I hope you enjoy the ride with me!
The first day of 2016 is upon us and many people have been reflecting on the last year. They will focus on the good things, acknowledge the low points, and decide where to go for the next year. "New Years Resolutions", they are often called. As a female, we are almost all obsessed with one resolution in particular: weight-loss. For some reason, we are convinced that our weight defines us. It determines our self-worth It decides if people will like us or not. We are self-conscious about it. We avoid situations where we will feel judged. Me? Well, I wear tights year round for biking and running, and I wear a swimsuit year round. I am an athlete and I am proud!
I am not most people. Anyone who knows me knows that I pave my own road. Never a follower, often an outcast is what I have known. I'm not one of those people who has 500+ friends on Facebook. In fact, you probably don't either. If you do, you probably don't know them all that well. It's impossible to know that many people and be able to define them as a friend. An acquaintance, or contact, maybe so. But not a friend. Having a small group of friends, I am able to have little drama in my life. I know there are people who act the part of a friend, but I know they are secretly trying to "figure me out" and take back information to their peers. In the last year, I have learned that some of the people I thought I could trust the most were the same people who would go behind my back and try to bring drama to my life. Sometimes you just have to stop feeding the fire. This leaves me time for one thing that brings me joy: Training.
My goals for 2016 have nothing to do with weight-loss. Although, it may be a side effect with the training. With careful training and a better diet, it will be impossible to maintain my weight. I need to shape up a little anyway, not for vanity sake, but for the sake of getting myself through 140.6 mile race. I can't WAIT!!
In the last year I have made a few connections with people who can help to bring my training to a higher level. Last January, I worked with a swim coach who pushed me to a level I never thought I could achieve. I never even considered a half Ironman when I started swimming with him. One day I decided, WHY NOT? I learned a lot about how to build workouts and improve endurance in the water. It is still the sport I struggle with the most, as I did not grow up with much swim experience. Thanks to a near drowning in my grandparents pool as a kid, I feared the water my whole life and it almost prevented me from being able to become a triathlete. Obviously you cannot be a triathlete without getting in the water.
My biggest improvement this year was in cycling. In April, I bought a brand new bike which changed everything for me. I still have a long way to go in order to be ready for my next triathlon, but I am thankful to have expert advice from John. If I gave him a nickle for every question I asked him about bikes, he would ready to retire. I've probably given him some gray hair in the process but I think he's okay with that since he doesn't lock the door to the shop when I pull in. A year ago when I kept blowing tubes in my tires, the joke was that I would pull up, open the door, and someone would say, "Okay, what did you break this time?" I love the shop :)
Running. . . Still my nemesis, but we are learning to bond. I don't really have anyone who I get running advice from. I more just pick out some workouts from my Matt Fitzgerld Triathlon book and head out the door. Right now I do not have focused workouts in any discipline, so I have enjoyed just making things up as I go alone. You have to be careful with that though because the wrong workout at the wrong time can cause damage. The other night I just needed to get out and get my head straight so I went for a run. I thought maybe I would run 4 miles or so. Four miles became 6, and that because 6.2 because why not go for the 10k since I am that close, right? The next day I was sore. I thought to myself, "My last run was. . . I can't remember when." My issue is consistency, which is something I promise to be better at this year.
The last thing that made a difference in this past years training (and will continue to have an impact) is Sean Harrison's Ironcore Training. I joined this group in September and have enjoyed my Saturday morning training sessions with the group. The workouts are always different, but they always work every part of your body. I know I made progress from September - December because in September I would be sore by 6pm that evening. In December, it took a day or so before the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) kicked in. Also, I know I made progress because in September I couldn't do 10 burpees without wanting to quit, and in December I did 400 in just over an hour and killed it!
If I could afford one extra thing in 2016 it would be to hire a trainer. Not just to get great workouts, but to keep me consistent and to be able to help me get to that next level. I live in a place that doesn't have any triathlon specific coaches so my only real options are an online coach. Neither of which I can afford.
Because Ironman is so expensive ($746.00) I will not be doing nearly the number of races that I did last year. I will probably pass on the Rex Wellness Series. It is a fantastic series, but will not really support my training. Most Ironman training plans suggest an Olympic distance early in the training, and a Half Ironman about a month before the full. This will probably be too expensive, so I may have to do a modified, self-supported workout to simulate a Half Ironman. If anyone has any connections, or has some coupon codes for races to make them more affordable, pass it on! I look forward to the year ahead and I am already starting to work on a plan to be successful for the training cycle. Some people are nervous with starting a plan and getting ready for a race. I am beyond excited and wish the official training would start soon. In the meantime, I am able to take a deep breath, prepare myself mentally and physically, and now that the calendar has turned to 2016, the pre-training has begun.
I hope you enjoy the ride with me!
My name is Jamie and I am an Ironman athlete! I completed my first super sprint triathlon in 2008. I am proud to be a member of the Fleet Feet Sports Greenville Running Club!
My Support Team
What Made Me IRON
51.2129 Miles - 21:19:03
50K - 6:54:59
Half Marathon 2:10:58
10 Miler - 1:45:42
10K - 1:00:24
8K - 47:21
5 Miler - 52:41
5K - 27:27
1 mile - 8:33
103.48 miles - 6:42:11
2.42 miles - 1:47
Half Iron 8:17:12
Full Iron* 13:19:27
Note: some distances have only been raced once! I know I could crush a couple of these now!