Training for Tuesday: In Limbo

Welcome to Training for Tuesday!
If you're new to this party, the rules are pretty simple: on the last Tuesday of each month, link up to tell my wonderful co-host Alyssa and me what you're up to - what health/fitness goals you're working toward, races you're training for, yoga poses you're trying to hit, new classes you've been attending at the gym, whatever. Grab a button, spread the love, scroll to the bottom and add your link, maybe even  make a new friend!
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It's been a busy past few months. Marathon training (be honest - who has made a drinking game out of how often that phrase comes up when you read this blog? I wouldn't blame you) took up a huge chunk of my time and energy, more than I realized when I headed into recovery week last week. I've never needed so much sleep!
At the beginning of the month I shared some goals for #4weeksfit that I felt like I needed to commit to in order to have a successful marathon. Here's how it went:
  • Go to bed by 11pm: I did this more nights than I had been previously. 
  • Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day: Getting my replacement Camelbak was exactly what I needed to get back on track with my water intake. I fill up my 1L bottle 3-4 times a day, easily. Related: I pee 10 times a day, easily.
  • Cut out alcohol until after Shamrock: Except for a couple times when I knew I would probably be drinking (like a brunch in DC with the girls), I stuck to this pretty well. I could already definitely tell the difference that not having a nightly beer or glass of wine made in the first week. Of course, I made up for all the alcohol I had been avoiding during my recovery week last week, but in general I feel better about cutting back. 
  • Make breakfast smoothies in the mornings: I did the best with this one! I crafted my perfect smoothie breakfast and now make it in the mornings and take it with me for when I get hungry later in the day.
  • Drink a recovery drink after workouts. So I estimated that before I drank some type of recovery drink about 5% of the time...now I might be closer to 25%. I just keep forgetting for some reason. I guess I need to put it in a more prominent place than my kitchen cabinet.
#4weeksfit helped me form some more positive habits, not only for my marathon but going forward as well. Now that the marathon is over, I have no big races coming up, and I'm feeling a little lost. "But wait," you say. "what about that half Ironman you were talking about?" Oof. Yeah. About that...

Registration for the race that I was planning on doing on September 20, the one I went allll the way to New Jersey to scope out (and bug Alyssa), was supposed to open in December. Nearly 4 months later it still hasn't opened - maybe this week, but I'm not holding my breath anymore. I chose that race because it was my best option for an Ironman brand race, something that was important to me for a long time. But my recent experience with Rock 'n' Roll left a bad taste in my mouth for big name race companies. I thought Ironman was different, and I still believe it is, but so far the Princeton race organization has been surprisingly sloppy. Course changes and subsequent permitting issues are the reasons for the delay, but the way it's being handled just doesn't sit well with me (nor with a lot of others on Facebook - Princeton 70.3's primary means of disseminating information - who have already ditched it for another fall race). At this point I can't even be totally sure that this race is even still happening. The race directors won't confirm it and it's not listed under USAT's (triathlon's governing body) sanctioned events for this year.

All of that hesitation combined with the fact that during Shamrock weekend, some of my tri friends brought up a different (non-Ironman) race - Beach 2 Battleship, in Wilmington, NC - they're doing in October has left me really unsure about what my plans are going forward. I had my heart set on Princeton and on my first HIM being the real thing, but I'm starting to loosen those requirements I had. I thought I wanted my first half iron distance tri to be an official Ironman race, but I'm starting to think that's not as important as it once was. No matter what race I do, I'll still cover the same distance, and I'll still be able to call myself a half Iron(wo)man at the end (except I won't because I'm saving any descriptor with the term "Ironman" in it for that day far off in my dreams when I don't have to qualify it with "half). Beach 2 Battleship makes a lot of sense for me in a lot of ways: it's not until mid-October, a full month after Princeton, which means more time to train and better chances of mild weather; I will save $100 by not having to pay for the IM premium; North Carolina isn't as far away as New Jersey; I will have friends also competing in the race; it's put on by a regional triathlon company, the same one that has put on most of the tris I've done in the past...the only part that doesn't make sense is that Alyssa won't be waiting at the finish line with Artichoke Pizza. But the biggest thing that seems to make sense to me is that, as much as I used to want that big, exciting experience for my first HIM, right now I think a smaller, more relaxed race is a better fit for me (and if RnR taught me anything, it's that I might not get the big experience I'd hoped for anyway). So, all I can say right now is that that I will probably be doing a half Ironman this fall, but not being able to say exactly where or when makes me extremely nervous.

