Friday, August 29, 2014

My First Off-Season

Several people have asked me the question that I'm sure is on everyone's minds: "What's next -- will there be more races?"

As you can probably deduce from the title of this post, the answer is a resounding "YES!" After all, I can't have an off-season unless I have another "on" season in the future, right?

When I first got the idea to do a triathlon, I expected it to be a one-shot deal, an item to check off the bucket list before moving on to the next thing. It was supposed to happen at the end of my weight loss journey, when I'd be thin and fit enough to be successful. Well, absolutely none of that went as planned! I did the tri without losing weight, and got completely hooked! For the bucket list -- now I have a Super Secret List of races I want to do instead. Well, I guess it's still a bucket list of sorts, but it's entirely fitness-focused. For now, most of the specific races on it are running events, simply because I am more aware of them. I'm still very new to triathlon, so I didn't know too many specific events to list. Also on the list are many types, categories, or distances of races, or certain circumstances under which I'd like to compete in various races. I realize this all sounds very vague, but it will make more sense whenever I decide to share the Super Secret List with you.

My goals for next season, so far:
1. Sprint tri with Candice in the spring (she has one in mind but we haven't committed yet)
2. Iron Girl Columbia sprint tri again in the summer, to attempt a better time

Time, circumstances, and finances permitting, I may throw another sprint tri in there somewhere, as well as some running races. To prepare for next season, I have a lot of work to do in several areas.


1. Research better swim technique for triathlon.
2. Learn/practice better swim technique for triathlon.
3. Re-learn how to do flip turns in the pool.
4. Swim 2x per week until training resumes.

I want to get faster in the water, and the very first thing I need to do in order to accomplish that is work on my stroke. Better form will make a HUGE difference, I'm sure.


1. Keep building my base of endurance.
2. Get toe clips or straps for my pedals (I'm not going to switch to clipless pedals until I upgrade to a road bike...eventually)
3. Ride hills, hills, and more hills.
4. Figure out a way to get through the icy/snowy months (spin class? find a cheap, used spin bike or bike trainer for the house?)
5. Ride 1-2x per week until training resumes.


1. Do ab/core challenges.
2. Do some yoga at home for strength AND flexibility.
3. Research strength training strategies for triathlon.


1. Mindful eating.
2. Take it one small goal at a time.

This hasn't been on my radar in months. My focus was on training for Iron Girl, and that's it. Now that I've accomplished my goal, I care even LESS about the number on the scale. Do you know why? Because it's the same. I started triathlon training at about 225 pounds, and I finished it at right around 225 pounds. My body has changed in that time, though, and I've discovered that I can be a lot more fit at this size than I ever realized I could! To be honest, I'm really only revisiting my weight loss efforts for 2 reasons: (1) I have a lot of clothes a few sizes smaller, and I like them, and I want to wear them again. Also, I'm still too cheap to buy a whole new wardrobe at my current size. (2) My knees hate me. I don't recall having too much trouble with my knees when I got into running in 2010. This time around, I've had a lot of knee pain on my run days, to the point where I basically stopped using stairs whenever possible, stopped wearing heels entirely, and started chowing my way through a large bottle of ibuprofen. I really don't think I am injured, per se. My knees just need a little less weight pounding on them. So now that my brain is on hiatus from the mental focus required for triathlon training, I'm going to direct that focus instead to trying to lose a few pounds. I don't have any huge goals...just going to take it maybe 5 pounds at a time and see where that gets me.


I saved this for last because technically it's not "off-season" for running yet. In fact, my next race goal is in less than two months, the Marine Corps Marathon 10K on October 26th. You may recall that this event was my first-ever 10K back in 2010, and I enjoyed it so much that I knew I'd want to do it again someday! So I've shifted gears into a 10K training program with this race in mind. I haven't registered yet, but I should probably get on that soon, since it might sell out. I will probably run a 5K also sometime this fall, but nothing has been decided yet. Once I cross the finish line of the MCM 10K (and hopefully avoid another post-race slump), I will sketch out my off-season and long-term goals for running.

I'm excited about all that is ahead of me. The finish line of Iron Girl was merely the starting line of the rest of my active life!

Oh, and if you want to know what all is on the Super Secret List, you'll have to stay tuned....:)

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