Yoga and Mountains and Non-Triathlon Training

This past week has been exactly what I’ve needed!  I did whatever my little heart desired workout-wise and loved every minute of it!  I did nothing too terribly hard, other than a 50 mile mountain ride on Saturday, and my body was thankful.  I also slept at least 9 – 10 hours every night, squeezing in two 2-hour naps and a 12-hour night on Saturday!  I think my body was pretty tired to say the least.  I haven’t felt quite as rested as I did today in, literally, years.

I mean, look at those mountains!

I headed to Blowing Rock Saturday with some training buddies for a day of riding in the mountains.  It was so beautiful out, albeit very very windy on top of the mountains making the descending pretty interesting, but given were weren’t there on an “agenda” it was so nice to just ride!  There were tons of people out to see the leaves and despite being slightly annoyed with us going 6mph up the mountain when they wanted to be going 20, it was such a fun-filled atmosphere.  We went up to ride easy, but “easy” really just doesn’t exist when you’re climbing 1500 feet up the side of a mountain.  You can only peddle “so easy” before you fall down 🙂  We rode a little harder than I probably would have liked, but all in all it was such a great day!  Thanks Greg and Mike!

I rode my bike again on Saturday with Marianne, my Pain Pathways teammate/friend around the Booty Loop.  This was a ride that would have been nice to put a sign on our backs “Recovery Ride”.  We rode so easy, but it was exactly what I needed and it was great to catch up with her.  Big things for next season that I’m excited about.

What I realized the most this weekend is how much I’ve missed riding my bike.  The past few months have been so run/swim focused for me, I’ve truly missed group rides and all the fun of cycling with my friends.  After a long conversation with my wonderful coach today, we’ve decided that for the next few months, Saturday will be “my day”….my day to ride with whomever, however long, however hard or however easy my little heart desires!  I’m very much looking forward to it.

 

I have also done yoga 3 times in the last week.  I feel like a new person after just 3 classes and my goal is to continue to go 1-2 times per week through February!  Hopefully this will be me in no-time.  Well, with better hair.

I’m excited for this coming weekend.  I am going up to Chapel Hill / Raleigh area on Saturday (after a fun fill day at Carrowinds with my sister!) for the NCTS Awards on Sunday.  Stacey and I have lots of stuff planned….though most not “coach / athlete” related and I can’t wait!

I have lots of thinking to do about next year and where I see my season going…what my goals are, what my A-races (other than Worlds) are going to be, if any, and what distance(s) I will focus on.  I think we’ve pretty much decided that mid-2013 will be my next Ironman and now it’s just making my final decision on which one I’ll have to register for next year.  The selection process will be pretty strategic as discussed with Stacey and I’m actually excited to make my final decision!  There are several reasons I would like to do another Ironman…though I can’t say I have a profound overwhelming desire right now to train for that distance again.  The two most significant reasons are:

1.  I want to train for an Ironman under Stacey’s guidance…for myself, and especially for my coaching knowledge.  The more you work with different coaches being trained for different distances, the more you learn about your own coaching styles and preferences.  My previous coach was very focused on volume, sometimes to the point where I wondered if my workouts were actually hindering my performance overall, vs. making me more fit and prepared for the race.  I will be so so curious, given HOW focused on recovery Stacey is to tackle one last IM training under her coaching.

2.  Secondly, as I’ve discussed in this blog before, I think I have unfinished IM business.  As I’ve said, my best IM execution-wise, how I felt (and coincidentally, time-wise also) was my first…to which I competed un-coached and had just learned to swim 7 months prior.  My fitness, athleticism, speed, and I’d hope my swimming (though the jury is still out on that) has come a long way since then.  I was prepared physically (I think) at Louisville in 2010 to have a strong race, but I was totally shot mentally by the time the race rolled around and the cards just weren’t dealt in my favor that day.  I bounced back 2 1/2 months later and had a pretty good race at B2B considered I had hardly trained with much distance post-Louisville, but I know it wasn’t the best I can do.  So, that said, I want to pour myself into training one last time…train “smarter,” recover more strategically and see what that equates to over the longer distance.  Still a long time away which is a bit of a relief right  now 🙂

Well, that about wraps up this weeks ramblings.  I hope those paragraphs at least somewhat go together in some logical sequence because I’m not feeling like much of a blog-editor tonight.  Enjoy friends 🙂

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