Good morning Fit friends,
I have done a lot of reflecting about my training and my races this year. There were some great times, some hard times, and some pretty darn ugly times.
- I Survived!!!! – First and foremost all that should matter is that I survived IM training. I didn’t give up, I didn’t quit, I didn’t fail. I started this journey about one year ago and I completed it!
- Targets were reached – I set specific goals for myself this year – sub 7 hour 70.3, sub 15 hour 140.6. I met both of those goals and surpassed them!!!
- I had fun – I was excited about my training almost every single day. I smiled a lot during training. I felt proud of my workouts. I truly can say I enjoyed the experience!
- I made it through the entire training and racing season uninjured!- I am quite surprised that by the time IMLOU came along that I wasn’t nursing an injury. When I look at the volume I put out each and every week its a bit shocking not have had my body break down. Especially considering that I really tend to neglect “recovery” other than nutrition and sleep.
- New Friends – One major benefit to my training this year is all the new friends I have made through the Tri Mafia and social media. Those people really made an impact on my training and my life!
- New records – A big benefit of training for new distances is that almost every weekend you are smashing a new record – that makes you feel like a total Badass!
The Hard –
- Training alone – that was hard. Not having a local coach or a tri team to push me was a challenge. I completed 90% of my workouts alone and that got lonely.
- Traffic – I wanted to ride more frequently to work, but really felt that it was unsafe to ride at peak times on our local highway 125. Same goes for Saturday rides down the 105. Traffic scares me – end of story.
- 6 miles of road – yup 6 short miles out to Starret, 6 miles back. That makes for a long long day of riding loops to complete a century ride. It got old fast which made it a hard day.
- Remote living – I know I keep coming back to this, but its super hard living in the middle of no where. The 5 hour drive to my LBS makes it tricky to get a tune up. 5 hours to a running store makes GU purchases hard too.
- Friends – this one pertains to my old friends. I missed out on a lot of social engagements. Early bird workouts left me exhausted. Long rides on Saturday meant no Friday night parties.Eventually my friends just stopped calling. Although I would have said “no thanks” anyways, it was still really really hard to be out of the loop. When we’d get together I no longer fit in….
The Ugly –
- Chafing, blisters, and body soreness – While I didn’t suffer from any injuries I most certainly suffered from complete body fatigue and pain. There were days when I could barely lift my arms to undress for the shower. Once in the shower I would quickly discover all the places that were raw and chaffed. No amount of body glide or chamois cream could solve these issues for me. I just to suck it up and face the pain.
- Hateful internet trolls – not everyone is nice, I had my share of hatefulness on this journey. That was a pretty ugly time for me….
- GI distress – My stomach is sensitive on a good day. Throw in 6 hours of Gu, and sugary electrolyte drinks and things get ugly. I really struggled at Calgary 70.3 I was so miserable at the end I didn’t even enjoy the post race. I tried to solve the issue for IMLOU, but it turns out that a Gatorade, Infinite, Red Bull, and Chicken Broth cocktail in your belly is not a good thing. My post IM night was down right UGLY!!!
- Technology fails – This may not be that ugly to someone other than a triathlete. But when you have been out on the road riding 13 mile loops ALL DAY LONG and you are at 97 miles aiming for 100 and your battery on your Garmin fails and you lose all your data. Add in a sub- par nutrition plan and your day is completely ruined. Riding a century is a big deal! Not being able to brag about it on Strava is devastating!
Looking back on this amazing year of mine – I have way more good things than bad or ugly.
I am so very happy with how my training and racing turned out. I am flooded with JOYFUL memories! I still smile daily thinking about all I have accomplished in such a short amount of time! The negatives – those can be fixed! I am still working on finding the right nutrition. I went out and bought a new Garmin 920XT – no more battery let down!
I can pin point exactly where I need to improve in order to PR my next race and I am targeting those weakness during the off – season.
My friends have welcomed me back into our social circle with open arms! My family still loves me. My new Tri friends are still there to talk power and threshold.
And my memories and pride will last a life time ….
I went from a newbie tri mama to an IRONMAN in three short seasons! That my friends is worth all the bad and the ugly!