Hello blog readers! It’s been since Thanksgiving since I checked in here so I figured it was time to post a quick update.
This time last year I was in, what was likely, the best shape of my life. I was hitting paces I never thought possible, power numbers on my bike that I’d never seen before and actually feeling pretty good in the water. I went into Ironman Cabo in March excited, fit, ready…and in pain! Post Ironman was allllll about recovery. I had been training and racing on a bum foot for nearly 8 months and it was time to figure out a game plan. Post surgery in April, I still spent much of the spring and early summer thinking I’d be back to racing before long, holding on to all the fitness I’d built in 2012 and over the winter into 2013, and with a late season race schedule looming. However, when I was still in pain by August, I decided it was time to put thoughts of racing on the back burner and focus all of my attention at getting my foot back to normal.
Well it worked! So after November, I’ve been somewhat scott-free on the pain front and it’s been awesome. I definitely still have my occasional (and not unusual for me) “foot stuff” that randomly hurts here and there, but I think small amounts of periodic pain for people who run is pretty common. That said, I’ve been asked over and over…”so, what’s next?” “What are you training for?” “What’s your first race gonna be this year?”
The most honest answer I can come up with is “I have no idea”…because I truly don’t. I spent the last several years of my life training pretty darn hard, sacraficing things I may have otherwise wanted to do, and rearranging / coordinating my life around my training and racing. I’m thankful I have a family and friends who were (well, are) so incredibly understanding of the rearranging so I could fit in my training. And I loved it! I loved being in “tip top” shape and the competition of the sport! I loved racing. I loved the lifestyle it took to race hard and the good races are such fond memories, while the bad races are some of the best learning experiences in my life. I’ve built so many awesome memories racing and have traveled to so many places that I NEVER would have traveled otherwise without doing so to race. It was an awesome 5 years of my life.
But being injured and being forced to step back from that lifestyle for a while has taught me a lot about myself and put my life in a wonderful prospective. Yes, I will still race, I still love to workout and be fit, I still love some of the people I’ve met through triathlon and look forward to lifetime of friendships with them…but I also love my life outside of triathlon which has been a little on the “back burner” for a few years. I have always made it a point to participate and attend all functions and events with my friends / family even when I have been amidst intense training, but I have also realized this year that at times, I was maybe not truly “present” at those events because my next workout, my next race, my past workout, etc was always in the back of my mind. The energy it took to rearrange my life around my workout schedule or race calendar started to take some of the fun out of it. It’s just inevitable that when you’re racing and training hard (especially when you decide to do longer distance racing), you have to focus a lot (most all?) of your mental and physcial energy on it, or else you will not be able to achieve what you’re looking to do.
So the goal of 2014 is to have fun! Have fun doing whatever tickles my fancy at any given point in time. I’ve done so many new, different, challenging, truly FUN workouts this year outside of swim, bike and run that I feel so refreshed. I’ve incorporated a lot more strength into my routine and have enjoyed doing “what feels good” each day. Now this doesn’t mean I do a 20 min run and call it a day, but it also doesn’t mean if my body / mind are telling me to slow down on a day I planned to run tempo, I don’t. It has been nice to listen to my body and push when it tells me it’s ok, and back it down when it tells me I’m overcooked. I’d say I’m running 2-3 times a week, sometimes easy, and sometimes hard, sometimes far, sometimes not; I’m swimming 2-3 times a week with my sister and loving every swim set (for the first time ever!), I’m doing athletic conditioning when it feels right, yoga when things are tight, riding on the weekends and occasionally on my trainer, t-runs when they feel good or I have company, or taking random classes at the Y when I feel like it. I’ve spent a lot of time working out with my sister which has been great QT together. It has brought the fun back into being fit again and it is what is working for me right now. I plan to do a few random races here and there, probably shorter local races, and I am hoping I can toe the line with the same mentality as my 2014 mantra – HAVE FUN! I’m 100% certain there will be a time in my life again that I have the urge to do another sub-xyz marathon, sub xyz-hour Ironman or whatever other crazy endeavor that comes across my plate, but for right now, I’m enjoying my current fitness level, my life outside of swim, bike, run, rinse, repeat, my job, my friends, getting ready for my sisters wedding, and whatever else fun that pops up in between!
I hope to see many of you back out on the race course this year and look forward to being the girl who’s less focused on my run split and more focused on high-fiving the volunteers as I run by. It’s yet to be determined if I can actually participate in a race with that mentality, but that’s the goal for now 🙂
Happy Sunday ya’ll!