October 22, 2012 —
Last Saturday, October 14th was the last big race on my calendar for 2012. I have the NYC Marathon dash to the finish 5k coming up in 2 weeks, but I am considering it more of a fun run. Here’s a quick recap of my 2012 race season.
Here are a few things I learned during the 2012 race season:
1. There is such a thing as too many races. I had such a great time racing in 2011, that I signed up for more than fifteen races in 2012. I decided I wanted to earn the tock star heavy medal in the Rock’n’Roll series, then amy learned of and got us into the Triple Crown of Racing in Rhode Island and then of course I had my half ironman triathlon and numerous other triathlons this year. All in all i think I ended up around 17 or 18 races. I can’t even keep count. 7 Half Marathons, 1 Full Marathon, 1 Half Iron Tri, 1 Duathlon, 1 10k, 1 olympic tri and a handful of sprint triathlons. Insanity. By the end of the season, I was just going through the motions on race day and not even excited any more. So just some advice…don’t try to accomplish all of your goals in one season. Life is long, spread those goals out. Next year, my goal is to complete my first full ironman. I will be running 3 definite races, with no more than 5 tops.
2. Base Training in the off season is crucial. Too many races causes exhaustion both mentally and physically. There were many times I raced in back to back weekends and other times where i raced two or three times a month. All this racing really takes a toll on the body, and can cause you to completely drop your plan and sit on your butt to recover between races. I would say that after May, I really ventured away from my training plan. I did my best to make sure I still got long mileage runs and rides in, but i dont think i was in a pool or swam outside of triathlons once. I really worked on my base very hard over the winter, and have to say that I survived on my base training and my base training alone. I will not let that happen again. I definitely do not recommend trying to survive an entire race season on base training.
3. Racing is expensive! Most people who have ever run a race probably already know this. The race itself is expensive…justified costs in my opinion though. The racing company has to pay for T Shirts and finishers medals, pre- during and post-race foods and hydration, police to close and man roadways, etc. However, once you start doing races where u need to also get hotel rooms, the costs add up…QUICK! I have always found it to be worth the cost but doing so many races empties the pockets haha.
4. Icy Hot is wonderful (take care of your body) One thing I did do right this year was take care of my body. I made it through 15+ races without getting injured. I always made sure to ice and use compression when in pain and rest when needed. You really need to listen to your body and not push too hard when hurting. There is a fine line between sore/pain and an injury, and you need to be an expert on that line. I had several training runs and rides this year where my body ached, but I knew I was not injured I was just sore or tired from a previous workout. You need to know when you can push and when you must rest.
Thats all for now…I will check in again soon to update on some specific goals I have for 2013 and for the future.