And then there's the part where I spent last Saturday night coming up with a training plan that I'll probably never use, for an insane goal that's ridiculously lofty - even for me. But that's another story for another day.

I may not know what my race calendar looks like 6 months from now, but I do know what the next couple months look like. I recently accepted an internship that will have me living in Virginia Beach for the summer, meaning I will get to participate in some of my absolute favorite races!


May 23: Elizabeth River Run 10k
This is the definition of a hometown race for me. Half of it runs along my normal route (that is, before the route I routinely ran before I moved across the state last summer) and the second half runs along a beautifully scenic riverfront path around the Naval Hospital (which I don't usually get to run since it's closed to civilians). It's the perfect race. I ran a PR there last summer and I'm not sure if I could pull off another one this year, but I hope to get close.

May 31: Breezy Point Sprint Triathlon (750m swim/20k bike/5k run)
In 2013 this was my second-ever triathlon, and my first one with an open water swim. I was recovering from an injury at the time and didn't even plan on doing the race until 4 days prior - luckily registration was still open, and I was able to get a great deal on a wetsuit on eBay and have it overnighted just in time for rest day - so I'd like to think I have a much better shot this time around. I was signed up for it last year but it was canceled at the last minute due to military security issues (it's held on a naval base), so I'm excited to give it another go this year.

June 7: Jamestown Triathlon (1500m swim/40k bike/10k run)
Another great local race that rolls around before it gets too oppressively hot. This will make for 3 race weekends in a row, and I hope I'm up to the challenge. Last year when I raced this one I did a fun day-in-the-life style recap


July 18: Tidewater Sprint Triathlon (500m swim/10 mile bike/5k run)
This is my absolute favorite triathlon. I've only done it once, but I remember it being such a great time. It's short, fast, and a good time. Somehow I managed to set my then-5k PR when I raced it 2 years ago - yes, a run PR in July, during a triathlon. I'm still not sure how I pulled that one off. It was so hot that day but the race is held at a local beach and we celebrated after by pulling up some chairs on the powdery sand and having some beers. Perfect race day, if you ask me! I wasn't able to do this one last year either since I moved the week before and didn't know if I'd be able to make it back into town or not - turns out I could, but by the time I knew that, the race was sold out. I'll be securing my spot early this time!

As of right now I have no big goals for these races, and that's kind of how I like it. As fun as it is to set goals, work toward them, and reach them, I've done a lot of that over the last several months and I'm ready to just see how it goes. Triathlon season is my fun time, my happy place...since the courses and distances can vary so much and 2 races are rarely ever the exact same distance, and even the weather can make a big difference since things like wind hugely impact the swim and the bike, I don't put a lot of stock into my finishing times. I would like to see my run times get back to where they were a few months ago, after I got fast (for me) but before they took a hit when I started marathon training, but as long as I'm doing my best and having fun, I'll be happy. 

14 comments :

  1. Ooh, it's crazy to me how you have the first Tri in May, then that distance doubles one week later! It's like when you ran the RnR to prep for Shamrock. Do you feel that helps you prepare mentally for the bigger race? I'm inspired as always reading how ambitiously you approach your race calendar and goals! Keep it up pretty lady!

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  2. a tri! wow!! if only tris didn't have swimming, i'd be all over that. i can't swim for shit....unless they allow paddle boards or doggie paddling? :D

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  3. I will always be in awe of triathletes. Could I do one? Sure. I'm ABLE. But it's just something I've never really wanted to do, ya know? I'll just stick to running.

