Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reflecting on 2006

I think it's time I do this since we are already a week into 2007. But hey, it just wouldn't be the same if I didn't procrastinate a little.

When 2006 began, I was 3 1/2 weeks into a 20 week marathon training program for the Country Music Marathon. I had previously run 2 half marathons, and I eagerly awaited the "next step". The thought of running 26.2 miles at once really seemed like an insurmountable task at first, until I looked at some training plans week by week. I realized that if I could run 13.1 miles, that I could also run 26.2 miles if I applied more training, dedication, and persistance. I learned a lot about myself during that journey. I suffered injuries and withstood them; I suffered from overtraining and burnout. But in the end, I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. During the training, I also set a half marathon PR of 1:51:02 at the Tom King Half. The one thing I wanted out of this experience was increased mental fortitude, and I can say that was certainly achieved. I finished the marathon in 4:17:17 and ready to start triathlon season.

The season started with the Mach Tenn Triathlon, where I met my goal by improving my times in all legs from last year (13 minutes overall!). I love this tri. It just feels like a real deal triathlon. The open water swim, the bike ride around the lake, the hilly run, the sunshine, and all the cool people who are doing this one. Not to mention that it's been going for 24 years. There's lots of encouragement on the course, lots of comraderie, and lots of pizza and beer at the end. It's just a great time. And, it was my introduction into the triathlon world in 2005.

After Mach Tenn, I did two more sprint tris. I placed 3rd in McMinnville and got 2nd overall on my home turf at the Star Triathlon. I completed my first oly at the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, and I wasn't able to make the Music City Tri because my kids were sick, but overall it was a great season. I took Briar to do 2 youth tris, and Bo did the "Small Fry Tri" in McMinnville and still talks about it to this day!!

Somewhere between all that I did the Moon Pie 10 miler, along with H (my sister), the Old Timer's Day 5k, the Franklin Classic 10k, and then decided to start training for the Las Vegas Marathon. I turned 30 on October 6th, and I did my first century ride on October 7th. Oh yes, and let's not forget that I bit the dust with Michele in my first serious bike wreck about 8 miles into the Delta 100k. Talk about lessons learned.

Not related to triathlon and running, I went on my first rock climbing and repelling adventure with the kids. And that was TOO MUCH FUN! I want more of that 2007, for sure.

During Las Vegas training I had a good run at the Team Nashville Half, and then finished up the season with a 4:08:28 in Vegas. My goal was sub-4 there, and I came up quite a bit short. I was pretty disappointed, but hey, there's always next time, right? I found out that there is a reason you hear of so many people trying to get under 4 hours for a marathon. It ain't easy. But it ain't impossible either(and yes, I know that "ain't" aint a word!). I took the rest of December off, except for a run or trainer ride here and there whenever I really wanted to.

So how do I feel about all that? Well, all things considered, I'll give it a C, maybe a C+. I didn't do anything really above and beyond my potential, but I did put in a lot of solid, dedicated hard work to complete some pretty big tasks. I made a lot of mistakes, but hopefully I learned from them and am better for them. I also met a lot of cool people along the way. One thing that concerns me is the fact that I got burned out several times. I put a lot of pressure on myself when racing. Whether it's my age group, a certain time to get under, or another athlete that I want to finish ahead of - I HATE to lose. And I think it's gotten to an unhealthy point. I find it almost impossible to just go out and participate in a race without going all out. And that has to change if I'm going to do anything longer than an olympic distance race. I've got to chill out. And when I finished Las Vegas, I was completely drained mentally. I couldn't even think about planning out another training plan or picking out another race to do. I think I need more balance in 2007. I also am going play the race schedule by ear for awhile. I had thought about doing the Gulf Coast Half Ironman in May, but I'm not ready to commit to that yet. I am loving the mountain biking, and I am looking forward to some road riding with Briar. I'm tossing around the idea of MTB race, or maybe even an Xterra....but just tossing...nothing for sure yet. I wasn't very pleased with my nutrition for 2006. I tried to follow a fairly balanced diet, but I really didn't put the research and time into it that I should have. And I followed the balanced diet in spurts, instead of making it my way of life.

I have several triathlon and running related goals for 2007, but I have even more that aren't related to either. I'll share some of them soon. For the record, though, I am back to training. Nothing too hard core, I'll talk more about that in my next post too.


Laurie said...

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I will leave your link on my page if that's ok. thanks!

TriSaraTops said...


Did you say C+????!!

Girl, I give you an A+. And I am not just blowin' smoke up your arse. You are such an inspiration to me, doing what you do, training and racing AND being a phenomenal Mom. Case in point: your boys clearly look up to you and are emulating your healthy lifestyle with triathlon ALREADY. You make me feel better about being a Mom someday, because you show me that it IS possible do all these things and have balance.

So I guess I see it in a different way than you do. :) To me, you already have an amazing amount of balance, and I only hope I can do the same!

Curly Su said...

i double what trisara says...she's a smart chick.

you're too hard on yourself. you're doing well out there and improving every day. you can't ask for much more than that, ya know?

RunBubbaRun said...

As long as you had fun and challenged yourself, I definetly give that A+ in my book. Look forwrd to hear what's up for 2007. Ditto to what was said above also.

Bob Gentile said...


hmmm c+ huh well it's ur grade it was ur effort, so the question is WHAT Does it take for you to reach B or an A ?

hmmm is it BALANCE? is it CHILLIN more on your races and just enjoying the journey and the Moment?

well LANA my grade is higher then c+ for U :-)

... Good luck with finding more BALANCE in your LIFE...took me a while to find it but I DID about 3 years ago and it's A+ MAZING!!

Pixie said...

I think you had a wonderful year!! It is good to see that you are growing and want to continue to grow. That is an A+ for sure! Here's to a safe and healthy 2007!

Kate said...

There is no way you deserve a C+- you set PRs, achieved "firsts" throughout a lot of racing. And although you had burnout probs, you did not let them get you down!

Cliff said...

I would say at least a B for 2006. The fact that you see yourself burning out and learnt the lesson is important. Most ppl don't see that and believe that they gotta push harder, not push less.

Hmm xterra sure sounds good. :)

Lance Notstrong said...

Go easy and have fun until you are "ready" again. I've ridden my bike twice and ran twice since the marathon.

Michele said...

You are insane! A C+??? Please don't grade my 2006.
Can't wait to see your taining plans, hope we can get in a run together soon. I am not getting on the bike outside until it is MUCH warmer.

DaisyDuc said...

Wow, that list is tiring to read. Funny how long a list seems all summed up when broken down by month seems pretty manageable.

Looking forward to watching you in 2007. Best of luck!!

Totally agree with trisaratops onn all you have accomplished!! A+ woman!

Phil said...

It's your life so your opinion counts for more than the rest of us, but to me, it would appear that you had a great running year. You certainly accomplished a lot more than most.

You're going to really rock in 2007.

Rae said...

I'd say you had a great year, too, but I can def see how you might have some burnout. When it all becomes a chore it may be time to take a break or mix it up. I think the answer to my burnout may be to do less distance this year, all the training has become such a burden. I hope you find your mojo!!