Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's Your Goal?

Let me start by saying this blog post can apply to anyone out there. You don’t have to be a runner or triathlete for this to hit home. I have always been the type of person that needs a goal. I need a challenge or I don’t seem to be content. With 2011 coming to an end I am starting to think about next year. I am also reflecting on 2011. This was a pretty good year for me. I had a PR (personal record) in a Half Ironman and a Full Ironman. My PR at Miami 70.3 was a total time of 5:18. My previous best time was at the Honu Half in Hawaii at 5:21. I had a PR for an Ironman in Texas. My time was 11:41. My previous PR was at Ironman Arizona at 12:11. In addition to my two PR’s I started dating someone who is also a triathlete. It was pretty difficult for me to find someone who could keep up with me but Michael had done a great job! Not all my races were great races in 2011. In fact my first race of the season in February was one of my worst races. I had one of my slowest times for a Half Ironman in Costa Rica. My time was close to 7 hours. I had traveled all the way to Costa Rica to have a horrible race. I ended up getting sick a week before the race. The doctor said I shouldn’t go. With everything paid for I went and raced. I had a respiratory infection and asthma. It was difficult to start my season with a bad race. I had another Half Ironman in April so hopefully I could redeem myself and get my confidence back. I went into this race with only a few expectations. It was a training race for my Full Ironman in May. I wanted to have a good run for this race. I took it easy on the bike and swim. It worked because my run was one of my best. I placed 1st in my age group and got my confidence back. The second race was perfect for rebuilding my confidence going into my Ironman.
My 2012 race schedule is already set. It looks like this:
  • January - Phoenix Marathon  
    • My goal here is to PR with a 3:35 however 3:30 would be great!
  •  February – Panama 70.3
    •  My goal is to PR at 5:15 however 5:10 would be awesome! A secondary goal would be to qualify for 70.3 Championships in Las Vegas. This could be tough depending on the competition.
  •  April – Rage Half
    • This is just a training race for my full Ironman in Texas
  •  May – Ironman Texas
    •  My goal is to PR at 11:30
  • July – Escape from Alcatraz
    •  My goal is to beat my previous time at this race
  •  October – Pumpkinman Half Ironman
    • My goal is to beat my previous time at this race
  • November – Roth Challenge Full Ironman Distance in South Africa
    •  I don’t really know what to expect here. I am doing this race because my boyfriend is from South Africa and wants to do it.
How will I get faster next year? What is my plan? I have already started to incorporate a few things into my training that will help me get faster.
  • Running – I will alternate track/hill workouts into my training. I have previously done very little of this ( I really hate speed work)
  • I am swimming with a group (masters) once a week and other days I usually swim with clients. Previously I mostly swam alone. Swimming with others will push me out of my comfort zone.  
  •  Running with others. I run a lot with my boyfriend and sometimes with other clients. This tends to push me a little harder. Previously I did most of my training solo. 
  •  My diet (although still not perfect) has improved. I have added much more veggies into my diet. The antioxidants from more veggies will certainly help with recovery. I have added more protein for recovery. Most of these changes are thanks to the good influence of my boyfriend who is a much better cook than me.  
  •  More stretching and foam rolling. I definitely slacked on this last year. 
Hopefully I did not bore everyone to death with my plan for next year. So remember when I said that planning for 2012 could apply to everyone not just triathletes and runners? Everyone needs to have a goal. As you go into a new year it is a great time to set a goal. I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions but I love goal setting! Everyone had some successes in 2011 and some failures in 2011. It is time to reflect on both and learn from both. Believe it or not I learned some things from my bad race in February. I learned that I could do almost anything I set my mind to. I was really sick and wanted to quit that race many times throughout that day. I didn’t quit and I was proud of myself for that. I could have easily quit and nobody would have thought I was weak. Let’s face it I was pretty sick. I learned some of the challenges my clients face when they are out there racing for almost 7 hours. I was very humbled. Hopefully from any failures you had during 2011 you learned some things about yourself. Hopefully what you learn will help you achieve your goals in 2012.
Start thinking about your goals for 2012 and your plan to make them happen. Make sure you write your goals and the plan to achieve them. Verbalize those goals to important people around you. I have just verbalized mine to a lot of people! Make sure your goals are realistic. I would love to do a 10:30 Ironman race but that is not very realistic being that my fastest time is 11:41. If you are trying to lose weight set a short term and long term goal for the year. If you want to lose 50lbs in 2012 that is great. However a year is a long time and you may lose focus throughout the year with one broad goal. Break your goal into 3 month segments. Each segment should have specific steps to help you lose your weight. This will help your eating habits become more of a lifestyle. Don’t think about what you have to give up. Think about what you have to add to your diet to become a healthier person.
Your goals for 2012 may be totally different than what my goals are but hopefully they will make you a healthier and happier person in 2012.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

It’s Over Now What?

Today I finally felt like I was getting back to normal after my half ironman on Sunday.  I did the Miami 70.3 – 5 days ago.  Normally I get back into the pool a few days after any race.  I take it easy but I always get moving right away. I do this after any event even an Ironman.  This race was different.  We made it a very quick trip to Miami and when I returned I couldn’t seem to get enough sleep.  Between the jet lag, race and the end of the season I was tired. We got back early Monday morning and I went to work that afternoon.  I didn’t sleep well while in Miami and it all caught up to me!   Having no energy is a very weird feeling for me. I am always on the go and full of energy.  I rarely go more than one day without some type of exercise.  Today I finally got into the pool for an easy swim.  It felt great to get moving.  After I write this I plan on going for a short run with my dogs.  This week will be easy.  I don’t have any more races for 2011.  My race season for 2012 is going to begin early in the year with the Phoenix Full Marathon in January.  My training for that will begin next week.  My season for next year is already planned.  I am doing the following races for 2012
·         January – Phoenix Marathon
·         April – Rage Half Ironman
·         May – Ironman Texas
·         June – Escape From Alcatraz
·         October – Pumpkinman Half Ironman
·         November – Roth Challenge South Africa
It is that time of year to start planning your 2012 race season.  You will need to choose what races are your A races and what races will be B and C races.  B and C races will be used for training for your A race.  The A race(s) are the most important races for the year.  You should not have all your races A races however you can have 2-3 A races. 
Now that your season is over don’t slack on the discipline that you don’t like to do.  Many people stop or limit doing what they don’t like to do.  So many people stay out of the pool in the winter because they like swimming the least and because it’s cold outside.  Get your butt in the pool!  This is a great time of year to work on developing your technique.  If it is too cold to ride outside get some Spinnerval DVD’s and do some work on your indoor trainer.  Limit or eliminate the spin classes in the gym and do work on your trainer if you can’t ride outside.  This will be much more beneficial for your upcoming race season.  Now is also the time to think about getting a triathlon coach if you don’t already have one.  Many people wait until a few months before their race to get a coach.   Your coach needs this time to get to know your strengths and weaknesses.  This is a great time to get a coach and set your season up to be a successful one.