The last couple of weeks, I have felt a bit like I’m starting over. Not so much in a fitness perspective. I haven’t lost any of my base training or anything like that, but instead I’m trying to rethink and re-imagine how I see myself pursuing and reaching my goals. The timing for this couldn’t be better as we head into the off-season and I have a bit of time to reshape the way in which I attack things and my strategy for going forward. And I think it’s important to rethink what you’re doing if it’s not necessarily working. So that’s what I’m doing.
I’m so guilty of not getting outside of my bubble!
As we have sort of entered the off-season for triathletes, I’m not signing up for some sort of crazy training schedule as of yet. I do still need a few minutes to breathe and not worry as to whether I packed my goggles, running shoes and garmin. I’m appreciating the mental break that the beginning this time period brings.
However, there are some other things that I am doing.
1) Food! I am really changing the way in which I eat. I got so lazy with Ironman training. I was doing a lot of eating whatever was easy. No more. For the past two weeks (barring some minor off tracking over the weekend with some delicious homemade mac & cheese) I have focused on clean eating that is almost paleo like. What does this mean? It means I’m not eating anything that’s processed. I am eating a ton of vegetables, lean proteins and some fruit. I am not eating dairy. (Please let’s not talk about how much I miss cheese… I cringed when I walked right past the specialty cheese at the grocery store the other day.) I haven’t touched any sort of bread product or grain. I am making a very conscious effort to incorporate more healthy fat. I bought coconut oil, ghee, almond butter, etc.
It’s really too early for me to tell you if I feel like this change in eating has made any difference. I can tell you that when I ate the macaroni and cheese, my body didn’t much like me after. I can tell you that I’m much more conscience of what goes into my mouth. I’m also much more conscious of what’s in everything. I have perfected the art of hard-boiled eggs, minus one incident where I forgot I was cooking them. And I can tell you that I am relearning my way around the kitchen. Last night’s dinner was sausage, brussel sprouts and roasted butternut squash. It was one of the best meals I have had in a while. When the five-year old is mad that the leftovers are not in his lunch, you know it was good.
Stuffing food in my pockets.
Any how, I know I’m trying to walk the walk here. If I’m going to train as an athlete I’m going to eat like one. And that does not include everything in sight. This is a really big deal for me. I’m working hard. Stay tuned.
2) Speedwork. While I haven’t committed to a real full service type of training plan, I am following a running training plan at the moment. I figured it might be a good idea since I have aspirations of possibly running a November/December marathon. One of the nice parts about this plan is that it comes with a day of speed work each week. I’m two weeks in and honestly, I’ve loved having it back on the docket.
And I can report that with the increased running mileage I’m already seeing some benefits in my pace. At Sunday’s half-marathon (report to come), I managed to squeak out a 30 second PR for my half marathon time. Ok, 30 seconds is no big thing, but I didn’t really push hard during the course of the race. Honestly, I’m always too afraid to in anything of distance for fear that I’ll blow up. Any way. It was a PR at a distance that I haven’t done anything sub 10:00 miles since 2011. I’ll take that to the bank and work so that it’s the start of something great.
3) Swim. I am forcing myself way out of my comfort zone and I’m signing up for Master’s Swim. It has taken me two years to get truly comfortable in the water. And I am comfortable. My swim at Tahoe, despite the high altitude lack of breathing, was calm and relaxed. But now, I really need to work on what I’m doing so that maybe I won’t be so relaxed that my times make it look like I’m taking a nap out there. Once I get in the master’s program of my choosing, I am going to work hard to make it a priority to get to the pool twice a week. Yes, even when the snowflakes are flying. (I am saying this for myself right now. It is me that I have to convince to go the pool, even in the winter.) Again, I’m really hoping that spending some time here will increase my efficiency. I made so much mental progress in the swim this season that I want to keep that momentum moving forward.
4) I’m not putting my bike away. Every season ends with me celebrating about how my bike and the bike trainer can disappear for a number of months because I have no interest in seeing it and/or using it. Not the case this year. Already, the trainer is being put to use for a solid 60 to 90 minute trainer ride twice each week. Thus far, the workouts haven’t been all that structured, but again, this girl has goals. Right now the half iron that I’m eyeing for early season comes complete with some climbing. Oh and that Ironman that I’m signed up for, well we all know that Placid’s not flat right? So, some serious bike work will definitely be happening.
5) Strength. This is the last one for today’s list. I am definitely getting strength in. There’s a new gym facility that has just opened up down the road from my office. I’m hoping that if I can get there at least once a week for a lunch time work out, that I can supplement that with a trip to the gym for one of the many HIIT or tabata classes that they offer. Increasing leg strength is a big deal for me as again, I’m not biking on flat courses so I really need to work a plan for how I’m getting up those hills faster than I have before.
So this is my list. I’m starting over. I’ve moved outside of my comfort zone and truthfully, I’m ready to work. I may have said it before, but I’ve never been more determined than I am right now. I will go and I will get this. I am prepared to make it hurt… And I’m strangely excited about it.
Ok friends. I’ve hit the reset button. How about you?