    But it seems like you've got some great races lined up! And can I just say, you look frickin' awesome in that last picture. Well, you look awesome in all of them, but you just look so STRONG in that last one.

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  4. ahh I think maybe one day I could do a sprint, maybe. They seem do-able, for me. Except for the whole I don't have a bike thing.
    Anywho.
    Yay!! Congrats again on your internship and being at Virginia Beach for the summer. So exciting! All these races sound so fun, makes me wish we had more races than we do. I'm in my element from May-August, but I guess most of the running community isn't a fan of running in 100 degree weather, haha.
    I love the last time - so true, and I hope it for you! :)

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  5. I'm so excited for you to get back on the bike and in the water, because I know how much you love triathlon! Hopefully it'll be a fun and nice change of pace (TOTALLY DIDN'T MEAN TO PUN, it just came out!) after marathon training for so long. (Also, how do you take such amazing race photos? Girl....) And hey, don't totally count me out for holding an Artichoke pie at the finish line. You never know.... ;)

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  6. First, can I just tell you that you're a cute runner? All the pics taken of me from the pro's on the course are... Ummmm... Not flattering. You look great out there! Secondly, I'm so impressed with your racing line up. You're seriously a kick ass chick. Hubs and I are looking into a stroller friendly 5k before it gets too hot here... You know, just one and a measly 5k at that! Finally, I'd also avoid the big race companies. They're for-profit so they under-staff to meet financial goals, and that leaves the runners with a big headache.

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  7. Look at all those triathlons! Go you!!!! Congrats on your internship! Sounds like you will be right where you need to be to complete all those events coming up. I have read a lot of people's comments about being out of marathon training right now and sort of feeling in limbo, I can imagine I would feel that way too! I say go with your gut on the Iron Man thing and do the NC one. I know you can rock it!

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  8. Maybe one of your other friends can have pizza waiting at the finish line next time ;) too funny. Girl, you're a beast and I think ANY "ironman" will be amazing. So cool to be able to accomplish that!! You've got a busy summer ahead of you :)

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  9. wow I cant believe such a big organization could be so sloppily organized! especially considering the prices participants have to pay. that would be so frustrating. doing a triathlon is definitely on my bucket list so I may go nosing through your archives for inspiration!

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  10. Did I just read three triathlons back to back. I scrolled back up three times to make sure I read the dates correctly as I was reading. I mean that is awesome. I can actually swim really well and the sprint might be ok but the bike would have me flopping a triathlon haha. You go girl I get so excited to read about your inspiration. Seriously you guys have given me so much motivation to get my ish together its not even a joke.

    I forgot to link up even though I had my post written so Ill post it tomorrow :)

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  11. Ugh. It's so discouraging when people can't get their ish together! Sorry you're experiencing that with the Ironman. We are partnering with a local running/event crew to host a fundraising 5k in June with my nonprofit organization and they STILL haven't told us what the route will be. It's frustrating.

    Also, kudos for setting a bedtime goal! Might have to borrow that one. :)

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  12. Dumb, random question. In your triathlon pictures, you've got the wetsuit and then the other outfit for biking/running. I'm guessing that's your own stuff and it's not provided to you, but how and where do you change? Where do your clothes go while you're swimming?

    P.S. It sucks that your race people are being flaky. But the breakfast smoothies sound good! I've been making green smoothies for a couple months now and I really like it, but I need to check out new recipes. I'm getting a little tired of the same taste all the time.

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  13. Congrats on your internship - looks like a fun summer ahead! I'll set an alarm each month to link up :)

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  14. You are seriously incredible. I hope you know that you inspire me and I'm sure TONS of other people by sharing your races, workouts, goals, etc. Congrats on the internship too, that is really exciting!! :) Thanks for linking up your #4weeksfit goals with us... I definitely need to do better about getting in bed at a good time.

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