Tri This: after the race

Now what?

I met an unanticipated goal. I did my first triathlon, a mini, last weekend. When I started this project in June, my plan was for my first event to be sometime in the first half of 2018, a sprint triathlon.  Its a little strange now having that first event completed and I’m surprised to find myself feeling a bit lost and out of focus.

I imagine this a common response, in my case amplified by traveling to see the total solar eclipse, which brings its own post-event letdown. Two big deals in the same week.

In one way, I’m delighted to have more unstructured time. Sunday, I luxuriated in being unscheduled and was quite domestic. I gardened and washed sheets and bedding. Cooked two kinds of soup; cold cucumber and chicken green chili. Invented a recipe using the giant yellow squash and small eggplant that grew while we were out of town. Got to work on some blog posts. It was lovely to have a chance to catch up on things that hadn’t made it to the top of my priority list over the past few weeks.

Back to now what. How shall I proceed from here?

I do want to continue training, and Saturday’s triathlon confirmed my awareness that my running needs more attention. Biking and swimming are okay, and of course there is plenty of room for improvement. My current plan is to keep running 3 times a week, and decrease the biking and swimming to twice weekly for a while.  I want to keep my other physical activities. The yogalates, gyrotonics and stretching are great for general conditioning and counteracting some of the effects of specialized activities.

Then there is figure skating. I started skating some years back, and I really enjoy moving on the ice, and the fiddly/technical nature of the sport appeals to me. Owing to injuries and life complexities, my skating has been limited the past several years. I’ve restarted my private lessons and am once again enjoying skating. My plan now is to add back 1 or 2 more skating sessions a week (taking lessons without practicing is silly) as I lessen the intensity of my triathlon training.

With all these activities, as well as my work, blogging and home life, it doesn’t look as though I’ll be getting bored anytime soon. I can see that I might begin to feel over scheduled, and so I do want to stay aware and keep checking in to determine the best mix for me. In other words, I’ll continue comparing theory to reality, and letting experience guide my decisions.

6 thoughts on “Tri This: after the race

  1. Variation of input in terms of exercise is something I want to do more in the future. Congratulations on the first triathlon! I have it in my mind as a consideration in the future: I would have to remember how to ride a bike without falling over (I think I forgot! its been more than twenty years) and learn proper swim technique (I can barely complete half a length), but I have a lot of admiration for anyone who does all three.

    The lull after an event is quite strange, whether to jump straight back in, take a week or two off, etc. I’ll have the same question by the middle of October. From the end of August till then, I will have run two half marathons and 10Ks which is by far the most events I’ve done in a year. I think I’m going to maintain a low volume of activity and ease back into things for 2018, but as you say, accumulated experience is something I’ll refer to when October rolls around.

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    1. That’s a lot of running you’ve got there, EM. “They” say that bike riding once learned is a skill you keep fairly well, although I’d add a helmet for sure when starting out. And swimming can be learned. One of my triathlon inspirations is my dentist, who, while 10 years or so younger than me, despaired of his midlife paunch and started working with a trainer 5 or so years ago. He’s now completed 3 Ironmans and is going to Kona in November. When he started this process, he was a total non-swimmer and now he’s doing 2+ miles in open water! So it can be done, and it very much doesn’t need to be done at those enormous (to my way of thinking) distances.

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      1. They say you never forget, but I suspect it would take a long refresher course! I’ve always felt my balance is a little suspect if I don’t have any points of contact with the ground; right now I am focused on running and seeing how far I can go on a personal level, but I’ll always have the idea of a tri floating about.

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  2. Sounds like a lot of great projects Steph. I will be interested to see if one of these emerges as a front runner for more of your attention. Always exciting to see where life takes us and where we are pulled. Also, green chicken chili sounds amazing!! I want to make soup! Even more–I want to have the time to make soup (although I’ll admit I’m busy but grateful). xx

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