Monday, November 15, 2010

Decisions, Goals, Unnatural Weather and Other Nonsense

It’s the middle of November and it’s been 80+ degrees in Northern California for several days.  We aren’t complaining but it sure is odd, even for our generally mild fall/winter weather.  It will be cold and raining by the weekend but I will be…

In Arizona!  Frolicking around the Ironman course without a care in my heart this time.  Catching up with friends who are racing and friends who raced last year and friends who are spectating and friends who are volunteering.  Wetsuit stripping.  Stalking Chrissie Wellington. 

The beardie boys and I spent the weekend in Santa Rosa for an AKC agility trial.  Stan is showing wonderful focus and drive in his runs – no Qs for him but they were all very close.  We need to work on his weave entrances more.  Max ran his little heart out on Saturday and had a great time, then double-Qed on Sunday! 

I am nearing a decision point on Max’s agility career – as of today, he has 18QQs and 270 points towards his MACH2 (20QQs and 750 points needed).  We are trialing heavily through mid-January (and hope to fit more trials in beyond that for as long as my training stays lighter) and then I need to decide if we will pursue the MACH2 or if I will drop him down to Preferred and run him at a lower jump height just for fun.  If we can pick up a decent number of points in the next couple months, then I’ll be amenable to chipping away at the number slowly over the next couple years.  Either way, it’s all about the two of us having fun at this stage of the game – and he’s still having a blast.  He knew he rocked the Standard course on Sunday and he strutted around wiggling with joy afterwards.

In between agility runs, we visited Beth’s house as it’s only a mile away from the trial site.  The boys were – of course – thrilled to see their sisters again – it was a mutual lovefest!

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I’m continuing to refine my race schedule for next year.  As dates get officially announced, I’ve been either signing up or researching other options when there is a conflict.  I’m just waiting for the dates on the 2 shortest races of the year to complete things.

My primary goals for next year involve the races on the schedule and the times or experiences I want to get out of them.  But I’ve been thinking a lot about the sub-goals that I have along the way – things that will support the larger goals or just things I want to do.  Like…

Muscle.  I put on a lot of muscle mass last year in Ironman training.  It more or less sat there undisturbed this year.  I want better muscle definition for next year.  Hence, I am busting my ass doing all the strength training workouts assigned to me.  This pays off in other ways as well…every time I’m doing pushups on the stability ball and thinking I’d like to cut the set short, I remind myself that I would regret it during the Ironman swim when I have to rely on those strong muscles to get me through.

Food.  In conjunction with the previous goal, I am back to watching what I eat.  I am NOT at the point of limiting things too much or calculating exact #s of grams of carbs I need to intake, but even the process of tracking what you eat tends to result in better decision-making.  When the volume gets intense again, I want to have well-established good habits to fall back on, as well as a framework for determining what I need to eat when to support the training.

Sleep.  I am on top of this one like white on rice.  I worry that I may be overdoing it, to be honest, but I’m averaging 9 hours of sleep per night lately.  There’s no shame in going to bed at 8:30pm, right?  In any event, I know how important proper rest was to staying healthy during IM training last year and I intend to sustain that this time.

Yoga.  I slacked this year but I was religious about going last year - stretching and flexibility are just as important as the other parts of training.  This is me committing to weekly (at a minimum) yoga classes once the training year gets rolling.

And more as they arise…this is just what’s been in my head at the moment.  Happy Monday!

8 comments:

My Life and Running said...

Liking the Muscle-Food-Sleep-Yoga plan! Have a great time at IMAZ this weekend!

Michelle Simmons said...

Great goals!!

Jennifer said...

I like your goals- now that I have lost weight maintaining is a priority but I also would like some mass and definition. I love, love, love, that picture of four happy and smiling pups!

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Ah, sleep and yoga, what a great part of your plan!

Jennifer said...

Hi Molly, I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd reach out. Just started doing tris this year and am totally loving it. I live in San Francisco and yours is the only local blog I have found! Which is why I originally started following, but now I love the updates on your precious dogs :-)

All that to inquire how you like your coach... I just signed up for my first HIM next year (Kona!) and am exploring options.

And maybe we'll cross paths at a local tri next year! You doing Wildflower?

Good luck at IMAZ! Looking forward to your race report.
cheers,
Jennifer
(jenniferr at gmail dot com)

ps. just started a tri blog too... come visit sometime! http://brand.blogs.com/today

Bertie said...

Oh how I wish for 9 hours of sleep a night...(as I look upward with stars in my eyes!)

Sounds like mentally you're on the right track, and honestly, figuring out what you want to take away from a race experience is way more important than "must achieve sub-goals". I look forward to the posted 2011 Race Calendar!

Wes said...

Safe travels! Next year looks like its going to be fun!!! How DO you get the dogs to sit still like that? Love them!!

Lisa T said...

Have fun in AZ. Do a little stalking for me!