For 2015, I've signed up for Victoria 70.3 in June and Ironman Canada at the end of July. I will likely do a couple of the local 5k open water swims (Fat Salmon and Swim Defiance for sure, possibly Tubby Trout). For the fall, Beat the Blerch half, and if I'm in the mood probably some other fall half marathons.
Training for Canada had a bit of a slow start. I took off most of November (after NYC marathon) and most of December for a couple of reasons. One, I had some plastar fasciitis (PF) to deal with, and we were moving. Coach and I agreed my first run would be on Christmas. From there, I slowly got back into the swing of things. My swim came back just fine after a couple weeks in the pool. My run came back stronger than ever, which was a pleasant surprise. My bike...well, that's another story. Cycling and I have a tumultuous relationship. I have a hard time getting back into bike shape, but once I'm outside on my roadie consistently, it gets fun again. And the bike is where PF does not exist, I always appreciate the break if I'm having a flare up.
The last couple weeks have been excellent for cycling. Better weather, for one. And I made a deal with myself. This training cycle...no pressure. Just go out an have fun with the sport you love. Cycling used to be all about beating myself up. Negative thoughts ran rampant. You're not good enough, you don't produce enough power on the bike and you never will. I was constantly stressed about being a weak cyclist. All that negativity sucked the joy out of riding, and bike training for Coeur d'Alene 2014 was miserable. I swam a ton. As an escape to stress in my life. Thankfully my coach was understanding that I needed that mentally. And my swim is pretty strong, I was never worried about overdoing it (in fact I PR'd Fat Salmon by 6 minutes in 2014 so hooray). My runs were fine, I was a runner long before I was a triathlete so running and I get along well. I never wrote a race report for Coeur d'Alene. Not because the race was all that bad (it was a PR over Tahoe), but I was in such a sucky place mentally that I never had the energy for it.
Fast forward to April 2015. I just had a 20 hour and 46 minute training week and I had fun the entire time. I am proud of myself on the bike. Not because I am particularly fast or good at it, but because I have ZERO negative thoughts. I have a new job. I have a new team. And everyone is 100% supportive of each other, all of the time. Not that my old team wasn't. Most everyone there was very cool. The difference is that I am not stressed out all the time and I can just relax and TRAIN. My business partner is an angel, and a crazy good coach. We are in a better place, one that for 2 years I never dreamt could have existed. And I am incredibly grateful for the environment.
The PF flares up, but I am convinced that with continued rehab I can stay on top of it. I have no goals for Canada, other than to have fun. This will be my third Ironman, and my plan is for it to be like Tahoe. Just go out and have fun, no pressure. I have always performed best that way anyway. And Coach knows that for me, having fun pretty much means "beast mode." I have made friends with pain, so bring it on.
I can't talk about training, without sending some respect to my better half. A runner himself, he completely "gets" me, and my desire to train and race. And he is the most excellent "Iron spouse" an athlete could ask for. He is willing to take on some of the late night driving (late nights are my kryptonite), doesn't mind the Straussburg sock, helmet head, occasional grumpiness, or an 8pm bedtime.
I am lucky to have a great team full of the most selfless and amazing people. I am fortunately to have a coach who understands me (going on 4 years now), and knows when to push and when to back off. I am looking forward to Canada as a bit of a redemption from Coeur d'Alene. Not about a time goal, but an enjoyment goal.