Last week I tried to do a 1 X 2 iron-distance race with USA Ultra Tri at the Virginia Double Anvil (that’s 2.4 mile swim, 112 bike, and 26.2 X 2). My plan was to do one iron-distance race thursday and then turn around and do another one on Friday. The result — regretfully — failure. I raced the iron-distance race thursday, but tweaked my knee on the bike. Luckily it didn’t hurt to run so I finished the race Thursday. I went to bed that night knowing I probably wouldn’t be able to race on Friday. When Friday morning came, I suited up and swam the 2.4 miles but as soon as I got on the bike my knee really hurt and after 12 miles I dropped out. My first DNF (Did Not Finish) ever. In endurance sports it’s bound to happen but it still stings.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I really really love focused training. Give me a training plan and make me happy. I usually have a clear goal with a major race in the distance. I may wander along the way and do a race or two that have nothing to do with my primary goal, but one thing I usually have is focus. A carrot off in the distance that I can move toward. It makes me happy. HOWEVER, right now I’m lost. I have several races/events I’ve signed up for but they are all different. In the next few months I’m doing a super sprint triathlon called She Tris, a 1/2 marathon in Colorado, Skirt Sports 13er, with altitude and hills…yikes, and then a stadium stair climbing ‘race’ called Fight for Air Climb, to support the American Lung Association. Those are the races I’ve signed up for so far, but I plan to do a number of sprint triathlons this summer as well
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to win something! And not just any ‘something’ a 12 week Cooper River Bridge Run training program through Without Limits coaching. I was thrilled! In a previous blog I wrote about the benefits of working with a coach, and I usually train for my races with the help of my friend who coaches me via email. However, this was going to be a different approach– hands on, weekly workout meet ups, and the use of training peaks to manage my workouts and track my progress. I was also very excited because the coach is a friend of mine and an incredible runner, Chris Bailey. He is the only person I have ever met who has won a marathon….yes, first place overall! Crazy.
As a parent, I have found that how and when I can exercise has changed over the years depending on the ages of my children. What I am able to do now, is very different than what I was able to do when my children were younger. Time available and what I’ll call ‘child neediness’ have influenced the type of exercise I could do and ability to train for races. In this blog, I’m going to review my exercise through the ages… my children’s ages!
Whether we admit it or not, we are all addicts – addicted to some form of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instigram, Blogs (hopefully Miles with Moms)…there is so much good information out there, how could we not be? Some say it’s a time sucker, which it is. However, it can have some very positive influences on your training.
The Comrades Marathon…an epic race and an epic experience. It really lived up to it’s place on my bucket list of races to do. To get an idea of the magnitude of this race, when South Africans learned that I had run the race, their first question to me was “did you finish?”. Wow, it’s THAT type of race….
As my big, “A” race approaches in the next 25 days, I’ve started to think about what it next for me. What is my next goal? Because my race is a hilly ultra marathon, I know I’ll need some time off to recover both mentally and physically. Therefore, my next big race won’t be until sometime this fall, allowing me at least a month or so to recover before I start training for my next adventure. But I know myself, and I will need some type of direction for that time period or I run the risk of doing too much during that time, not allowing myself time to recover fully and thereby increasing my risk or injury or burnout.
When we think about training and racing, very rarely do we consider the importance of recovery in our training/racing schedules. In our time crunched lives, recovery is an aspect of training that is often ignored. We are busy thinking about our current workout, our next workout, our plans after our workout, our children’s activities, etc. However, in order to have optimal training and racing with minimal injury and maximum energy and motivation, we should remember how important recovery is after tough or long workouts and especially after races. Also, our return to activity should be gradual after races.