Sunday, June 15, 2014

Change is good...maybe even great!

It’s good to have a plan, but it’s GREAT to be open to change.

I’m a super organized person and a planner.  When I had 5 little boys 3 and under I learned quickly I needed to have a plan, but being flexible with the plan was the way to keep sane.  I’ve brought this mentality over into my training.  I always have a plan…whether it’s a 5 year plan or my run session for the day.  Usually I make a big training cycle plan where I map out my key training sessions and races.  Then I tweak it on Sundays when I sit down and write my weekly specific sessions.  Mainly what happens are sessions get moved and tweaked because of life.  The way my training works for me is I schedule it around my family rather than my family around my training.  When I know we will be out of town for a few days I will plan build or speed work before so the days we are gone can be rest or easy training days.  

Black Beauty and I at the 70.3 World champs in the rain.
So with all that being said I realized I needed to change about a month into my marathon training.  One reason I knew I needed to change things was I was starting to get little aches and pains.  I started taking out more running and putting in a few bike and swim sessions.  Then I started to see what I was lacking…speed.  I know I have the endurance to run 26.2 miles.  The question is how fast I can run 26.2 miles.  At this point it’s not as fast I want to and therefore I need to spend more time on quality and less on quantity.

Climbing hills at IMoo 2012...what we like 
to do best!
I’m going to race my way into marathon speed.  I’ve signed up for a 5K, 10k, 2 sprint triathlons, and even age group nationals in Milwaukee.  Of course I’m keeping my 50 mile ultra-trail run on the calendar just because it sounds like a super fun day!

Also, as soon as I got back on Black Beauty it was like I was home.  When I finished Kona the last thing I wanted to do was ride my bike or get in the pool.  I needed a break.  At the time I thought it was a permanent break.  Part of me believes I told myself that Kona was it for me so I could really put it all out there.  After months (6 months) of no training I was really able to sit back and think about so many different things…training, life, goals, dreams, and most importantly what I really enjoy doing.  I love training and racing.  I’ve analyzed my training log to Kona and know I can go faster by tweaking my training.  I know I can manage family life and training.  I have my master’s program through next summer so the marathon is still my focus and triathlon is my cross training. 


I’ve been asked a few times in the last few weeks about why I do yoga so much.  There are several reasons why I keep yoga a main part of my training.  One reason and the most important reason is the fact I love it.  So why do I love it so much?  It builds strength (physical and mental), balance, and teaches me to breathe when life gets hard.  In races when it gets hard I can always find my breathe and I can feel a sense of calm come over me.  When I do yoga I can feel an imbalance or something that may be off and then work to strengthen the area or maybe just take some extra time to rest before it becomes an injury.  So much of our speed and power comes from our core and this is what yoga is all about plus being flexible.  If you want to be aero for 5+ hours on a tri bike it’s important to have core strength and flexibility to not only be in that position for so long, but then get off and run a marathon.

In the summer I have more time to train.  I really don’t put in more time swimming, biking, or running.  I put the extra time into all the other stuff like yoga, rolling, and sleeping.  This summer will be different than last because of my school work.  


We all have it and most of the time we choose to bring more or less into our lives.  Whether we choose to do a speed session on the track or signing our kids up for extra curriculum activities we are choosing the amount of stress in our life.  Stress can be good and is important to growth as an athlete….it’s the stress of those harder sessions that build us up.  I have found one of the keys to keeping stress in check in my life is balancing them.  When one area of stress in my life is high then the stress in other areas of my life needs to be lower.  For example, I wouldn’t train for an IM or key race which would happen in December.  For one the boys are all super busy with their hockey season, it’s the holiday season, it’s getting close to the end of the semester for my students, and it’s getting to the end of the semester with my masters classes.  Training is coming in last on the list of priorities in my life during that time.  Maybe this is why a September race (IMoo) works out great for me in the past.  The boys are busy all summer at hockey camp, I’m not teaching, and have a lot of extra time to train.

