Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Race Report - 2013 Indoor Triathlon

This past Saturday was the first triathlon of the year, a mini, indoor version of the traditional swim/bike/run event hosted by Fitness Formula Clubs.  This was the first triathlon I ever did, back in 2011, so I've enjoyed doing it again this year and last to see my improvements over time.

It's also nice to get back into the swing of things by training for a tiny race like this.  The training routine is also bite-sized, perfect after being lazy over the holidays.  My goals this year were to improve my distances from last year, but also make a more conscience effort to push myself.  This triathlon setup is unique because instead of being distance-based, like outdoor races, the legs go for a set amount of time and the distance each participant travels in that time are recorded.  The swim is 15 minutes, the bike is 20 minutes, and the run is 15 minutes.  Training for a time frame instead of a distance makes it a little easier to push yourself- instead of thinking "so many more miles to go", it's "how much faster can I go in the remaining time?"

Anyway, I'm pretty good at maintaining a slow, steady speed over distances but I'm not so great at sprinting.  My swimming is still suffering because I'm still not good at it.  I think I'm one of those people who isn't meant to swim well, like Nemo with his little fin.

Swim distance: .33 miles
This was a little disappointing, but given that I've only been in the pool about 5 times this year, not surprising.  I should really be at around .4 or more miles for this time.  Still better than last year, by .03 miles!

Bike Distance: 6.75 miles
I was really hoping to get this closer to an even 7 miles, but I had a bit of a false start on the dumb stationary bike and that threw me off by about minute.  I think if I'd practiced getting 7 miles in 20 minutes a few more times, I would've nailed it.  I really tried to push myself here, though, and aside from the first minute, I don't feel I left anything on the table.  This distance was up .34 miles from last year.

Run Distance: 1.52 miles
My average run pace has been pretty slow (about 13:00+ minute miles) for the past year.  I had two back to back injuries that kept me from fulfilling my running potential last year, and I finally feel like I'm gaining some speed.  Running an average 10 min mile for 15 minutes is kind of a huge deal for me.  That was my goal for this race and I nailed it!  This distance was up .15 miles from last year.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this race.  Oh, I almost forgot- it was a small event and I was the only one competing in my age/experience group, so I got first place (and, technically, last place, but glass is half full!)  Once again, proof that showing up is sometimes all it takes!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Goals for 2013

It's telling that it's taken me 2 months to put together a list of goals for 2013.  And this probably going to change over the course of the year, but I kind of have to get going now, and here's why.

I believe in the saying that you need to picture yourself where you want to be or what you want to be and then work backwards to find out how to get yourself there.  There is no destination without a journey, right?  I'm not sure which is harder to figure out sometimes, the destination or the path. 

Here's my list of what I'd like to do this year, both specific and a bit more nebulous:
- Run a half-marathon Done. I'm going to do a few more though.
- Complete the Steelhead 70.3 Half Ironman
- Refocus my energy on my small business
- Knit more- including knitting my first pair of socks
- Continue clean eating, specifically the paleo diet
- Train with Team to End AIDS for the Chicago Marathon
- Possibly take a big trip for my 30th birthday, funds permitting

The thing is, some of these destinations, like the 70.3, require a commitment and a road map that start now.  I've had a hard time dragging my butt to the gym over the past few months.  I had to quit my old gym and subsequently my personal trainer due to financial restraints and that kind of sucked the motivation out of me.  I gained weight back and now I'm feeling a little lost in my skin.  But as soon as I made the decision to print off Week 1 of a half-iron training program, I immediately felt more confident in my decision.  I can do THIS.  I can do Week 1 of training, starting now.  I can do Week 2 and 3, and who cares what Week 4 looks like right now, because I'll deal with it when I get there.  20 weeks worth of calculated training is daunting, but Week 1 is alright.

The journey of 70.3 miles starts with a few icy steps.