Nutrition has been one of the biggest changes and then the importance of cross-training and resting. I had a few marathons that I did not start due to injuries, which is just as well with the amount I was racing. Highs of finishing 2nd place in my first 100 miler event. Then lows in the summer, from my first DNF, which was the hardest, but most sensible decision I encountered in 2013.
After a harsh and bitter cold to the end of 2012. January started just as cold, with training lighter during the deep snow, but I still went ahead and completed the 'Go Beyond Ultra Country to Capital 45'. Starting in Wendover, then finishing along the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice, London.
Total running miles: 250
The weather didn't improve much this month, still cold but then came the wind and rain, lots of it... My miles increased and training off road went to plan. I felt strong and running in extreme conditions really toughened me up. I started longer back to back runs.
My 2nd ultra of the year was the 'Go Beyond Ultra Thames Trot 50'. From Oxford to Henley-On-Thames. With heavy flooding to the Thames River, the route was made slightly shorter to 42 miles. But was the only safe option to avoid the burst banks.
The weather was a bright brisk day, I paced myself well and feel that the training really pieced together the race nicely. I made a few wrong turns, but with the help from others I finished in 8th place 6:21:46
A week later I take part in the Worthing 20 road race. Another small local run of 478 runners, designed as preparation for Brighton and London marathons. The route consists of four 5 mile laps on residential streets.
I came in 2:12:59 in 17th place
Total running miles: 259
Brighton Marathon number 4 takes place in April and always brings back fond memories, as it was my first marathon in 2010 and in my home town. Lots of friends and runners come together for this popular event by the sea. Now with 10,000 runners.
Trying desperately to achieve a sub 3 hour time, but sadly it was not meant to be. I cramped at 24 miles and had to walk a minute or so until it passed.
I finished in 70th place 3:00:18
This month kicks off with running my second Three Forts Marathon. A huge improvement to the damp wind and wet of last year. I wore the wrong footwear, choosing my Vibram Trek Sports (4mm sole) over trail shoes. The hard stone trails really battered my foot bed and slowed me towards the end. This still stays in my mind as 'The Tough One'.
An improvement this year of 3:43:49 in 11th place
I reached Key West, the end of the US-1 in 9:18:13 in 5th place
Next up is a 6 day trip to San Francisco for the marathon. A slightly hilly road marathon that attracted over 5,700 runners. Joined by our Brighton friends Mark and Lucy.
I came in 3:04:10 in 84th place
One week later I fly up to Newcastle, then head over to Carlise with my sister for The Wall Ultra. I am one of the 322 expert runners to complete the route along Hadrians Wall from Carlisle castle to Newcastle Millenium bridge in one day.
A scenic 69 mile course, although, only 20 miles was part of the actual Wall ruins. This was too much road for me to endure and was the start of a ankle ligament injury. I suffered huge blisters wearing a birkenstock running sandal which I now no longer wear.
I came in 3rd place in 11:05:50
With physio and lighter running, my ankle soon improves, but is still not 100% healed.
I wore my Luna sandals this time and suffered no blistering on the feet.
Total running miles: 133
Finally the month arrives to attempt my second 100 miler event from Centurion Running, the North Downs Way. With a much lighter month of running and strength training to help my ankle.
I have just started to tap into my nutrition and have been fueling on fats over glycogen. It has been working great for my performance and training.
This also ends my running streak after reaching 273 days...
After some time out, cross training then light running again, I feel confident I can finish the London To Brighton Extreme Running event.
A field of just 55 runners take part this year in the off road run from Blackheath Common, taking the Kent and Sussex border south to Brighton.
Heading to Cologne to run the Koln Marathon whilst staying with friends.
This is my slowest road marathon of the year in 3:15:55 in 329th place
Going in with an open mind and running on feel, I perform consistently and my pace stays pretty solid. I get the job done. It is still one of my all time favourite trail marathons and the grueling route is forgotten by the amazing scenery.
16 minutes slower than my first try last year, in 4:06:29 in 151st place
Total running miles: 122
My birthday month soon swings around, and it is another try at running a 100 miles! Hopefully with a finish this time.
This course is a cross section, of out and back spurs along the Ridgeway and Thames Path routes. Using Streatley as a base. I have the experience from many previous races, so feel confident I know most of the route.
My nutrition has really been going to plan, and now fully fat adapted. It is one less thing I need to worry on during these longer events.
The first half went very well, maybe too well. I raced pretty hard and felt great. I stayed in 4th position throughout and reached 50 miles in a PB time of 7:35, but after this my pace started to slow considerably.
I eventually came in 4 minutes slower than my first 100 miler in 18:17:51 making 8th place.
Total running miles: 241
The end of the year, and another shot at the 4th edition of the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon. Just three days before Christmas.
Still very flat, it attracts the fast elites. Over 1,170 runners braved the high winds and rain. This year I had the company of more running friends, old and new to experience Pompey.
The rain eased after the start, but the wind kept on pushing. I felt good on my feet and strong enough during the first half, then the switch back section, I started to slow and struggle.
Total 2013 running miles: 2,244.5
One great thing that has seen 2013 end positive, is my adaption to learning about my body and how I fuel my nutrition. Through eating higher fats, no sugar, no grains and low carbohydrates.
You can listen to some interviews about my nutrition below.
Vinnie Tortorich Episode 218
Paleo Runner Aaron Olson