Training stress needs time to soak in which means having extra time for sleep, rolling, and making good decisions with nutrition.  In my opinion, the actual swimming, biking, and running sessions are a small part of what it takes to race at your highest level.  If you’re not recovery from one session before you start the next you are setting yourself up for injury and/or overtraining.  The more you can pay attention to the “other things” the more likely you will be to make it to the start line and make it to the start line healthy.   

Fun memories since last post….

Memorial Day weekend….
Andres Memorial Day Fish tourney
New this year we broke into teams and boats and had a little competion each day.  Everyone's name went into a hat and the boats were numbered.  It was a great time!
Fishing team of Riley and Wyatt

Monday morning, Memorial Day, was my first bike ride with the LAMS group since September of 2013 when we did the 44X100 swim set followed bike an outside ride and then a hot yoga sculpt class….Kona styleJ.  It was so fun to be back riding with the group.  I’m looking forward to getting outside this summer swimming, biking, and running with the group again.  

Camping in Ely
Cooking pancakes and making coffee
Wes...he can never get enough fishing.

We had a great time.  When the boys were all little we camped in a tent then moved to a small pull behind camper, then an RV.  Now we are back to the real camping of tenting it and keeping it quite rustic.  I would love to do more back packing especially along the North Shore.  On this trip we were kind of testing the waters to see what we needed and if the Andres crew really did like the rustic style of camping.  It was definitely a hit and we learned a few things like…. The boys need new tent.  They got soaked one night.  I’m not 100% sure it was the tents fault.  I’m thinking 5 boys may not have taken the time to properly put their tent and rain cover up the day we arrived.  Our boat in only site was very remote and very quiet.  We had a great time and one of the boys even added another trip up there camping on the summer list with the caveat they have a new tent.
The boys found the honey hole for the sunnies.

A few favorite sayings I heard on the camping trip were…

“I’m glad I’m not an only child.  That would suck!” (Westin)

“Every teenage boy should have to sleep in a wet tent at least once in their life” …(Lee’s words as we were sleeping dry and listening to the boys in their tent)

“This is the best family vacation ever” (Mitch)

“Thanks mom!” This was from Gavin after I used my swimming skills and goggles to find his sunglasses he lost when he flipped the kayak while fishing.
Lee and the boys taking a lunch break between fishing.

So many great funny memories the 7 of us will always remember.  There isn’t one family trip, no matter how terrible it may have went, we regret taking.  They have all been worth it…even the time all our money and car keys were stolen at Disney and even the time I ended up in the Cancun ER with a 8 year old at 2 am.  
Everyone is still happy after a round of intense mini golf.

Andres’ family summer list

Each summer we each pick one thing we want to do over the summer as a family and then we make sure we check them all off the list. I think this is our 4th summer of doing the list.  This summer our list contains white water rafting, fly-fishing, camping in Ely again, 2 rounds of Go-carts (mom and dad usually only allow one round or we get kicked out after one round), paint-balling, Drive-in movie theater, renting a wake-board boat for the day on the lake, and the State Fair.
Andres family summer list

Zorbaz swim race and Peter Johnson memorial
Sean Kaneski did a great job organizing this event.  It was a great venue and even with the not so nice weather the swim was wonderful.  I highly recommend this swim and will definitely do it again.
Jennifer of coolest chicks I know.  We have lots of swimming history and I would travel the world with her.

New race schedule – I’ve added a few races close to home so I can see the boys’ Saturday hockey games.  

Grandma’s half marathon 6/21
Race for the Cure 5K 6/28
Firecracker 10K Nisswa 7/5
Tri for a Cause 7/19
Voyager 50 miler 7/26
AG Nationals Olympic 8/9
Lakes Country Tri 8/24
TC 10 mile (I hope)
***Chicago marathon 10/12  This is my “A” race for the season.
Isn't this the truth?!

Happy training!