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.
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.
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.
Ahhh the offseason, a time for sitting, eating, and lazing about….right? Um, no. Ok, yes and no. Every athlete should take some time off during the year to recharge and recover from a season of racing. Often times the ‘holiday season’ is a great time to have an offseason. We’re busy with families and parties, the weather is getting cold, our bodies simply want to hibernate. It is a great time to back off of our strict training schedules, to exercise for fun rather than purpose. Our training becomes ‘exercise’ and is more flexible. However, if we don’t play our cards right we can rest so perfectly that we’re not ready for the new year of training and racing looming a few weeks away. A month of fun and sloth-like behavior can lead to 10-15 lb weight gain and lack of fitness. How SHOULD you approach the offseason and plan for the ‘beyond’? Follow these basic steps:
This fall has been a good lesson for me that even seasoned runners have a lot to learn! I had a pretty great racing season after my stress fracture. I ran a 10k, the Boston Marathon, a 1/2 marathon, a stair climbing race, and 4 sprint triathlons. I had enough speed in my old legs to place either overall or in my age group in most races–okay, except for Boston–I was feeling great! After a short break at the end of summer I was ready to start training for a fast Winter marathon. I started going to the track once a week and running long runs on the weekends, however, I felt like I was working very hard to hold my normal pace. Speed work on the track was even worse. I was able to hold a decent pace, but it felt like I was working at about an 8 out of 10 when it should have been closer to a 6. I knew something was going on and decided to get my VO2 Max tested to get an idea about my target heart rate workout zones. I had a feeling my body was not burning fat efficiently anymore–I was running in an anaerobic state burning through my glycogen stores too quickly . Phew that’s lot to ‘digest’ and quite frankly this discussion can get technical and confusing, but for the purpose of this blog I’m going to keep it simple. Let me just say I learned a wealth of knowledge from my testing with Kyle Radaker at Radaker Health and Wellness!
As most mom’s can attest, we live by the school year. Siobhan and I are no different. School in session means structure, schedule, and organization. Summer means chaos – and not all bad, but lacking all the consistency we have in the school year. You may have noticed we each only posted once this summer as travel, kids and life took over. But this week school is back and session and we are back online! We’ll call this our 3rd season of Miles with Moms and are happy to have you back following along.
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
Although we all use the term ‘expert’ liberally in many areas of our life, we seldom reflect on what makes a person an expert in any given field. There isn’t a specific line that you cross that bestows expert status on you. It’s not as though one day you are an amateur and the next day you’re an expert. The line is a fuzzy, large line with varying degrees of expertise. In fact I think a number of people are experts and don’t even realize it! But the beauty is, you don’t need to be an expert to help people out, anyone with just a little experience can be a mentor.
What does 2016 have in store for you? Jennifer and I are big planners so we have already started to map out some of our races and goals for 2016. And as some of our previous posts have mentioned, it’s important to have a basic plan for the year so you can set goals and train appropriately. Here are some of the things we have planned for the upcoming year!