Monday, August 24, 2009

The 3 R's: Race, Reflect and Recover

All summer I've been training (7-9 hours/week) for a singular goal: the Luray International Distance Triathlon. Now it has come and gone. Time to start marathon training!

But, I pause for moment to reflect and recover. Here are some of the thoughts I have:

1. I am a *&%# slow swimmer. Scapegoat: can't swim with kids in a jogging stroller! No, really, I was 10-15 minutes slower in the 1500 meter swim than the other competitors in my age group that I finished with in the final results. Encouraging thought: if I can catch up with my swim time, I could place in the top 3 next year!

2. I am a pretty fast runner. Thank you jogging stroller. Speed is all relative, though. My dad cut out an article from a local paper for me once "How to Win a Marathon". The short version - find a really small race. It is hard to know when you are just a big fish in a small pond and getting a big head about it. My poor husband has to deal with this big ol' fish flopping around (see #1).

3. Though it is more difficult to balance triathlon training than just running, I think that it saved me this summer from mental and physical breaking. Mental because it forced me to hire a babysitter a couple of hours a week and physical because I am pretty sure that if I ran 9 hours a week every week that I would break something.

4. There is more to recovering from a very hard race than just taking a couple days off. And I haven't figured it all out yet. My legs were a little stiff the week after the race, but what was really messed up after a hot race was eating/hydration stuff. I would say that it took a week to feel back in "balance". I've read lots and lots of articles about eating to recover, etc. it is just really hard to do and to know exactly how much of everything you personally need.

5. Looking forward-Now that we are approaching back-to-school, we are also approaching back-to-jogging stroller! Everyday. To school and back and back again and back. Plus, when you also throw the breast feeding in the mix, despite my best efforts, I think that I have been chronically dehydrated all summer, so I could really use some cooler weather! 8 weeks and 6 days to the marathon...