Friday, December 21, 2018

2018 Race/Fitness recap

2018 Fitness/Racing Review

So this year had some good times, but overall it sure wasn’t what I would have ever aimed for.

Looking back, my goal for the year was to “do” Eagleman … without really focusing on the training for it, to be able to complete it, and just enjoy a day in the sun; after which I wanted to train for speed and Olympic distance, culminating in a great race at Nationals at the end of the summer.

Here is a quick roundup of these goals and the races I selected for the year:

First race of the year:  Reston 10K in winter:  did a nice 10K and was proud of myself for getting out there, going hard for me at that time, getting out in really cold weather and racing, knowing that it made me more fit overall.

Williamsburg ½ marathon: Awesome AGAIN.  Top 10, so I loved getting in top 10 women. I felt strong, not my best…. But on my way to good run fitness and hopeful! (was a weird race- family went to Wburg w/me for a bit, but then they drove home separately a day earlier for kids sports stuff.  So, I took this selfie, which I really hate doing.

March: *I am pretty sure I didn’t do any races in March.

April: Went to Greenville, SC for Duathlon Nationals. I was super excited to do this race (no swim!).  it was a great weekend of visiting Greenville for the first time ever- I loved that city! Ummmmmm… I almost died in the race.  It was like 20 degrees and I was so cold on the bike that I really thought I may - DIE.  I wrote up a whole race report about it, about my various options for death, saving fingers, etc.  It made for a fun memory in that I survived.  But I was honestly annoyed for traveling so far and not being able to “race”--- I didn’t do anything fitness related in this race, just mental work in trying to not die work. (these pictures are the look of death on me.)

May:  THIS WAS MY MOST FUN RACE OF THE YEAR:  Wine Country ½ marathon- done with a friend!  Of course it was fun- it was BEAUTIFUL! I felt GREAT!  My running was strong and with that, I felt hopeful about my fitness for Eagleman and the summer!  And… oh my gosh SO MUCH WINE AFTERWARDS!!!!  ***Note to self- if I do this again in the future- bring some FOOD SNACKS, because I had only wine after the race and I probably could have used some solid food in my stomach as well😊

June: Eagleman.  First EM DNF. Omg.  What a game changer.  I did great in swim. Great in bike, maybe best ever or close… and then.. just “didn’t feel like continuing”…. And after 3+ miles of the run just walked off the course. Just didn’t mentally have the fortitude, drive, see any reason in continuing.  It really sucked and showed me mentally how weak I was at that time.  Part of it was that I was babying my hip/hamstring and just WORRIED (it did not hurt- pain was not the reason for me walking away) but Worried about making it bad for the summer….

Got back from Eagleman, took a week to mentally be okay with myself for quitting a race, and then got excited about the rest of my season.  Had some great workouts and really felt like, “AHA!! THIS is why it was maybe great that I didn’t finish EM- I still had LEGS to move!”  I didn’t feel so flat for a month at least after Eagleman, so it was so nice… and… I got… maybe too excited/ too ahead of myself.

I had two fun fun fun hard workouts where I was really excited about following my intensity plan and pushing things a bit….. prepping for some speed..  I remember the last workout I did with this intentionality and… that was it for my hamstring/hip for the rest of the summer.  I couldn’t get it to ease out of pain/ release.  I took some weeks of no running, or limited, just to try to keep minimal run fitness.. and I just couldn’t get it together.

I didn’t even START MD Duathlon in July because of a family issue the night before that reminded me that my primary job is being a mom/ not doing races… and I had to suck it up and eat  it and just not go.  It was an overall horrible weekend.

BUT… I knew I was still trying to make it through Nationals as well as Luray Triathlon in August.

USAT Age Group Nationals (Cleveland), mid August:  I wanted to at least participate at Nationals (Olympic distance), even though it was quite clear that I wasn’t in my typical trained state.  The hip was killing.  I didn’t even know how I’d end up driving to Cleveland because it hurt to sit m ore than ½ mile in a car.  Literally I’d be all sorts of making noises even to just get down the street.  It sucked. Major hip and leg pain that was driving me freaking CRAZY.

