In the Works for 2011

Last June I did my first triathlon.  It was a sprint distance tri and I had a lot of fun, even though I was pretty slow.  Unfortunately, I was dealing with my first IT band injury last spring so I was only able to start running again a couple of weeks before the race, but it did get me swimming and biking since I couldn’t run.  Plus, my race was in June and I was in school until the end of May, which meant I had very limited training time.  I finished, but I’d like to get faster.  Who doesn’t, I suppose?

While I enjoy working out (most of the time), I like to have goals to help keep me on track and committed.  Last year, I signed up for the June sprint triathlon and a half marathon in September.  While I wasn’t able to run the half marathon due to an IT band injury I sustained as I started my taper (weird, right?), I ran, biked, swam, and lifted weights all summer long and really increased my fitness.  I wasn’t in school, so I had more free time, but having goals also kept me from sloughing off workouts when maybe the weather wasn’t perfect or I just wanted to hang out on the couch.

With motivation in mind, I’ve been thinking about the races I want to do next year.  There are four triathlons I’d like to do, but I’d also like to do a marathon next year, too.  I’m thinking of doing an Ironman distance triathlon in a few years, so my trainer suggested I do a marathon beforehand, because running your first marathon as part of an Ironman is probably not the best way to go.

The triathlons I’m planning on “racing” in are all local – as in, where I live or within a couple of hours’ drive.  I’m planning to do:

  • Moe’s triathlon – shorter-than-sprint distance in late May/early June
  • Spin Off Spadina at Pike Lake – sprint distance in late June
  • the Regina Beach Triathlon – will probably do olympic distance, in late July
  • Frank Dunn Triathlon – longer than olympic distance (1.5k Swim, 62k Bike, 13k Run) in mid- to late August

My trainer suggested I run my marathon in either September or October.  I’m thinking maybe September, so that I’m tapering once my school year starts in late August, but I’m not sure which race I want to do or even how to narrow down the list in an efficient way! I could do the Queen City Marathon here in Saskatchewan on September 11th, or I could travel a little farther.  My trainer sent me a link for a list of North American marathons.  The list of September 2011 marathons is here, while the list of October 2011 races is here. The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon runs October 16th and the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on October 9th (pretty sure that’s the Thanksgiving long weekend here in Canada).

I also came across this list of iPod-friendly marathons on the Runner’s World website.  The Des Moines Marathon is on October 16th, while the Portland Marathon is on October 9th, but those might involve more flight connections than I want.

I think it’ll take some pondering before I decide, so if you have any suggestions or recommendations, feel free to share!

Eyeing Ironman, and Doing Pull-Ups

I’m going to do an Ironman.

Whew.  There.  I said it.

Now that I’ve put that out there, let me also say that I’m not planning to do one for three or four more years.  My kids are 6 and 4 and I’m just going into my last two years of dental school (which will be really hectic), so training for an Ironman just isn’t possible right now.  Not to mention the fact that I just did my first sprint distance triathlon in June, which is not even CLOSE to the Ironman distance, and I’m about to do my first half marathon in a few weeks.  I just don’t think I have the base yet to challenge Ironman in the way that I want to do it.  I don’t want to be squeaking in just under 17 hours, or having a mental breakdown on the course.  I want to feel…STRONG.

In case you don’t know, an Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run (3.9k swim, 180k bike, 42.2k run, for my fellow Canadians).  That’s a lot of miles!

I mentioned the idea to my trainer this morning (she’s doing Ironman Canada pretty soon), and of course she was very encouraging – she is always very encouraging when I talk about getting fitter!🙂  I’m sure she has a big picture plan in the back of her mind now for how I should get there.  She suggested doing some longer (Olympic) distance triathlons and a marathon next year, a Half Ironman the following year, and then going on to Ironman training.  Guess that means I should start looking for late summer/early September marathons!

Some people may wonder, “Why Ironman?”  Honestly, ever since I watched coverage of the Ironman Championship in Kona about 9 years ago, I thought that it was something I wanted to do.  Never mind that at that time (October 2001), I probably weighed 185lbs, was very much sedentary (even though I had trained for and walked the Walt Disney World Marathon that January), and wasn’t swimming, biking, or running.  I just knew that it was now on my “to do in my lifetime” list.

Fast forward nine years, and I have actually done my first triathlon.  I ended up doing it because I injured my IT band running and needed to cross train, and because I happened to mention to my trainer that I was interested in doing a triathlon sometime. She suggested I train for one being held a couple of months later, to get a triathlon under my belt, so to speak.  I was a little nervous, but signed up, and I’m so glad that I did!  It was a lot of fun and the other participants were so supportive, encouraging other racers they met or passed on the course (I got passed a lot! haha).

Why else do I want to do Ironman?

  • Because I want to challenge my physical and mental limits
  • Because it’s pretty cool to be able to say you’ve done an Ironman
  • Because I want to get even fitter than I am now
  • Because the idea scares me a little, and I like to challenge my fears
  • Because the “man” in “Ironman” irritates me
  • Because if an 80 year old nun can do it, then so can I!

Now for the pull-ups part:

Today I did jump pull-ups.  Not jump chin-ups, which I have been doing for awhile, but jump pull-ups.  I’m 5’3″, so it’s probably a 6″ jump to grab the bar.  I did two sets of ten reps.

Yup, I’m bragging.

I feel like it’s an important milestone that means I’m pretty darn strong and that my workouts are definitely paying off.  ROAR! (As in “I am woman, hear me…”)

Do you have any big fitness goals on your “bucket list”?  What have you already accomplished?  What exercises make you feel strong when you do them?

Fit Bits for Friday

Just a few random bits I stumbled across this week:

Hydration tips for runners at Runner’s World

The right way to warm up? at The New York Times

Dynamic stretching = good; static stretching = not so much at the Training Peaks Blog

But I really LIKE chocolate milk after a hard workout, so can I ignore this article from The New York Times?

Are side stitches related to what you eat? at Nancy Clark’s blog

Pros and cons of bike training indoors, when you need to beat the heat or escape the cold, at Competitor.com

Tips for transition area setup at Triathlon Magazine Canada

Just because I think Dara Torres is pretty amazing at Shape