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Turning the page to Ironman #2  

Mom Camera IRONMAN 093

Over the weekend, my new calendar was hung up on the wall, blank pages ready to be filled with events and races yet to come. Hard to believe a new year is here already, but I’m beyond ready for it! There’s something about a new year that excites me. While I was a tad bit nostalgic about leaving a {stellar} 2014 behind, there is something uplifting about having new pages to turn.

This year the BIG event on my calendar is Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Round TWO. As of this week, I am officially 32 weeks away from my second Ironman in two years. I’m approaching 2015 knowing SO much more than I did just one year ago.  Taking the whole ‘first timer’ element out of a race like an Ironman, is a game changer. This time around I know what to expect, in more ways than one.  This leaves me feeling very confident for the year ahead!

With 2015 in full swing… here’s an update on how I’m doing:

Hooray! My body is cooperating.

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The pesky knee pain I had, has subsided (big time).  After running my stupidly fast 10K on Thanksgiving, I thought my knee was in serious trouble. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to run the Boston Marathon in April. Seeing as it hurt even  just to walk and use the stairs, I was seriously concerned/devastated.  Well, after wallowing in my mistake for a few days, I decided to do something about it.  I went to my chiropractor and got some magical treatment called the ARP done on my quads… this helped BIG time.  I also went to a new physical therapist and got an evaluation and treatment.  The PT came to the conclusion that it’s not my actual knee that’s causing the pain, it’s the weaknesses I have in my hips and glutes.  It’s VERY common to have knee pain as a result of weak hips and glutes. Basically, my hip and glute muscles need to be ‘retrained’ to work when I’m running, so my knee doesn’t take all of the impact.  I have been working diligently at my rehab exercises (think clamshells and band exercises).  While the exercises seemed silly to me at first, I can tell that they are actually working.  I know I need to work on the little things before I start getting into the big things (i.e. plyometrics and high mileage runs). It’s all about building a FOUNDATION now before training really picks up!

Training at the moment looks like…

Swimming

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I have been swimming as much as five times per week.  Weekly swims include the following: Masters Swim practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and working on technique drills on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last week I logged over 10,000 yards in the pool.  The best part is, I am seeing some SERIOUS improvements in the water.  A few months ago, I would be the last person swimming in our lane at Masters during our sets (typically we have 5-6 people in a lane during practice).  Frustrated with the feeling I was always struggling to keep up, I decided to take action. This is when I took my swim clinic and started working on my technique. Fast forward to now, and I am LEADING sets in the pool. Teammates that used to pass me, I am now in front of by a decent margin.  It’s not just the short sets either… I’m talking 500’s, 400’s and so on… I also swam 100 yards freestyle in 1:19 last week, which is smoking fast for me! I can’t help but feel anything but proud about my progress.  Swimming is started to feel easier and less of a struggle, it’s amazing.  My teammates are even noticing that I’m getting faster and keep telling me how speedy I’m getting. Hard work pays off!

Biking

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Now that the knee has improved substantially, I’m back in the saddle! Currently, I’m riding 3-4 x week at a steady state pace, nothing crazy. While I know I’m not starting from square one, it sort of feels that way.  Thinking back to where I was with my cycling this past summer, I can’t help but feel like I have a long way to go. I look forward to making progress on two wheels!

Cycling has always been the thorn in my side when it comes to triathlon races. When I get beat by girls in my age group 9 times out of 10, it’s because of the bike. I am determined to become a STRONGER and FASTER cyclist in 2015.  I know this is where I am going to make up time in my races and I am determined to see a difference from 2014. With this being said, the goal is to purchase a Power Meter (soon hopefully) and start to train with Power! Up until now, I have only trained with heart rate as the main metric on the bike.  Now it’s time to up the ante and get on the power train:) I know a power meter doesn’t necessarily make you a faster cyclist, but it will help me to push myself beyond my comfort zone with my training sessions.

“Heart-rate monitors, GPS, smartphone training apps and power meters are all there for the taking. But among them power stands out as the ‘future’ best friend for any cyclist that wishes to train to their full potential.”
Read more here

Running

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I’m extremely happy to report that I’m running again! Over the last couple of weeks, I have been going on short, easy runs and there have been no issues. I know the day will come where I will get to run long and hard again, but I need to be patient. I am still planning to run the Boston Marathon on April 20th, but I need to get healthy and strong before it becomes a true reality {fingers crossed!}. Taking care of my body and my knee is what’s most important right now. Once I am back to running pain free and staying pain free with even higher mileage, then I will start to think about April. Until then, I will be focusing on the here and now. This means 30 minute runs a few times week… for at least another week or so.  After that, I’ll ramp up the mileage with hopes that my PT work and strength training has paid off.

And life in general…

Lately I just feel EAGER.  Eager to train hard again and make gains.  I know these things take time and don’t happen overnight, but I am ready for the challenge ahead. I realize that all of my ‘easy pace’ training is going to pay off long term, but it’s really hard to do when you’re in the moment (and eating a lot during the holidays, woof). For now, I’m just going to try and enjoy the extra time that I have, because I know it’s not going to last for too much longer…

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.”
~Mary Pierce

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18 Comments

  • Reply tami January 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    not that you really asked for advice and I do think that a power meter will help but i think if you could bike with people who are stronger than you on the bike that would help you out tremendously. it seems as if you did a lot of training by yourself last year. i know a lot of riders who you might be able to train with when you come up to NH. i look forward to following your journey again.

