- I am a bag lady. I’m often at the gym in the morning, going straight to work, then tackling another workout at lunch. And I need a lot of food!
- Leaving the pool building in January sucks. It usually takes until the time I am curled up in bed wearing furry socks, fleece jammies and a hoodie for me to feel warm.
- Why did it take me so long to add pickles to my salad? Emz was really on to something.
- 6am Body Pump is a whole different kind of hurt. Why do the weights (and my own body) feel so much heavier in the morning?
- I attempted to prepare beets for the very first time, but under-roasted them. I’ve been eating them in my salads anyway, but they aren’t so good with the consistency of an under-cooked potato. How do you enjoy eating beets, and how do you prepare them?
- Diaper rash cream is magical for curing chafe war wounds. I had some extremely sore spots after a long run in pouring rain (ew) on Sunday, but after slathering on the good stuff at night, they were almost completely healed up the next morning.
- There is currently a wide open can (no lid, no cover) of curry sauce in the communal fridge at work. Really, who does that??
- Check out our new gym room:
- But today I rode my bike in the living room because that’s where the PVR (DVR) is. Had to catch up on some TV!
So here I am again after yet another unforeseen absence. Life has thrown a pretty big curve ball my way recently, but I am not comfortable going into details here [yet] so please bear with me being so cryptic. Let’s just say that things are and will continue to be quite different and difficult. I have an endurance race ahead of me that doesn’t have a finish line or a medal – only “aid stations”, as a dear friend pointed out, in the form of support from our family and friends. Hopefully there will come a time when I can open up in such a public way, but that time is not now and I thank you if you choose to support me and continue reading nonetheless. Another great friend suggested that I might find writing therapeutic, regardless of the topic, so I am attempting to dust off the ol’ blog.
Of course I also have the journey to Ironman Lake Placid ahead of me, for which training began officially on the
1st 2nd of the year. As I’ve mentioned, I am now working with a coach, which simultaneously takes some pressure off and puts more on. I felt a noticeable weight lift off my shoulders in that I no longer have to make decisions or come up with a plan week by week; I simply have to do as I’m told. At the same time there is pressure in knowing that I have someone to report to; every single interval split, stroke count and average heart rate counts for something and it’s not as easy to say “ehhhh I’m not going to do this today.” I suppose that’s what this coaching thing is all about!
Along the way I have decided not to post detailed weekly training summaries as I have for my last few cycles. It’s not that I am trying to keep anything a “secret” (I’m still posting everything on DailyMile), but I found that it was also adding unnecessary pressure – wondering what I was going to say about each workout, worrying what people might think of the stats and trying to remember to take a picture of everything I do. It often felt like a scramble to publish those posts early in the week (and I realize this is only imaginary pressure that I was putting on myself), which – to be honest – not a lot of people were reading anyway.
A few notes on what I’ve been up to:
- I have switched over to time and heart rate based training as opposed to the distance/pace approach that I have used for so many years. It is certainly an adjustment, and a daily struggle to trust the process (and my coach).
- I am so thankful for the Saturday morning group I joined for long trainer rides. We are instructed by a pro triathlete, the 2 hours fly by, there’s great company and it makes hate the trainer much less. This is the only way I will survive this winter!
- I am still suffering through a lot of my runs as I endeavour to get back in shape. Man oh man, did I ever let it slide! (Remind me not to do that again.) Thankfully I am often lucky enough to have a handful of enthusiastic friends ready and willing to join me and make it a whole lot more bearable – such as the 3 awesome ladies who trudged through hill repeats with me this morning at 5am.
- Here is a rough breakdown of how my weeks are shaking out in this initial base-building month of training:
Monday – bike and swim
Tuesday – strength and run
Wednesday – bike and swim
Thursday – strength and run
Friday – rest
Saturday – long bike and short transition run
Sunday – long run
- Friday rest days are also an adjustment since I have typically taken Mondays off after the big weekend workouts. Having four solid days of workouts ahead of me after the long sessions on Saturday and Sunday is grueling – mentally as much as physically. That’s what I signed up for!
With respect to the above alluded-to “curve ball”, it will almost definitely impact my training but to what extent, I am just not sure. The goal right now is not to look too far ahead. I’m taking things one day, one step at a time for now. Training, for the most part, keeps me happy, healthy and grounded – a combination which can only be positive.
Now, bring on my rest day.
2012 was quite a ride! I don’t have a compilation of stats and records like I usually do. To be honest, I don’t even know how many miles (kilometres) I ran last year. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about that but I don’t seem to be scrambling to figure it out.
After an aggressive year of training plans and PRs in 2011, my focus shifted quite a bit in 2012. I still logged all of my workouts, but I rarely followed a training schedule, nor did I pay much attention to the figures. I ran more “for fun” and the experience of running two World Majors, slowing down a lot in the process. Do I wish I could still run a 3:3X marathon? Of course. Is it demoralizing to compare my paces to the previous year? Yes. But do I regret it? No.
Meanwhile I shifted my focus towards long distance triathlon, completing my first two half iron events and registering for my first full (Ironman Lake Placid, which is now this year – eek!).
Unfortunately, I also let things slide a little too much in the “off season” (and let it go on a little too long), so now I have a lot of work to do. Like many, I’m sure, January is a fresh start for me; a whole new training philosophy, hiring a coach for the first time, and learning to eat like an athlete again.
I haven’t had a lot of time or motivation to blog lately, but hopefully that will change in the coming weeks because I definitely plan to document this journey as best as I can. I hope you’ll join me!
I’ll stop here for now and wish you a Happy New Year from our home to yours! Here’s hoping that 2013 brings many good things to all of us. 2012 will be tough to top – from running the Boston Marathon side-by-side, to falling in love with our puppy who is so much more, to moving into our (hopefully) forever home, I’m not sure it could have been any better.