Happy January, people! I have not been wallowing in my off-season since last I wrote a blog post, but it’s a near thing.
I did the half marathon back in November as a fun run with The Accomplice, who was coming off a broken foot injury, and we had a grand ol’ time run/walking at the back of the pack. Turns out when you walk a lot at the beginning and run a bit faster during the run intervals you a) have a lot more energy at the end of the race & it doesn’t become a death march, and b) average an overall time that is only 30 seconds slower than the time you had when you tried to Very Seriously run the entire race while injured the year prior. *ahem*
I have been busy making 2014 plans. This is the year of the half Ironman! I swear! This time! For realsies! I’ve signed up for Eagleman 70.3 at the beginning of June as my “A” race for the early season. And, perhaps more importantly, I’ve decided to stop faffing about with my attempts at making my own training plans, and instead have enlisted the help of a coach. The past efforts at coaching myself in this sport haven’t yielded anything but frustration, injury, and absolutely no improvement over my first year performances, so I decided to try something different.
I’ve got a lot of thoughts about the new coaching process, which I will talk more about in a separate post. I’ve been on sports teams my entire life, but this is the first time I’ve been individually coached (at least with the expectation that it would last for more than a few weeks) and I was surprised to find there’s a bit of a learning curve to it.
Meanwhile, I’m reveling in the fact that I’m actually doing 90% of my workout and that post off-season feeling of How Do I Do This Sport Again? is slowly ebbing away.
My biggest goal this year (besides finally making it to the finish line of a 70.3 race, which is still a big goal) is consistency. Looking back at my training over the years, I realized I haven’t had a 6+ month stretch of training consistency since my first year in 2010 and it’s no wonder I get nowhere fast. So I’m making it a priority this year. And, I realize that sounds basic and obvious, but well, it can’t be that basic and obvious if I haven’t been good at doing it for 3 years.
Strength training–with actual weights and shit–will also become a priority. I’ve been reviewing my run form and thinking hard about the bits of me that consistently hurt, and I think strength training is still probably my biggest missing link. I’ve got a lot of muscle imbalances and wonky parts, and as the muscle imbalances get worse I’m getting even more wonky parts in response. I’m going to have to balance myself out and fix a few of my muscle weaknesses if I want to do well this year and succeed in that consistency goal.
I could navel gaze forever about what my issues are, but overall, I’m feeling optimistic and am looking forward to 2014. Here’s hoping that optimism carries me through my worst winter months (especially the dreaded February & early March) and keeps me strong into the spring.
Happy training (or not training, if that’s your preferred thing; I don’t judge)!