    • Reply Kristin January 7, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      I totally agree with you about riding with a group! I rode mostly alone last year and looking to change that this year! I have joined a local team in the Boston area, but would be interested in hearing about your NH cyclist friends!! Thank you!

  • Reply Kim @ Swimmykimy January 7, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Hi there, friend! Finally heading over to your blog 🙂 Congrats on being in the year of your 2nd ironman!!! I have a power meter on loan from a tri teammate and I am dying to get into some workouts with it 🙂 have you looked on ebay and craigslist? I think you can find them used for significantly less than market price. I also agree with Tami that riding with people MUCH faster than you will help! You will crush the bike at IMMT this year 🙂 Cheers!

    • Reply Kristin January 7, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      hi lady!! thanks so much for checking my blog out, means the world to me:) Thanks on the congrats too, BIG year ahead, eek! I have looked briefly on ebay and craigslist for power meters, but they are hard to find! Also, I’m not really finding much of a discount on used ones either. I’m going to keep looking!! I HAVE actually found a fast group of riders I hope to ride with this spring/summer. Biking with others definitely intimidates me, and I need to get over that fear!

  • Reply Jenny O January 7, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Ahhhh 32 weeks!! Tremblant will be my first ironman and seeing that number is exciting and terrifying. Looking forward to following your training!!

    • Reply Kristin January 7, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      SO awesome Jenny!!!! I agree, seeing the number makes it more real, that’s for sure:) You are going to LOVE Tremblant… and please use me as a resource if you have any questions at all!

  • Reply Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead January 7, 2015 at 3:31 am

    I am so excited to follow your 2015 and your Ironman training! Glad to hear your knee is recovering!

    • Reply Kristin January 7, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you Cassie!! Appreciate it:) I’m glad too:)

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  • Reply Lee@tri*inspired*life January 7, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    It is great to read your post with your high level of enthusiasm. I will be following every step of your training as you embark on yet another Ironman. I have been planning my season and I am starting to get excited about it as well. Excited that my longest race of the season will be a 70.3:)

    I have been having some issues as well that led me to see a PT. I have seen a bit of improvement, but not where I want to be yet. It is great to hear that you are doing well and running again…as you know there will be PLENTY of long runs in your future, so enjoy the shorter ones now that you can! Also, enjoy the additional time before the ramp up really happens. I know you have high expectations for yourself, so know that you will be getting lots of support in the blog world!!

    • Reply Kristin January 7, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      You are so sweet, Lee, thank you so much! Really appreciate the support!

      Excited for YOUR new season and your 70.3!! Sorry to hear things aren’t improving as quick as you want them to with your PT:( I have found that going to a MIX of practitioners, helps me improve faster… maybe try a chiropractor? or massage therapist? I have even tried trigger point needling and that helped big time! Sometimes a different technique can make all the difference. Good luck and I hope things get better for you soon!

  • Reply Hailey January 8, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I’m so excited for your second Ironman, already! 🙂 I learned so much about the triathlon last year from your posts, and can’t wait to learn more! The training is so interesting to me, especially since I only do the one sport.

    Focusing on the little things is a huge focus of mine for this year. I neglected a few last year and I paid for it. So I’m actually in the same boat as you, clamshells and band walks are making a reappearance. And I’m also in the easier phase of training with short, slower runs and no workouts and am wanting to ramp everything up to full force. It’s hard to put the reigns on sometimes! But you’re right, it’s not too often that there’s that extra time 🙂

    • Reply Kristin January 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks lady!! So glad to hear you learned so much from my 2014 Ironman Journey. It is very different training for three sports… lots of multi-tasking for sure!

      Nice to hear I’m not alone on the rehab front, although I’m sorry to hear you are going through it too. I hope you are getting better with your exercises. I need to make a point to actually continue the exercises when I’m well into my season (one of my goals!)

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  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats January 9, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Great goals!!! I am so glad that your knee is feeling better!!! Definitely working on your cycling will make you a stronger runner in triathlons! (You are already a strong runner but it will feel “easier or that is what they say). I got a power meter last year and I used it but not to its full potential. It is not as easy as I thought it would be. You watch your watts and you stay in your zones. Unfortunately it is not that clear cut! That is one of my goals this year is to use it more efficiently and become stronger!! 🙂 Nice job on the swimming too!! Hello fast miles in 2015!!

    • Reply Kristin January 9, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Thanks Leslie!! I know what you mean about cycling strength turning into run strength… I also think becoming more EFFICIENT on two wheels will help me with running! Interesting what you say about the power meter… I think I need to research how actually works before I buy one:) My coach can probably help too!

  • Reply Kecia January 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I’m glad you are back to training and SO impressed with HUGE gains you’ve made in the pool!! It always amazes me how a slight weakness can cause such major problems while doing workouts we’ve done for so long. I can’t wait to see the leaps and gains you make in 2015!! You are going to have an epic year 🙂

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