Happy 2013 everyone! I’ve been somewhat quiet on the blog front which as we know, only means one thing…I’ve been really busy! I’m currently ~11 weeks from my Ironman (I sound like a pregnant lady speaking in terms of weeks) and with that comes hours of training, lots of eating, lots of sleeping and less exciting stuff to write about. Throw in Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years and you have one hectic schedule!
My training could not be going any better, aside from my still nagging heal pain. It continues to be manageable, but has definitely stepped up into the “not wanting to manage this pain much longer” category as of late. My entire foot and lower leg are increasingly sore after long runs, to be expected, but I’m finding that my heel generally hurts all the time now vs. just after I run as it was. Nonetheless, I’m doing every possible treatment I can for it to get me through March, some days it feels better than others, and I’ll do everything in my power to not let it affect my race.
Aside from my heal, I couldn’t feel any better! I am hitting paces with ease on my long runs that I’ve never seen before, my power numbers are steady and strong on my bike and my swim times are also improving, though very slightly. Such is swimming. 🙂 The biggest gain I’ve seen in this IM training vs. the last I did in 2010 is my ability to hit strong power numbers on my bike post hard swim workout. Even if my swim times aren’t quite setting any world records, exiting the water substantially less fatigued than I have in the past is going to be a huge benefit on race day. I did my first long run post pretty short, intense (2 hours) bike workout last weekend and I was beyond pleased to be holding an ~8:00/mile pace with my HR in zone 1, as instructed. So all in all, I’m feeling more and more confident as the race approaches!
I spent this past New Years day doing something I love and I hope you did too! A friend of mine has organized a 100-mile bike ride for the last 8 years which ends at his mom’s house in Lake Wiley where she serves a wonderful Southern New Year’s feast. When he sent the email a few weeks ago I knew it was exactly what I wanted to be doing! I was also “challenged” to be the first estrogen-filled human to complete the ride this year…and I’m always up for that! There were tons of emails and offers to partake in absurdly long swim sets (100×100! 13×500, 213×50) and even though that’s what I probably should be doing training-wise, I refused to spend the first day of what is going to be a great year, doing something that makes me (generally) miserable. I want to be a better swimmer, but I have limits. 🙂 Despite pretty chilly temps, pretty hard rain at times, a flat tire which took entirely too long to change resulting in 8 literally soaked, freezing cold riders in silence for the next ~10 miles, we truly had a great time. The group was just the right size, our pace was very reasonable and I even got in some good IM efforts riding up front but also rode very easy at times, the food was wonderful and I go down in “history” as the first ever female New Years day 100-mile ride finisher. All in all, I can’t think of any way I’d rather have started in my new year!!
Over the past ~5 years, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what truly makes me happy. I know this will be an ever-changing cycle over the course of life, but I know one thing that will never change is my love of challenging myself, my body, and my mind to new, different, exhilarating endeavors. I spent my youth and my high school days dedicated to my sports (volleyball, softball and cheerleading) striving to be the best athlete I could be; I spent post-volleyball college days (I only played 1 ½ years) and the early /mid part of my 20’s dedicated to having fun, partying with and making new friends, making memories, and maybe a few bad decisions. Now in my early 30’s, I am at a place in my life where I’m comfortable being at home on NYE alone, in bed at 9:30pm with a good book and my dogs so that I can feel fresh and ready the next day’s endeavors. I have finally let go of the guilt and the feeling that “because I’m young and single, I should be out getting wasted in a bar.” I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I loved it while it lasted and I’ve now come to terms with that’s just not who I am at this phase of my life. Sure, I hope to one day have company other than my furry friends on NYE, but it’s comforting to know that I can still be pretty darn happy without it. 🙂
Whether you were on your couch alone, in a bar getting saucy, on a quite trip with friends, with your family, your grandma, or your dog, I hope everyone rung in 2013 doing something they love! I know I did!