By the time I arrived home from Taupo on March 10th I had already decided that for me, Ironman is more than a ‘bucket list’ item to be ticked off, celebrated and put behind me. Despite the challenges, the training and the day are something I want to experience again.. and soon.
Just over two months down the track, I have resumed training under my inspirational coach Louise Dumee. Louise has gone above and beyond what I expected of a coach. Rather that bumble along with just keeping the swimming, cycling and running going, I decided to continue with Louise, to begin preparation for Ironman 2016.
Shortly after Ironman, Louise asked me to make a list of the events I would like to participate in during 2015. My list of around eight events, including several half marathons and two marathons, has been reduced to the Wellington Marathon on July 5th, the Auckland Half Marathon on 30th October, NZ Ironman 70.3 (Taupo) and Ironman Taupo (March 2016). My youngest daughter, Katie, asked to run an event with me, and we’ve chosen the Ak., Half. She literally is going to run it with me, at my pace, which will be so much fun. As much as I enjoy participating in events and running with like-minded friends, I have accepted that if I want to do well in my Ironman endeavours, I need to look after myself. I’m not exactly a ‘spring chicken’. Rather that tire my body, risk injury and take time out to taper for and recover from events, I will be better to steadily work through my training programme with as much consistency as possible. Being an ‘A’ type personality, this is not a problem.
Since resuming training my swimming has been reduced to one session per week. This keeps my swimming fitness and skill (limited as it is) ticking over. My running sessions have increased, which I relish after 8 months last year, when i couldn’t run. Last Saturday was my longest run since Ironman and it was amazing to be back running in the Redwoods of Whakarewarewa Forest again. I’m enjoying the mix of long runs, tempo runs and intervals as I prepare for the Wellington Marathon. If I can run a time anywhere close to where I was a year ago I will be more than satisfied. Cycling continues to be a major focus. Last Saturday I spent 3 1/2 hours on my windtrainer doing a Steady State’ session. I had been quietly dreading the session, but three bottles of water and electrolyte and 2 DVDs later, it was done. I can almost say that I enjoyed it; the fact that I was home on a Saturday morning instead of out in the weather helped to compensate for the slight boredom.
I have begun a new strength training programme; Gravity Fitness. After turning down the offer of trying Gravity training for several months, I finally gave it a go. Within a week I was a convert and am currently taking two classes per week. It is so much easier and more time efficient to turn up for a one hour class and not have to think about getting your workout equipment together, or wait on others to finish using machines.
Two weeks ago, I volunteered on an Aid Station and the 51st Rotorua Marathon. I could have run it, but chose to give my body a break and take a more ‘sensible’ approach. I can’t do everything and I’ve realised that I need to be selective if I want my body to last. As much as I love running, and particularly marathons, my main goal is to be successful at Ironman. Training for marathons, which includes social running with friends, is something I need to sacrifice to reach that goal. I fit in running with my ‘running buddies’ where I can, but am increasingly realising the need to be time efficient and often this means training alone and at unsociable hours.