Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Great Start – Bring on February

January is officially gone and which means only eleven more months to Christmas. Well OK, maybe that is a stretch but it would not surprise me to see the Christmas decorations out in stores before we even get to spring!  It gets earlier every year.
As I write this with much anticipation for the Super Bowl (actually if I was honest it’s not so much the game but enjoying one of the few days I put my diet to the side and enjoy the game like a real fan) reflection on what I have accomplished in the past 30 days in pursuit of my first IRONMAN 140.6 is in order.
My training plan is a 24 week plan that is broken down into segments that move you closer to the performing well at the race.  After a month of training, I am well ahead of schedule. Running the Dopey Challenge at Disney Jan 9-12 in close to PR form really gave me a boost to my training. I am blessed I finished the races injury free and recovered quickly so I was able to get right back to it.
With my running in good shape, my sights have been turned to swimming and biking, both of which are in good shape. I have already completed two, 2 mile swims and today I did 3.5 hours on the bike in our sunroom.  It’s still cold outside and I elect to get the majority of my training done early in the morning so as not to take away family time from May and Elli. It can be tedious but its good mental preparation, not to mention toughening up the old bottom.
While doing intervals and pushing big gears, my swimming has been strong as all the strength training is really starting to pay off. It’s tough to strength train three days a week. Most days I don’t want to do it but then I think about the Ironman and ask myself “How Bad Do I Want It?” and I get up and start pumping iron.  It’s all about perspective, motivation and leaning on God for direction and strength.
Add in 12,400 Ab Crunches and 9,300 pushups and 2013 is off to a great start. I have also been more focused on listening to my body.  With rather high training volumes and diverse training I am trying to gauge if I am just tired or “tired.”  Let’s face it, most days I don’t feel like getting up at 4:00 am but I have been listening to my body if this is normal early morning tired or is my body telling me I need more sleep.  I have learned the difference and am now flexible with my rest days accordingly which has been a huge help.
I have also been more focused on my dietary intake, eating more protein and eating more calories immediately after a workout and earlier in the day.  Getting fuel in my body as close to the end of a workout as possible has substantial positive benefits to recovery, which gives me stronger workouts and the ability to have two workouts a day, three days a week.
For February I am focused on my improving my swimming, getting more miles with interval work on the bike and keeping my running in good shape. I am going to do the Ashville Marathon at the Biltmore in late March and then focus on Rev3 Knoxville triathlon. Will need to get some cold water swims done in April and May and my goal is to swim Lake Windermere lengthwise which will give me 2-3 miles in open and cold water without the monotony of the pool.
Thanks for the support and here is to healthy, happy and injury free training and racing. Remember, you can do this, it all boils down to How Bad Do You Want It?

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