Saturday, January 2, 2016

What's in store for 2016? 

More adventures in fitness I hope!
Enjoying the Oregon Coast 30K vista
After turning 40 this year I feel inspired to keep pushing forward and challenging myself and most importantly to have fun with my training. I don't subscribe to the belief that you need to make resolutions every new year, but I do have a list of specific goals for 2016, including a few that are health and fitness related.
One is to immerse myself in the water. Swimming has always been a huge challenge for me. It feels disheartening when it takes so much effort to swim a half mile (which I feel I can barely do) and get passed by everyone else in you wave (as in during a triathlon) and most of the next wave too! Plus I love being in and on open water and even being in wetsuit. I just need some schooling!
Two is to 'listen to my hunger'. This is a tougher feat because it's day to day. Since I'm a bit of a binge eater, working at home is challenging.  If I am in my office all day I tend to snack almost non-stop, even when I'm not really hungry. I am big believer that food is important fuel and one needs sustenance and the right balance. Most of my focus will be to opt of out of easy, sugary snacks foods and to focus and eating healthy well rounded meals. Makes sense, just need to follow through!
That leads me to number three. My favorite sporty pastime (other than skiing) is cycling. This year I need to do a major ride. Since I've never done a long multi day ride I'm setting my sights on that. Perhaps a 200+ miler. Picking the location and the timing is the challenge. I've done several summit rides, but this time I want more distance. I figure it will be best in August or September so I've got some time. Maybe the SV2 (ride from Vancouver to Seattle). Fun times ahead!
Here's a brief recap of my three events from 2015:
- Triathlon
- Olympic duathlon
- 30km trail race
Annika & I ready to swim @ Lake P

I highly recommend the Lake Padden Triathlon.  It's a gorgeous setting- a secluded state park with a small, pristine lake surrounded by tall 
native evergreens. Apart from the park facilities there's no other structures in sight. You swim across the lake and back, which for me was a daunting (and scary) concept.  Thankfully the water was quite warm by northwest lake standards so with the full wet-suit (I rented) it was quite comfortable. Being that I'm still very slow and awkward as a swimmer; this was still the toughest thing I did all summer. I grew quite tired and felt a bit dizzy even nearing the end of the swim. I pushed on though and as I hopped on my bike (my strongest sport). It was still warm enough to be in my swim shorts and a tank so I just went for it.  By the end of the ride I was a bit stiff and chilly.  The 5.5 mile trail run was a welcome change of pace. My legs feeling tight, I started out slow. Then quickly gained speed, making the last lap faster than the first. In the end, I'd say it was one of the most enjoyable endurance events ever. Plus they had the coolest shirts (day of the dead style) of any race I've done.  Someday...again!

The Sea-fairDuathlon proved to be my fastest race (competitively speaking) as I came in as the 3rd woman (much to my surprise)! I originally signed up for the Tri, but I was not feeling confident at all about the swim (though I have done it before). Sometimes thats just the way it is and you need to respect what your body is telling you. So this was my first duathlon...definitely a fun and encouraging experience! The bike ride being 10 miles longer than the sprint triathlon route and the run 2x the distance (10km). I felt strong and fit and ready to conquer. Both of the Seafair events are great local competitive multi-sport challenges. Overall it felt well organized and once again, I got very lucky with the weather! 
Another strong finish by team AA! -with Tri-buddy Aeron
The last event I'll mention is the Oregon Coast 30k trail race. This was probably the most beautiful run I've ever raced, though Orcas Island 25km is at the top for sure. I loved the coastal route especially since it was a nice variety of mostly 'runnable' terrain as opposed to a mix of hiking, though the first few long climbs were definitely a slower pace due to the swarms of other runners ahead and in tow.
The views were both stunning and enchanting, the air ocean fresh, and the weather could not have been more perfect!

Trail running is one of my favorite activities (after cycling and skiing of course). It's so simple and meditative. I'm more motivated by solitude, but I do enjoy mixing it up and training part time with friends who are both supportive and challenging to keep up with.

Whatever adventures the new year takes you into I hope it involves fun, safety, and you find 'spirit' in what you do!

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