Friday, December 14, 2012

You can't do it all (at once)

There are a lot of awesome races out there.  I've done a few of them.  My very first race, a 5K, was in Canmore, surrounded by mountains.  The Banff triathlon, also in the midst of the mountains is pretty much my favourite course yet.

There is an ever expanding list of races I find myself wanting to do.  At the same time, there are frequently races that I've done which I want to repeat.  If I actually did every race I'd like to, I'd be doing a race almost every weekend.  I'd probably even have to find a way to put myself in two places at once.

This desire to do it all is part of what led me to sign up for a second half Ironman this summer.  Great White North is a race that receives rave reviews.  On top of that, it pretty much seems like everybody does that race.  Yes, I am a bit of a 15 year old girl for wanting to do a race just because "everybody is doing it", but I still can't wait to experience the team atmosphere on that course.  Now in my defense, I really did want to do two half ironman races anyways.  I also signed up for it with my coach's blessing.

Today I heard that there is likely going to be a marathon in Banff in 2013.  My immediate thought was: I want to do that!  How awesome would it be to do my very first marathon in the midst of the mountains?  It sounds crazy and corny, but when I am surrounded by mountains, I feel centred and at peace.  Doing a race there just seems right.

But then, there is the fact that it will be only two weeks before my first half Ironman of the season, which is also my A race this year.  I know very well that you don't do a race that requires significant recovery (such as a marathon) anywhere close to your A race.  By the time my coach sent out an email (to the team; it wasn't actually a hint just for me) mentioning the marathon, I knew I couldn't do it.  Not this year.

Sometimes, it feels like you have to fit everything in.  Racing is still very new for me, and I want to do everything.  I've never had a lot of patience, but this is one of those times when you need it.  It's unlikely to work to do that race next year either.  I might have to wait years before I can feasibly consider it, all because there's other races I want to do more.  The upside is that I have years.  Lots of them.  Even if I occasionally feel old, I'm not even half the age of some Ironman finishers.  I have time, lots of time, to fit it all in, and if I want to do it well, I need to take that time.

Of course, it looks like they might also have a half marathon option...

Little side note: I'm just going to touch on my lack of blogging lately.  I've mentioned in the past that a blogging lapse often means I'm going through a rough patch.  That isn't the case at all this time.  Things are actually extremely good, and extremely busy.  I'm finding a new balance in life, which on top of the balls I already juggled, now includes a job and more structured training program.  The blog is an optional thing that I do when it works for me, and I'm pleased to say that I'm feeling the writing itch lately, so I expect it will become more frequent again.  At this point though, a lower blogging frequency doesn't mean anything negative.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I really should...

Screw new years resolutions, I've decided to make one right now.  I'm going to start following through on the "I should"s in my life.

Let's see, what are some of the things I should do, but often don't.

- Do core
- Do strength
- Stretch
- Eat well
- Go to sleep at a decent time
- Run outside
- Foam roll

I'm sure I'll think of more.

Core, strength, stretching.  I have gotten a little bit of a hop on this since signing up with my coach.  She's included core, strength and stretching as part of my program.  I didn't need a coach to know that I should do these things, but apparently I needed one to convince me to actually follow through on it.

Eat well.  That's been a continuing thing for me.  I actually don't think I eat badly, just that I could eat better.  I keep my house pretty clear of trigger foods, but my weaknesses tend to be in choosing snacks that are more like a meal, and lately my portion sizes have grown.  Since I started working, my pantry and fridge haven't been as well stocked with produce.  Getting organized is the key for that.  For me, eating the right foods is the key to avoiding the poor choices.

Sleep.  My husband likes to nag me about this one, but he's right.  I believe I am a person that has higher sleep needs then average, and I frequently don't get what I need.  Sometimes, that is quite legitimately out of my control, which makes it even more important to get that sleep when it is in my control.

Run outside.  I have an admission to make: It has literally been weeks since I've ran outside.  I've been doing plenty of running; it's just been that my treadmill and the track have gotten plenty of use.  On one hand, I think it's great that I've gotten over the mental barrier I once had to running more then 5k inside, because sometimes I don't have a choice.  But, when I do have a choice, I need to start bundling up and going back on the pathways to run along my river.

Foam roll.  This is just one of those maintenance things.  One of my calves tends to tighten up on me, and I know that regular rolling keeps that tightness at bay.  It also really helps with practically every other muscle.  I just need to take the time to do it.

So, this seems like a really long list, and normally, I don't advocate trying to focus on everything at once.  What my goal is though, is simply to listen to that little voice that says "I really should..."  All of the things on the list are things that I do already, just not as much as I should.  (Okay, I haven't been running outside, but since I've been running, it isn't that big a leap.  And I still reserve the right to do some of my runs inside.)

So, why December?  Arguably the busiest and craziest month of the year?  Mainly because there I know there are going to be times where I make other choices.  There will be social engagements that keep me up late, the occasional glass of wine, and time spent with family that may take time away from other things.  And all of that, is okay.  In fact, it's just how it should be.

What it does mean though, is when I can, and should, it's even more important to follow through on the "should"s.  Last year, I gained over a dozen pounds in the month and a half around the holidays.  This year, I'm not taking any backwards steps.