Training Update & Whatever else

SO, I had to re-do my marathon training plan so as not to stress out my achilles tendon issues.  I haven’t felt anything in 2 weeks, so hopefully I’m not getting too aggressive with training.  It also means I won’t do as many long runs as I would’ve liked to prep for this thing–and if the ache comes back, it’s probably a sign to not run the marathon after all.  This bums me out, of course, but I know I’d much rather have a great triathlon season than run a marathon injured & be out for another 6 months.  But I have high hopes, new amazing running shoes (went for really light racing flats–the extreme cushioning & insoles in my previous shoes were becoming too much for me), and a revamped training plan that will hopefully get me to the starting line feeling great.

Instead of those annoyingly long training runs, today I went 35 miles on my bike–which felt great!  I’m still fairly new to the bike, which means gains in speed/endurance are still coming pretty easy to me.  30-35 miles seems like a decent workout, but 2 years ago I was totally wiped out from trying the distance (and it took much longer)–I couldn’t believe I traveled that far.  So I look forward to some great 40 mile rides this season (don’t need much more than that since my bike rides in the races are about 26 miles)–and those terrible hills.  My handling skills on the bike are much better, but man, those last 5 miles I could definitely tell it was a long ride.

I had a perfect workout week this week.  I don’t usually have a really regimented training plans.  Those don’t work for me because I’d much rather ask myself, “what do I feel like doing today? What do I need?” & that usually works out to a fairly balanced week.  But since I’m trying not to run too far, I really had to sit down and add up my miles per week, etc–& make sure that those runs don’t happen one after another.  So I wrote them up on my white board & somehow, all of them happened.  2 workouts in the gym with my trainer, 2 bike workouts, 2 run workouts.  The hardest part is getting the bike in on the weekday because I don’t like riding on the streets at night (even with my lights)–so I have to race home & jump on the bike–and for some reason, getting that motivation is insanely difficult for me.

Nutrition has been a huge improvement for me this month.  I did bring my lunch to work everyday–which meant healthy, unprocessed meals.  Now I’m still not great at it, so it also meant lots of rice & beans—but hey, it’s a big step.  And for the most part, I ate that way at home…adding in 2 snacks a day to keep me eating (never a problem for me, i eat ALL the time anyway)–and making sure to eat before and after workouts.  I still cheat all the time– chocolate, too much peanut butter, occasional chips, occasional alcoholic drinks–and so I’m not sure what the next “change” I would like to make to my diet.  I look exactly the same, which is fine–I’m mostly looking to FEEL better & have as much energy as possible throughout the day (at work and while training) & that has definitely improved.

I wonder sometimes why this training and racing excites me so much.  I get giddy every time my racing magazines come in (Runner’s World, Bicycling, Triathlete).  I never thought a hobby could be so engaging for such a long period of time, but it’s like this little secret community I’m in–sure people know I do it, but it’s still kind of private for me.  I mostly like working out by myself.  I have no problem traveling to races solo.  Sure, I love it when people become a part of it & are invested like me–but it’s not what gets me into it.  It very much seems like my own thing, and I like that.  Also, I of course have a secret desire to get really really good at it.

But what else?  I have been hibernating for a couple of weeks & have loved it.  I think this happens to me at some point after the holidays–because the whole month of December involves social activities, family, friends, travel, etc–and there’s nothing I love more in January than to retreat to my room with as many good books as I can find & just read read read–and nerd out on the internet (you know, hanging out way too long on the Runner’s World forums).  I almost have to pull myself out of this world because it is SO inviting (and gives me plenty of time to do things like…laundry), but tonight I return to the real world via karaoke night.  Ha, the only thing that could get me out of the house!!!

And so I made way too many plans (3 social activities! gag!) for tomorrow, but I’m actually excited about each (well–the last one is a date, so my only hope for that one is that  it isn’t as painful as my dreadful September Date–I don’t even remember that guy’s name, but man, I will never forget the evening)…and then some weekday plans & then a Big Bear trip next weekend–so jumping back into life & totally ok with that.  I used to worry about myself, staying home on weekends, not wanting to go out…but the truth is, I love my weekend mornings too much to sacrifice them to late nights.  And now that my sleep is more sound than it has been in 10 years (10 years! my goodness!), I don’t wanna go disrupting it with too much alcohol or staying up past my bedtime.  Boring, maybe?  Well, not if you were on that bike ride this morning.  2 1/2 hours of pure fun, adrenaline, beauty, etc (except for that one guy yelling “YOU’RE WELCOME!!!” after he stopped completely to allow me to go past him–though there was plenty of room for both of us–me and my aggressive bike-riding personality–said sarcastically “THANK YOU!!!”).  Anyway, getting older is not about becoming a dud who can’t stay up past midnight.  For me, it’s about allowing myself to be more of who I am–less of who I’m supposed to be.  And I didn’t know it would actually feel this great!  I’m a super nerd & now I am OK with that.  I have no need to be as cool as you.  But I’ll still occasionally put on some skinny jeans & high heeled boots & sing some Dolly Parton–it’s as close as it gets.

My adorable niece turns 3 next Friday :).  I need to plan a trip to Denver really soon!  Have a great weekend–go out and party if that’s your thing, but don’t be surprised to see me leaving the party at 9pm.  I have this book to read you know, and my space heater is so inviting.

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