hours a day engaged in low level activity, with intermittant spurts of high intensity (running away from predators, hunting dinner, playing, etc.).

    He argues that ramping up at a sustained heart rate of 80+% improves cardiac muscle strength (with diminishing returns), however, has many negatives including raising cortisol levels, increasing oxidative damage, systemic inflammation, depressing the immune system and decreasing fat metabolism.

    I’ve been doing “Boot Camp” training 3x per week. One hour sessions of intense intervals and am stronger and fitter, yet, I wonder about the merit of Sisson.

    What do you think?


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