Saturday, October 29, 2011

How Am I Doin'?

For most folks, assessing their goals for the year just passed takes place at the end of that year; that way, the slate is wiped clean for Jan. 1. Since my training year has essentially ended, I thought this would be the perfect time to see how I did.
I laid out 10 goals at the beginning of 2011, and I met 7 of them. Not too bad, but room for improvement looms as large as an Olympic-sized pool.
I celebrate these successes: Curtail drinking. Wine is my friend; wine is my enemy. I really like a Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. I wanted to use my Oct. 20 surgery as a turning point. How could I possibly boast of improved nutrition, when fermented grape juice was part of the equation? I stopped drinking liquor in college and hardly touch beer (unless it's a really hot summer day), so it makes sense that wine was next. This is a struggle I know will continue, my father's alcoholic tendencies partially to blame.
Speaking of nutrition, I improved there, adding more protein to my diet. A problem I continue to have, though, is swallowing a huge vitamin every day. Not only do I taste it for hours, but I wonder if I really need to take it, based on reports I hear and read. I did better with Vitamin D, especially important to a petite white woman with a diagnosis of osteopenia. I enjoyed competing in different races/different places, something I hope to continue. Yoga: Once a week; no problem there! Strength training: twice a week; ditto! Lose 5-10 pounds: I lost 6 of the pounds that piled on during my last surgery recuperation, so I consider that a success.
Now for where I still need to improve:
Run another marathon. That just wasn't going to happen in 2011, much as I wanted it to, and honestly I'll have to think long and hard if the effort and wear and tear on my body will be worth trying in 2012. A corollary to that is to run 35 miles a week. My thought was to compromise between a pedestrian 25 miles and ridiculous 50 miles (necessary to train for a marathon). Again, a possible goal for 2012. Swim 4 times a week; I got up to 3. Time is the enemy of the triathlete who works full-time, raises a family and wants to sleep 8 hours a night.
As for the last, the portion of my training that receives the most neglect: rest/recover. I had hoped to do nothing every 10 days but I found myself sneaking in an easy swim or light weight workout on that vital day. I really, really need to improve there.
So there you have it. Soon I will write about 10 goals for 2012. But first, a nap.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Long-Range Planning

It's been awhile since my last post. Guess I have been feeling melancholy at my physical breakdown at the end of race season. My left foot wouldn't let me run much past an hour or 6-7 miles, and I didn't see any reason to push it, other than stupid pride. One of the smartest moves I made was to drop out of the ARC half marathon because my foot just wouldn't let me continue.
Looking back at my 2011 race results, it is pretty obvious where I wasn't putting in the work. Not that I didn't want to, but I just couldn't. On Oct. 20, my awesome podiatrist, Dr. William Dutch, removed the bunion on my left foot, cleaned out the mess of arthritis he found and tried to salvage what he could, knowing what my plans are for 2012 and beyond. It's nice to have found a doctor who respects you, and does his best to get you healthy enough to do what you want with your ever-precious feet.
I am on crutches for four weeks, then gradually transitioning back into shoes. Physical therapy is inevitable, a pain, but it reaps benefits. I would love to run next year's, but I doubt I can handle 10 miles by May 6.
Facing my 51st birthday in April, I am trying to be realistic about what my body can handle, knowing full well that you can train it to do just about anything. I enjoyed volunteering at this year's, and intend to run that race next year, damn it!
So, here are my goals for 2012:
1. Start swimming by Jan. 1.
2. Start running by Feb. 1.
3. Back to yoga, as soon as possible. I find that the older I get, the more flexibility I lose; hence, the joys that are yoga.
4. Start biking as soon as the weather allows.
I have already registered for a half-ironman triathlon, Aug. 19, in Michigan, Dr. Dutch assures me I will have plenty of time in with training so I can compete. So I am planning my races leading up to that tri, a few sprints and an Olympic distance before the big 70.3.
With both feet finally fixed, I anticipate making big strides with my training, and having quality seasons each year from now on.
The bottom line is I love to compete; I love seeing my friends; and I love finding out what my body is capable of. The challenge is part of the appeal, feeling sore the next day means my body worked hard, and the few days rest gives me a chance to reflect on my effort and look forward to the next training challenge.