Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I have discovered an interesting trend that seems to take place during the winter. It starts off usually in mid to late February, and shows up after the season opener for road races. It's called over-enthusiastic race registration.

For the past two years following completing the First Half Half Marathon in February, the adrenaline is flowing the veins. I feel the competitive drive motivating me to search for that next rush, my next race, my next adventure. For example, last year, Greg and I somehow decided that it made perfect sense to take advantage of a bargain for the Lifesport Triathlon series. It was a "seasons pass" of triathlons for $395. We pressed 'send ' on the registration, and voila! We were suddenly looking at completing four half ironmans between May and August, before completing IronMan Canada on August 29th. It was just plain silly. I had an awesome racing season, but I was pretty darn tired by the time November rolled around.

This year, the similar conversation emerged, and suddenly Greg and I are looking at the computer, suddenly rationalizing that racing the Oliver Half Ironman on June 5th is completely acceptable. After all, it's mid-February, that's enough time to train for 3 disciplines, right?

Fast forward to today, April 26th, and I have gone for my second bike ride of the season, a whopping 25.3km, and my butt hurts. I haven't driven by the pool, let alone step foot into it. And I am just 6 weeks away from Oliver. Am I nervous? Um, just *slightly*. Wondering what the heck I was thinking? Yup.

However, having completed five IronMans in five years, I have come to recognize that all hope is not lost. I have an amazing base with having just completed Boston. My legs respond fairly quickly to riding, since I have to ride up & down hills with living on the North Shore. The butt stops complaining after the 3-4-5th rides. The swim, well I will just leave that to my favourite website, Mr. SwimSmooth to help guide me with tips to improve my technique. (http://www.swimsmooth.com/) Besides, everyone knows in triathlon, that you don't win on the swim! ;-)

Having taken a full week off from training after running Boston, I am coming around to getting back into the swing of things for training. I live better overall when I have consistency and a schedule in my life. I tend to prioritize better, I sleep better and focus more. I have always found the whole recovery process following a marathon or an IronMan to be difficult, as the mind is already ready to go, but the body wants to rest. It's a constant battle and game of second guessing to determine when is it time to start training again. Start up too fast, and it's easy to get injured (speaking from years of clinic instruction and personal experience). Wait too long, and you have lost significant fitness. It's a fine balance.

In the meantime, I will ease my way back into training six days a week for triathlon. It's not the easiest thing to do, especially since the next six weeks are looking to be super busy. However, I will do my best to accommodate the challenges that may come up and find compromises. My motivation will be the profound sense of accomplishment when I know that I have completed the task for the day.

So I ask, what keeps you going to take that next step?


  1. I've never done a tri but I'm training for my 1st half in June and what keeps me going is that I know if I miss one workout the next one will be so much harder. I love to run but making time to get out there can be tough, but now that I've got a race to prep for you better believe I'm making it a priority :) I've found that making a list and sticking to a workout schedule works best for me, good luck!

  2. Thanks for the input Lily! I agree, I tend to do best when I implement the "schedule it, and it will happen" approach. I spent about 3 hours last weekend working out my workouts for the next 6 weeks. Good times! Good luck on your half Lily! Half marathons are so much fun!!!

  3. I've never been much for swimming either. I did lessons at the Crofton pool all the way to the gold badge... only to fail in the final test because my breast stroke wasn't good enough. That was the end of lengths for me!

    Being short sighted and unable to see five inches past my nose was another handicap. Remember how Mom used to go swimming with her glasses on?

    These days, I don't wear glasses and the only thing that keeps me out the of the pool is the dislike of the sticky chlorine feeling afterwards. It's just not my thing! But I live in a fish-family so I've spent lots of time lazing about in the shallow end anyways.

  4. Oh the Crofton pool!!! I remember collecting as many pennies as I could dig up so I could hang out there for many summer days! But I do recall a similar thing in working up to the silver level, and then failing because I stopped for a breath. I think a creepy guy at a pool in Burnaby also created a dislike for swimming too when we moved there.

    I agree that pools are still pretty stinky with chlorine and the race to get washed up following. I am thinking of checking out the ozonated pool that's 1km from home that would alleviate that problem.

    You certainly live in a fish family!