I had a really good winter with some fast 10k races and good long runs. Kandel marathon in early March was the first highlight and my race was spot on with a 3:44 thanks to Greif's training plan. My preparation for IM Austria was ok, but nowhere near as good as Roth. A mix of weird races in May, lack of time, and poor mental shape meant that Klagenfurt was never going to be the ideal race. A mediocre finish time of 11:48 was the result and also the realisation that I needed a big break from long distances. The cunning plan was to have a good rest for about a month (during which we got married!) and the start getting ready for the second half of the season focusing on short distances.
Unfortunately, it came very differently. I tore my right meniscus twice (I still don't know how) and needed surgery which resulted in little to no exercise for almost 4 months. By the time I was able to start training again in December I had lost almost all my fitness and put on 7kg!
So, the plan for 2014 is very different to any I had before: Q1 is all about getting back in shape and shed some excess weight before doing a lot of short local races (runs and tris). I *might* attempt a half-distance in September and the Heidelberg Trail Marathon in October, but I might just give them a miss if I don't feel like it. Maybe this is an age thing, but I feel that I need a season where it is not about PBs, finishing yet another Ironman race and following a strict plan, but to get my knees and back sorted, do some smaller, low-key local races, and start enjoying my favourite sport again.
For the data crunchers amongst us, here is the annual tally:
Swim: 89.6km (31h33m)
Bike: 3748km (138h04m)
Run: 1369km (120h28m)
XC-Ski: 33.3km (6h01m)
MTB: 67km (3h53m)