I was running on Christmas Day from in-laws' house to my parents' house and it hit me, kind of like it hit me last November when I realized I wasn't going to be running Chicago, but this year I was hit "hard"-
I'm going to attempt a Half Iron Man- Goal: Pigman 1/2 Ironman August 17, 2014. What does this mean- I'm going to be running, swimming and biking a lot this year. The race itself will be totally challenging: Distances: Swim (2112.00 yards) Bike (56.00 miles) Run (13.10 miles) , but as I know from marathon training it isn't the race it is all the work/training you do before the big day.
Before I get too excited there are a couple of things I need to get done...
1. Don't have a bike to ride- so went and did a little bike shopping with hubby and found a great deal at local bike shop back home. I went with a Trek Lexa S (it is the starter of the series). I tried the other bikes in the series and they just were too big for me or I didn't like the components. I was super intimidated to try a road bike- the tires are so thin and the bike is so light. However, I got on the bike I ended up buying first and felt totally comfortable. So now the bike problem is taken care of- just have to learn to ride :).
2. Joined a tri club in our town. This will help me meet people who have much more practice and experience in triathlon racing/training. Second- great perks- discounts at all the great riding, racing stores around town, and group events (i.e. spin classes I can go to without having to join that specific gym). So my issue with trying to figure out how to up my mileage on the bike in winter is going to be taken care of with the addition of classes I can go to weekly with other triathletes.
3. Swimming- I'm an o.k. swimmer, but if I am going to spend time and money on training and racing I want to know that I am swimming correctly. For instance, I know I should be breathing on both my right and left side, but I really only breath on my right (meaning I turn my head to the right every time I take a breath). I also have gotten into the pattern of breathing every stroke, which I don't think is swim etiquette or efficient. So I know I need to take lessons or at least have swim evaluation- enter another great benefit of joining the tri club. I posted a question about whether there are any coaches/swim events up coming. I missed a swim clinic they had a month ago, but one of their main administrators teaches swim lessons so hubby an I are being "evaluated" in couple of weeks. I'm super excited because both of us have wanted to do this and it will so help our swimming and training.
4. I don't have any problem following training schedules- I've really become acclimated to working out 6 days a week, but this is going to be a whole different sort of training- some days 2 a day workouts. So in order to stay on track I will follow a training plan. Super Simple Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Training Plan - Triathlete.com Is the one I think I'm going to follow. Matt Fitzgerald has put together what looks like a "doable" 16 week training plan. Since the tri isn't until August I will however, not be sitting on my duff. I plan to do some races prior to that one- hopefully a 1/2 marathon in May, sprint tri in June, and sprint tri a few weeks before the 1/2 IM.
5. Last, but not least, I figure if I am going to spend all this time and money on training for my ultimate goal of 1/2 IM this year I should probably put a little more effort into eating/fueling my body better. I've decided that I'm going to try a 21 day Detox- no it isn't one of those weird drink green tea all day long diets, but instead is based on eating "colorfully". Teresa Howes of http://teresamariehowes.com/ - her blog Eat.Drink.BeSkinny, offered the 21 Day Color You Skinny Detox. I liked her approach to nutrition, because she states right off the bat that you can have your coffee, dessert and adult beverages, but you have to make decisions on the kinds of "treats" and portion of these items. I also like her because she seems real to me- she is training for the Boston Marathon right now- so isn't just all "eat healthy", but incorporates exercise 6 days a week into her Detox. I've done some of her 30 day challenges and have enjoyed the challenge. The Detox is going to be interesting, but I really feel like if I'm going to strive for the 1/2 IM I need to have all the extra help/fuel I can get.
That said- I'm off to bed to try and get back on a normal sleep schedule. I've been staying up late and sleeping in the last 5 days that I've taken off from working out. It has been good to sleep in and stay up late, but my energy has been low and I attribute that to lack of exercise and my sleeping pattern. Tomorrow is back to the normal routine. I've had two weeks off work, have pretty much drank a 1/2 pot or more of coffee a day (it is so easy to drink tons of coffee when hanging out with our family-also easy to drink adult beverages too), and eaten/drank like you would have thought it was the last meal of my life- several days/nights in a row. Ready for 2014!