...well, lots, actually.
I've had two weeks to just relax, ride for fun, and run without a watch. It has been awesome. It has been much needed. I feel like I had so much to prove to myself this year--that I could do this again, and maybe that I could do it just as fast, or even faster (to which I suprised myself greatly)--that I needed a break from this, mentally, just to soak it all in.
It's been quite an amazing year.
As mentioned before, I haven't stopped moving since my 6 week checkup last November after giving birth to my son. And I was, at least for the first few months, moving out of fear. Motivated by "what if I'm never going to be able to even come close to competing with my pre-pregnancy self again?" Even though many before me tried to warn me that I'd be fine. You know, me and my head, see, we like to DO THINGS THE HARD WAY SOMETIMES.
So as the months went by and the times dropped...and dropped...and dropped again, I then was moving to see just what I could get away with. Motivated by seeing just how crazy this body was in trying to prove my head wrong. And the body won, folks. Fo' SHO.
So now I'm in the process of assessing.
5 minutes off the half marathon PR, 44 minutes of my half ironman bike split, 22 minutes off my half ironman run split, and 20 minutes off my marathon. I'm still on cloud nine. And don't really think it's fully sunk in yet.
First and foremost, I have to thank my awesome Coach Emily at Vision Quest. She put together the perfect mix of workouts to kick my butt and fit into my somewhat insane day. Thanks, Emily!
Also, I wouldn't have been able to do this without Team Evotri's other sponsors and my awesome teammates. Thank you to Zipp, CycleOps, BMC, Sram, and 2XU. I'm so lucky to be able to race with their products, and to work with each of those companies. They really are the best. Good people all around.
So now what?
Well, I've got some big ideas. I feel like this has been a breakthrough year for me, and I can definitely take it up another notch.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Sub-5:30 at New Orleans 70.3
This one is doable, but will require some intensity this winter. I need to work on my strength and flexibility, and I want to run better off the bike. My goal is a comfortable 36 minute swim, a 2:45 bike (which I did at Steelhead but that bike was a bit short), and a 1:55 run, including transitions, to come in just under 5:30. So there it is.
A Boston Qualifying Marathon: 3:40
This is, quite honestly, at the very upper end of what I'm capable of. This will most likely take a few tries. I'm thinking of going for a faster half marathon in the spring (1:45 would be ideal), and then shooting for 3:50 in a marathon, and finally hitting that 3:40. This will take several seasons. But I can do it. I just know that. It will be really, really hard, but I know I have it in me.
For Columbus, I never ran more than 38 miles in a week. I was swimming or doing a bike ride one other day so I had cross training, but my runs were intense. Lots of tempo, and pretty much EVERY run was a negative split. This was tough, but great especially for my mental game. One of the toughest runs I did was a 16-miler with 8 easy and the last 8 at race pace. I thank Coach Emily again for this, as I believe that's what led me to that crazy 8:52 for mile 24. I was ready to run tired, and it helped me a TON. So, what might I be able to do with a little higher mileage? I just wonder...
I'm ready to begin base training. I'm ready now to focus on strength flexibility. It's time to make myself even better.
Time, I think to put the watch on again. But not lose the feeling of running without it. :)