I got to the point I wasn’t even running, I was just trying to get through to the event without being in massive pain.  I started taking super strong anti-inflammatories 10 days before race…. Eventually really taking far too much I was later told (sorry, kidneys)… but I was able to GET THROUGH the race!  I did “well”… but just middle of the pack, I think I was literally right in the middle… but that was disappointing… although not unexpected- I mean, I cannot be greedy- if I haven’t been doing the training, I cannot just bank on my old fitness, etc….. 

*We got our 2nd puppy on the way home, so that also eased the disappointment a bit!

One week later, I couldn’t wait to do Luray because….. I love Luray… but also… because I knew it was absolutely the end, and I couldn’t wait to stop working out and killing myself.  I was in so much pain and just frankly sick of it.

MID-Late August was Luray and I was D.O.N.E. that day.  Done. Fini. No more.   

I did the Duathlon which they offered for the first time this year.  The field was small, I was overall top woman.  It was nice to not have the swim, HOWEVER… I frankly may have preferred that because the duathlon just wasn’t well attended and I wanted to compete against more people, really.  (Although it was probably good NOT TO this year!!!!)  Walking puppies even hurt.  I took off 8-9 weeks COMPLETELY.  I did a few swims ONLY with pull buoy.  I did not bike a single pedal circle.  I walked dogs, but barely… I did dry needling with a physical therapist 2x/week and it just wasn’t getting better.  I gave it that time and knew I wasn’t going to go further.  My PT $ was limited and I was not willing to just spend thousands in recovery that didn’t seem to be working.  I tried a new doctor that I thought may do a technique on hamstring that would help.  He didn’t do the technique I was looking for, BUT…. I found DEFINITE improvement.  10 weeks later, I began to jog 1 mile, 2,3,… 4,5, and I am up to 10 miles.  SLOOOOOW MILES . holy shit running is hard!  I GET IT!  WOW.  Yea, I am lumbering around.   Just this past week, I was out “running” and literally laughed at myself as I went up a hill because I realized that I BET THIS IS NO FASTER than a fast walker!  My hamstring and hip are not perfect, But SO MUCH BETTER and on the way to recovery I believe. 

I have been doing more strength, yoga and core work every single day.  I have been back on the bike trainer going just gently and also in the pool once/week.


I have a goal to finish the last 2 weeks of December “strong” with  getting to a 12 mile long run on the last day of the year so that I can begin my marathon prep for BIG SUR MARATHON 2019 on Jan 1!

I’m excited for this race- I got in the lottery for it and it is BUCKET LIST HAPPENING!  I know I will do some tris also, but I promised myself that *I would not sign up for Eagleman again this year.. *that I wouldn’t sign up for ANYTHING until my hamstring/hip were recovering enough to know fully that I can do races.  I am excited to do something DIFFERENT next year- I think I need to do that.  I don’t have a full on list of races set for next year.  The winter and spring is going to be difficult because Phoebe is in a new volleyball club and will be doing lots of traveling…. Thus… it is not my time to do a real aggressive spring.  That is ok, maybe that in the end will be a good thing, although I’m going to terribly miss out on Williamsburg ½.  I love doing that each year.  I may do the wine country ½ again because it was SO MUCH FUN… and… (the wine!!!)  However, that will be very close after Big Sur, so I may just choose to save the money from that race to put towards another hot summer race! I cannot wait to see!

Wrapping up 2018: 

*What am I most proud of?  That I had a strong spring of “fitness” even though it didn’t lead to really the exceptional races that I wanted.

*What mistake did I make that I have learned from?  This is hard.  I don’t think I tweaked my hamstring because I really went “too hard” because I’ve been very conservative.  I think a big mistake was waiting for rest to allow it to heal.  I needed to get treatment, and it ends up I learned that I need to be open in treatment to new options/practitioners/ideas.  The new Dr. that I’ve been working with has helped miraculously!

*What was the most fun:  My race at wine country ½ marathon- it was fun to go fast and then to drink wine with a friend.  Note to self: I’m getting older.  This needs to be fun.  I am past the point of aiming for any high level stuff from myself so it better darn well be FUN, BEAUTIFUL and good fitness makes everything BETTER!