It has been a month since my big race, the glow has faded somewhat, and reality has set in. The grind of daily life has ramped up, and I have found myself struggling to figure out how I was able to fit 9-10 hours of training in each week for 4 months amid all of the chaos swirling around me. From my current vantage point, it seems impossible to undertake such an ambitious goal as I did, and it makes me feel tremendous mommy guilt. A natural feeling, I suppose.
The best thing I can do for my family and myself is to keep pushing forward. In the three years since I began running and racing, I have changed in such a fundamental way and it has been all for the better. Sure, I have lost weight from my thighs, my arms, my tummy. Even more important, though, has been the weight that has been lifted from the places that nobody can see. I am physically and mentally stronger than I have ever been in my life, and I see no options other than to keep moving forward and to keep getting stronger.
I am ready to race again, but I know that my body needs a break. I've been swimming and running (still not ready to hop back on the bike), working out about 4 times a week. Core training and yoga are creeping their way back in to my routine, and all I can say about that is YOWCH! Take my advice, don't stop working on your core for 11 months.
I have outlined very specific fitness and racing goals for 2014, and none of them involve a Half or a Full Ironman race. Those days will come again in the not-too-distant future, I just need to have the time and energy to devote to those huge physical and mental undertakings. But, for now, I am looking to get faster, to improve and even perfect to a degree my short distance racing because, as slow as my time was at IM 70.3 Augusta, I really feel like my body and temperament are more cut out for long distance racing. So, my challenge for 2014 is to conquer the short distances, and to feel fast. And maybe see a podium finish here and there.
2014 Fitness Goals
1. To run a 25 minute 5k. That's an 8:02 min/mile pace, folks. Not exactly Usain Bolt territory, but lightning fast in my mind.
2. To run a 53 minute 10k. An 8:31 pace. For me, that's equivalent to breaking the sound barrier.
3. A sub-3 hour Olympic triathlon. I'm planning on racing at St. Anthony's next April, which is where I did my first Olympic distance. It didn't turn out so well for me, I died on the run. Training for the race might have helped. This time around, I plan on training long and hard. 2:59:59 is fine with me.
4. A podium finish in a Sprint triathlon. I won my age group once at a sprint triathlon. It was beginner's luck, and all of the fast people were obviously racing elsewhere that day. This time, I want to RACE and I want to EARN that podium spot honestly.
5. To get stronger on the bike. This is a bit ambiguous, but being that I am consistently at the bottom of the list in the bike department, I have nowhere to go but UP! Strength training and long rides will be on the agenda in the coming year.
6. To join a Master's swim team. This is a big one. I have the opportunity, I have the means, now I just have to work up the courage to submit myself to a coach for the first time in a really long time. I just hope she goes easy on me. Well, not too easy. Otherwise, what's the point?
I would love to hear some of your fitness goals! None are too small and all are big!