Hello hello hello.
It’s been a long time. And a lot has occurred. (Be forewarned, semi-long post ahead.)
Part of me cannot believe that my last post was all about my Lake Placid Ironman experience. (And another part of me knows EXACTLY why my last post was about IMLP.)
But anyways… what has been going on since IMLP? Well, there was a (short) period of recovery where I also interviewed for a new job and decided to leap from my career of nearly 10 years into something new that would allow me to move back near my hometown permanently.
The goal was to spend more time with family and friends from home. I have always felt a strong tie to the Saratoga region and after 10 years of being away for my job, plus the 4 years of college, I decided it was time to make the move back.
Starting the new job, meeting new coworkers, learning all about the products my company carried, going through formal and informal training and getting out to meet my customers all across New England kept me pretty busy…
Also, I kept training. I ran the inaugural Old Forge Half Marathon trail run with a couple friends then I ran in the ADK Ragnar Relay on an Ultra team (we took 2nd place for ultra teams – pretty awesome!) and finally participated in a fundraising ride in October.
In November, I was accepted back onto Team Betty for 2016, which was so amazing because I love my Betty Squad!! The women around the world that make up Team Betty are amazing and an inspiration. They were also a major reason for my return to racing in 2016!
After my three Fall events, I took about a month off from training before jumping back into training for the Walt Disney World half that I ran with my sister and my mom in January – we ran as a team and stuck together, it was so much fun! It was my sister’s first half marathon and she did awesome, I am so proud of her! (BTW, I am now fully convinced that Disney World IS the happiest place on earth, even if you are a 30-something adult without children….) It was an amazing trip with the family. I wish we could get away more together. It was great to see my parents and my sister and her husband relax and enjoy!
After Disney, I rushed out to San Diego for work. While most of the time I was in San Diego, I was stuck inside of a hotel – I did get out one afternoon and rode a Segway. This was my first time on a Segway, it was so fun once you got the hang of it!
After returning to home mid-January, I knew it was time to decide what I was going to do with 2016. Honestly, I was feeling pretty burned out from training in 2015 but I knew I also didn’t want to sit around and go from 100% crazy in 2015 to 100% idle in 2016. So, with this in mind, and knowing I needed to change some things up, I hired a new coach for 2016 to see what new workout strategies I could learn with some new direction. I also decided to sign up for Tupper Lake Tinman, a 70.3 distance race, for 2016.
I was thinking 70.3 would be
cake easier less intense after last year racing 140.6. Now, in early April as I encroach upon closing month #3 of training for this 70.3, I have been fully reminded that a 70.3 is just as intense as ever and still a lot of work! I am certain I should have stepped back into sprints and oly’s for this year since I am still definitely feeling a bit burned out, but I am lucky because I do have a new coach who IS teaching me new strategies and ways to train for distance racing and I am definitely seeing improvements in my swimming and running. I am not a quitter. I will see this 4th 70.3 distance race through to the end.
My swimming has been exciting, I’ve not made it to the pool as often as my coach would request, but I’ve seen improvements and PRs when I am swimming.
My biking is also coming along, although a bit slower than I had hoped – I’m praying that once I finally get outside (this spring has been much colder, much longer than one would hope) that I will see the work put in the last 90 days has paid off. My biking is almost build back up to where it was in late 2014 – last year, Ironman training had the effect of actually weakening my bike leg. I was able to put in the distance but lost some of the power I had when biking shorter distances. I’m excited to build in this region again.
Finally, my running is starting to speed up again (whoop!). I have been doing a bit of strength training and yoga along with my swimming, biking and running and it is definitely paying off. My legs feel better than they have in the past 2 years and I am currently closing in on my paces that I used to run in 2013. I’m cautiously excited about this – I know I have to keep a close watch on my strength, my flexibility, and my prior injury tendencies as I continue to try and push my speed back up into the sub 9s and possibly sub 8s at times.
All this improvement is coming despite trying to juggle quite a bit of traveling with the new job, and the realization that the first career move made after 10 years with my prior company has not been the best fit for my professional life. (Cue changes ahead.) The past few months have been interesting, I have learned quite a bit, but I am ready to embrace yet another chapter of my life in the very near future. (Stay tuned.)
For racing in 2016, I just ran the Bacon Hill Bonanza 10K last weekend at an 8:17 pace (not so bad after about 18 months stuck in the 10-min pace range!), and I am looking forward to racing a couple sprint tri’s (especially Pumpkinman in Maine with my Betty Squad!). I can’t wait to see how my fourth 70.3 in Tupper Lake comes together this year and I have another Ragnar Relay trail race on the calendar which I am super stoked for (they’re so FUN!)!
On the non-racing front, I am excited for the next transition in my professional life and a couple of non-work trips. One is coming up here in a couple weeks and another at the end of June. I’ll definitely be sharing pictures and reflections on my adventures!!
Old Forge Half Marathon Trail Run
At the start line of ADK Ragnar Relay – Ultra Team!
OktoberBreast 50 Mile Bike Start Line!
Team Betty 2016!
The family in Disney! Post Half-Marathon Breakfast. (Jackson couldn’t take his eyes off the characters!)
Half-pint motivator. 🙂
Segways in San Diego!