Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Look Back and a Look Ahead

Given that all the networks and cable channels are rolling out their countdown lists and ‘year in review’ shows, now seems like a good time to knock out my ‘year in review/year ahead’ post.

2010: The Year In Review

I started the year off with serious pain in my neck. I discovered I don’t like taking medicine that just masks the pain. I’d rather solve the problem. My search led me from my medical doctor to the physical therapist to my final solution – the chiropractor. Dr. Christian is awesome and without her I don’t think I could have made it to the beginning of any triathlon let alone the end.

I worked on swimming most during my training because I did not learn to swim until I was 40 and my greatest fear was not making the cutoff of the Rev3 half iron triathlon. I felt it would be the best investment of my time. I learned to breathe bilaterally and got rid of my goofy frog leg kick and replaced it with the more efficient flutter kick. The payoff: I made the cutoff time in every triathlon I did.

I learned how to use clipless pedals. However this did not come easily or without the spilling of blood. This was probably the hardest thing I had to learn because it seemed so unnatural at first. I realized the pedals that came with my bike were not well suited for me so I bought new ones – Look Keo pedals. After that – smooth sailing. (well mostly)

I learned that training steadily and harder will yield results. I shaved almost half an hour off my finish time of the Pirate Triathlon from 2009 to 2010. It thrilled me to no end.

I learned that I can set what seems like an impossible goal and by having just a few people believe in you I can achieve that goal. I’ve said it a million times – my athletic skills are less than average. But I never let a silly thing like that get in my way. I still improved the skills that I have by training diligently. I did what I set out to do: I finished the REV3 half iron distance triathlon. Not only that – I did not finish last. Wow. I could not believe that one.

I discovered a support network both locally and virtually. That network runs much deeper and wider than I could ever have imagined. Thank you to everyone who helped me.

2011: A Look Ahead

What do you do once you’ve achieved your goals? Make new ones of course. I’ve outlined a few goals for next year and I’m sharing them with you, as always, to help hold myself accountable.

1) Take swimming lessons and improve my form. I’m assuming that simple act will shave time off my swim.

2) Do more hill training on my bike. My training course was pretty flat but many races I did in 2010 had some challenging hills. Question: How does one get better climbing hills on a bike? Answer: Do more hill training. DUH – ya think?

3) Focus more on running. I did not do that in 2010. Mostly because if I didn’t make it past the swim – I would not be running. Now that my mind is in the right place about swimming (meaning I now know I can do it in the allotted time) I can spend more time improving my running. My husband’s analogy – it is like a golfer who spends all his time practicing driving and chipping and no time putting. It does not make for a well rounded athlete.

4) I’m sort of afraid to put this one out there – mostly because I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do this one again – but here goes: Improve my time at the Rev3 half iron triathlon. Whew.

So get ready for another year of triathlon hijinks. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Let me mix in a little different way of looking at it:

    1) Improving your swim form will help not only with time but I find more with fatigue. Unless you can average 1:30 per 100m, form improvement should be your focus.

    2) While hills help doing hills, hard intervals can do the trick too without having to search out training hills. My offseason normally involves hammering intervals on the trainer.

    3) The way to get better on the run often is by getting stronger on the bike. There is no such thing as a good bike and a bad run (this means you went too hard on the bike almost always).

    4) Go for it! What do you have to lose?