Monday, September 7, 2015

Timing is Everything

Isn't that what they say?

I had my heart set on Utra520K Canada (formerly Ultraman Canada) for 2016.   This is a HUGE 3-day event that would push me absolutely to my limits.   I really, really want to do this race and had it planned for next year.

Then, I had some medical issues this year that kept me on the sidelines throughout the entire triathlon season.  This was especially frustrating because I felt physically fine, but spent most of the summer having testing done, etc.  After a great discussion with Brian, we decided that the timing is not right for me to compete in Penticton next summer.  In my heart, I know this is the right decision.  My health and my family come first.  So, we mapped out a three year plan for me to get to Ultra520K Canada in 2018.  We'll have a much better understanding of where things stand with my health by approaching it this way.  And, it gives us plenty of time to plan for such a big event.

This led me to think about planning our races seasons.   I think often we develop tunnel vision with our athletic goals.  "I want to do an Ironman before I turn 40."  "I want to do a marathon next year."   But, what about long term planning and making sure all the pieces are there to allow us to be successful?

Things I would encourage all athletes to think about as they look toward their goals…

Am I truly ready to take on this physical event?  Do I have the skills and experience necessary to do it right?
There is NOTHING wrong with taking one or two more seasons to hone your skills, gain experience, shore up your weaknesses, etc.   You will likely have a better experience at your goal race in the long run.

Can I put the time/work in to complete my goal?     If you just had a baby, relocated to a new city, started a new job, have super busy kids' schedules with sports, etc, maybe the timing is just not right.  Everyone has a different family dynamic and only you can step back to decide if you truly can carve out the necessary time to train for your event without sacrificing TOO much along the way.

Is your body ready to train and race?  If you have been injured, ill, or in the case of many of my friends - just had a baby - allow your body to be truly healed. I have certainly made this mistake.  You're the only one who knows your body, so listen to it and allow it to heal when you need to!

The bottom line is that triathlon will always be there.    I fully intend to be on the starting line at Ultra520K Canada in 2018 as long as I get accepted.  But, I also know that a LOT can happen in three years.  So, we'll move forward with the plan and continue to be flexible when needed.

I guess sometimes chasing your dreams means pushing them out just a bit to get there, at least in my case!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I Don't Like to Exercise

"I will not climb Deer Creek.  I will not climb Deer Creek."

That was my mantra last weekend as I started up the bottom of Deer Creek Canyon on my way to catch the much-flatter C470 trail on my ride.  I LOVE climbing.  I LOVE Deer Creek Canyon.  But, I'm trying really hard to follow my doctor's orders.  No training. No racing.  I can "exercise".

Guess what?  Turns out I do not love exercising.

I love training.  I love racing.  I do not love exercising.  When I played tennis, I trained with the goal of doing my best in the next tournament.  Then, I did not play tennis in college, so I started exercising.  I only did this so I wouldn't gain the Freshman 15 pounds.  I succeeded in coming out of college a couple sizes smaller than I got there.  But, I did not love it.

Shortly after graduation, I took up running (thanks, Jill!!).  I tried my first 5k and was hooked!  And, once again, I started training.  First 5ks, then 10ks, then marathons, then triathlons.   I really enjoy racing.  I like the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment.  But, even more, I enjoy the training.  I love intervals, tempo work, hill repeats, long workouts.

But, for now, I'm not doing any of that.  I'm swimming a little…very easy.  I'm riding my bike…very easy.  I'm jogging.   And, I'm accepting that it's better than nothing.  So, I'll keep exercising.  Just so no one is shocked, I am doing a VERY tiny triathlon next week.  Not racing. Not racing.  Just a little exercise with friends that will take less than an hour.

When I get really down about missing this triathlon season, I remind myself that I have friends who are too sick or too injured to even exercise.   I know that things could be soooooooo much worse.

I miss my triathlon peeps.  If any of you want to swim, bike or run with me, let me know!  Just promise we'll go easy!   I'm going to be the best exerciser I can be right now in the hopes that I'll be the best triathlete I can be soon!