Although distance road racing season is winding down here in Charleston, it’s the beginning of a very fun triathlon season. This Sunday is the start of the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series –-5 races over the summer from May to August. For me it’s a race filled with familiar faces of friends and competitors. I’ve had a great time racing this series over the years. HOWEVER, this year….I’m just not feeling like getting back in to race mindset. It’s VERY unusual for me. To race or not to race, that is the question for me.
Living and training in the Lowcountry of South Carolina means unless I include a bridge on my route, I am running at sea level. Thanks to a regular strength training routine, I luckily have some leg power to help me up hills despite rarely training on them. Which is basically how I survived Portland and Boston last year.
Jennifer is a great planner and I really enjoyed learning about what she has planned for 2017. As for me, well I’m a little unfocused. I can’t really find an event that catches my eye as a must have. Of course my MAJOR goal is to stay injury free but that doesn’t count as a big race. I’m not saying I don’t have anything on my calendar, but nothing that is huge…maybe this will be the year of lots of little things…we’ll see.
Summertime. I want to maintain my fitness level. I want to get faster. I want to race this summer. I want to look good in a bathing suit. It’s hot. I feel lazy. I want to sit on my ass by the pool. I want to drink cold beverages. Hmm, all these goals don’t really mesh. I have fitness goals, but I don’t necessarily have the motivation to reach all my fitness goals. And for once, I think that I’m okay with that. For me–Summertime and the living is easy. Yes I stole that from Porgy and Bess–great statement for how I’m feeling–plus I FINALLY got to see it during Spoleto this year. I volunteered during the dress rehearsal and got to see opera for free! Win-win. Sorry, I digress.
- This is a big week for Jennifer and I! We’re heading to Boston on Friday to run THE Boston Marathon on Monday. We’re so excited. This race weekend has been a year in the making — we both had to qualify, register, secure childcare while we’re gone, recover from injury, find an affordable place to stay, and get trained for the race. To say it’s been a difficult task is an understatement! Racing with a friend is great fun–or at least it can be if you have some ground rules in place. Good thing Jennifer and I have established these rules and are great racing friends!
1. If you’re traveling to a race with friends, make sure you have similar budgets and expectations for the weekend. You may see the weekend as a fun girls trip. You plan to live large, eat well, sleep little, and party! However, your friend may have a limited budget and want to focus only on the race, skipping the heavy meals and late nights. Jennifer and I usually have a game plan for each race we sign up for together. Disney races = fun races where we take a lot of pictures. Cooper River Bridge Run 10k = individual race – meet at the start and the finish. If we run together great, if not, no feelings are hurt.
This last year I have been privileged to coach many runners through their first races. We get through training and then panic sets as we discuss the race weekend. Here are some pointers I have for the night before and morning of yoru race:
As soon as my kids were able to support their heads (about 3-4 months), I had them in the jogger every day. This was their first introduction into the sport of running. Sure, they were usually napping, but as they grew and stayed awake on our runs, it became an outdoor adventure. I remember pretending I was going to drive them into the bay on our Tampa route, or we’d stop at the top of the bridge in Charleston and look for sharks. I would push the double jogger in races, make the kids bibs, and bring medals to give them once we crossed the finish line (pictured is our babysitter giving my son, 3, a medal – priceless) . Luckily, they loved our runs as much as I did, because it was a fun routine and they didn’t really have a choice :).
We spend a lot of time thinking about how to get ready for a race. Months and months are spent thinking about how to log the appropriate amount of yards swimming and/or miles cycling and running. What is the best distance for a long run? How do I do a ‘tempo’ run? What exactly is speed work? When should I take a walk breaks? However, we rarely think about our ‘taper’ before the race. More importantly how to stay sane during this time period right before your race.