In Review of 2012

2013 is now upon us. I have been a little delayed in writing this post, but thanks to the massive snowstorm that came through Little Rock on Christmas night, I now have the time needed to thoroughly review my 2012 triathlon season and decide where I’m going in 2013.

My House after the Snow Storm

I could just give you a review of my goals from 2012 and tell you what I want my goals to be for 2013, but instead, I decided to take an honest look at my triathlon season by answering the questions from the article “How to Learn From Your Triathlon Season” by Chris Janzen. Some of these questions are easy to answer, while others made me really think about my season. I would highly recommend for any endurance athlete to answer these questions for themselves. You may be surprised about what you find out about yourself.

In hindsight, were your season goals clear and attainable?
Yes, I believe that for the most part, my goals were very clear and attainable. Although, some of them took on new meanings as the year went on. I do like to set at least one “dream” goal though. This is a goal that is almost more of a dream, but with the accomplishments of my other goals, should become more attainable.

What were you most proud of this season?
There are several things that I’m very proud of this season, but the clear stand out is not only completing my first 70.3, but also having a fantastic time of 6:09.53.

What would you like to duplicate next year?
For the 2013 season I would like to duplicate another successful 70.3 (sub 6 hours would be great) and I would also like to have fun and stay healthy. My 70.3 training was pretty intense, but by participating in several low-key events (Memphis in May, Spillway Triathlon, Toad Suck, BDB 100 and Raid the Rock), I brought the fun back into what I love to do. I did have several injuries throughout the year, but none of them were major because I listened to my body and I did regular strength training.

What frustrated or disappointed you the most this season?
The most frustrating and disappointing thing that happened to me this season was not having a sub-2-hour half marathon at the Austin LIVESTRONG Half Marathon. There were a lot of things wrong with this race. I don’t think I did enough hill training, my pre-race activities were stressful and nerve racking, I didn’t stick with the pace group…really it was quite a few things. I am seeking retribution in 2013.

What do you not want to happen again next year?
In the hardest part of my training for the 70.3, I began to get burnt out. I was exhausted from being on a regimented schedule and I was ready to be doing other things. I don’t like that feeling one bit. I do triathlons because I love them and I enjoy it. I never want this to be something that I dread. This is why I have serious doubts about ever doing an Ironman. Luckily, I think for any future training for half ironmans I won’t have to be nearly as intense.

What did you learn by going through these experiences?
I think the most important thing I learned by going through these experiences this season is why I do triathlon. I’m never going to be a professional triathlete, but I like to be competitive. I really enjoy this sport and I love the challenges it can present, but I never want that feeling to wane. This gives me incredible insight into how and why I train the way I do and which races I choose to do. I think this will also allow me to continue to thrive in triathlon and love the sport.

What decisions did you make that were empowering for you?
There were three things that really empowered me this year. The first that happened was that my mom passed away in June. This was a devastating event that happened at the beginning of my 70.3 training. The day before she passed away, I had also just purchased my tri bike. So, when I finally returned to Little Rock the week before the Spillway Triathlon, I knew I had to do it. When I completed this event I knew that things were going to be OK and that what I was doing was what I was suppose to be doing.The second empowering decision that I made was heart rate training. Even though it was very frustrating at times, this really built me up as an athlete and gave me the confidence to go further than I had ever gone before.Lastly, competing in the Toad Suck Olympic Triathlon as a tune up race before my 70.3 was awesome. I hadn’t raced since the Spillway Tri and I hadn’t competed in an Olympic distance triathlon since Memphis in May, so I didn’t know what to expect as a finish time. I was just hoping for under 3 hours, but when I finished in almost 13 minutes under that (and a PR for me), I knew that I had been training correctly.

What habits seemed to hold you back from achieving your potential?
This is a really difficult question for me to answer, but I think generally, it would have to be intensity. I think that I can be more intense with running, swimming and biking. By intensity I don’t really mean more, but just challenging and pushing myself more when I do it. I’m at a little bit of a plateau with all of these and I need a break through to take me to that next step.

What decisions should you make in order to have your best triathlon year ahead?
I think the answer to the question is obvious from my answers above. I need to increase my intensity while still having fun, and making intelligent and deliberate decisions about my training. Here are some concrete goals, that I think will get me there:

  1. I really enjoyed Redman 70.3 in 2012, but I know that I can improve on my time, therefore, I will compete in the Rev3 Cedar Point 70.3 in under six hours.
  2. As I said before, I’m out for retribution. I WILL have a sub two-hour half marathon at Little Rock Half Marathon this year.
  3. As a continuing quest to become a better runner, as well as increase my intensity, I would like to get a sub 25 min 5K. This is supposedly a benchmark for “real” runners.
  4. Since I don’t have any large, triathlon-based, purchases planned for 2013, I’d like to start going to the Masters Swim at the Racquet Club. This will also help to increase my intensity because I believe I have reached a stalemate in my swimming. I need some advice from a professional to take my swimming to the next level.
  5. One of these days I’m going to get this goal, but I would still really like to get an overall placing in a triathlon.
  6. Of course, my last goal is to have a healthy and fun season. In order to achieve this it will be important for me to continue strength training and have regular doctors examines. I will also get outside and have some fun by getting into backpacking, go on trail runs, participate in adventure races, go mountain biking, wakeboarding and of course participating in short distance, local triathlons.

How did your season go?  What goals do you have for 2013?
Tell me in the comments below.


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