Change of Plans: New Goals for 2017.

My hiatus from blogging since early February is very unintentional. I had a huge change of plans.

At the end of one of my last articles, I put out a call to action for my readers to commit to goals. I realized it was time for me to do the same. The next article on my story board was going to be my race plans for the 2017 season. Well, let’s just say it’s a good thing I hadn’t committed to any non-refundable races.

There will be no sprint triathlons, olympic triathlons, half-Ironman or full-Ironman races for me in 2017.

There will, however, be an Ironbaby.

ironbaby

I am pregnant. The reality of this is still sinking in, even as I hit the 2nd trimester of this surprise pregnancy. I’ve spent the last several weeks with mind-blowing nausea and fatigue.   Luckily, the fog of first-trimester symptoms are starting to lift, and I’m slowly starting to feel human again.

I’ve been doing some freelance work, which has been a great learning experience. Some days, that’s all I could do (aside from caring for my family).

I have such mixed feelings.

Hubby decided after Youngest Son was born, that he was done having kids. I wasn’t quite there yet, and held out hope that he’d change his mind. That was, until we hit potty training. Once we hit that phase, I decided I could not potty train another human being. Ever again. So, about 3 years ago–I decided was done. I knew in my heart and my mind that I was done. Even after my miscarriage in 2015, I was done,

The only problem is that we hadn’t taken permanent measures yet.

Now that the initial shock has worn off, I’m happy about this pregnancy. Our kids are thrilled. We realize just how blessed we are to have another baby joining our family. Permanent measures will be taken, ahem, before this baby is born.

babydonuts

Change of plans: shift in focus for 2017.

There are women that have competed in triathlons (and yes, even Ironmans!) while pregnant. However, that is not for me. I am a klutz on the bike, and distracted drivers while I’m biking terrify me. I could never forgive myself for putting my baby in danger.

I’ve continued to run, bike (on my trainer!), and lift weights regularly. I admittedly haven’t gotten in the pool since IMLOU, as I’ve had a huge aversion to lap swimming since the the long 4000+ yard training swims. I know soon enough, I’ll be thankful for the pool and swimming will feel good as I get bigger.

This year, my focus will be to grow a human while making sure I’m the best wife and mom I can possibly be. Though there won’t be any PRs this year, I still plan to recreationally run a couple races. I’m registered for the Lincoln Half Marathon, which I may or may not actually do. If I do–I’ll do a slow run/walk for fun. If the weather is crummy, I won’t bother.

There’s always next year.

Change of plans: Sherpa for the year.

The bright side of all this, is that Hubby gets all the training time to himself this year. No balancing training for Ironman or triathlons (for me) and ultra marathons (for him).  Once he finishes the Boston Marathon next week, he’ll shift focus to doing the Lincoln Half Marathon and then possibly a few ultra marathons later this year.

hubbyrun

I’m excited to support him this season, and to support our kids’ activities. I’m looking forward to volunteering at local triathlons and encouraging everyone else around me. It’s a great time to pay it forward.

I’m already thinking about next year’s plans.

I know how physically and emotionally exhausting a new baby can be, and I know how rigorous Ironman training can be. Regardless, I’m keeping the idea of a late-season Ironman on my radar for next year.  I may alter that plan, obviously, but it’s giving me a little mental boost of looking forward to next year and setting new goals.

In the meantime, I’ll share my triathlon and running tips–and highlights of continuing some training during pregnancy. I’ll live vicariously through my family and triathlon friends. So, tell me about your race plans this year–I can’t wait to cheer you on!

 

vailpass

Plan your destination race with these valuable tips

Registering for your destination race this year? Here’s how to plan the best trip and make it a vacation!

It’s February already. If you haven’t planned your races for the season yet, now is the time to commit. If you’re looking to combine a race with a vacation, this article could make or break your experience.

For our busy family, we like to plan races and vacations that overlap. We really enjoy doing races in different locales. If that race is within a 4-hour drive of a vacation spot, why not plan a family trip around it? Think of it as a two-birds-with-one-stone type of mentality, but we decided this is a great use of our time and resources.

The first destination experience

My first destination race was in Aurora, Colorado in 2010 for a sprint triathlon. After spending a week in the mountains with friends, we topped the trip off with a sprint triathlon. I attributed the time spent as “acclimating” to the altitude. For me, it worked great. For my friend, well, she got dehydrated and cramped. I should have learned from her lesson.

mountains

Continue reading

New Year Goal

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

What is your goal this year? We have another 349 days left to make some amazing things happen before 2017 ends.

I want to encourage you to pursue a goal that you never thought possible. While it doesn’t have to be fitness or race related, it definitely can be. Think of something on your bucket list. Anything. What is one thing on that list that you want to check off this year? Is there a trip you’ve been dreaming of taking? Do you have a new hobby you want to begin? Maybe there is a job change that would make you a happier person. Start thinking about it.

My current struggle to set new goals

While I’m doling out the encouragement, I’m admittedly struggling to set my own goals right now. I am in a serious rut after IMLOU. I want to do another Ironman. Bad. The bug bit me really hard.

Continue reading

halt-holiday-weight-gain

Holidays don’t have to mean weight gain

Avoid holiday weight gain: an invitation and challenge

Yeah, I know it sounds so cliche. I really get that. Don’t we all want to avoid putting on a few extra pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  This year, I set that goal, and I hope others would like to join me in that endeavor. I have a challenge for you.

I started 2016 off still carrying over 10 pounds of extra baby weight. Knowing that my “baby” was 4 years old at that point was great motivation to finally make that happen. After all, I didn’t want to carry those extra pounds for 140.6 miles at IMLOU.

I had a very stressful December last year, and my eating (and drinking) habits were out of control through Christmas. It was like a runaway train that came to a crashing halt when I realized how crummy I felt. My clothes were tighter, and I was irritable and tired. I vowed to make changes. Not necessarily a New Year’s Resolution, but kind of. I wanted something permanent–not just for the new year.

I began this journey by signing up for a 12-week package of nutrition counseling with Niki Kubiak. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics with Infinite Sports World in Omaha. She guided me through a realistic 11-pound weight loss from January through April. She then set the framework for my race nutrition and weight maintenance through my triathlon season and Ironman training. I highly recommend her services to anyone. This is not coming from the mouth of a sponsored athlete, people. This is from the heart. She helped change my life, and I’d do it all over again.

I stated this a few times over this year, but having my nutrition on-point was a game changer for me

First, I needed to invest in myself to do this. The cost of the program was actually quite manageable considering the expertise Niki shared with me. Additionally, knowing I was investing in myself made me accountable to my eating habits.  I met with Niki twice per month in the first 12 weeks, and then met with her once per month during maintenance mode.

Prior to this, I would usually “wing it” on my race-day nutrition. My pre-race nutrition was usually spot-on, but I didn’t have an exact plan for race nutrition. A few gels here and there. Some Gatorade, maybe some water. Shot Bloks. Whatever, whenever. Niki planned my nutrition for my Olympic, Half-Ironman, and Ironman races this year. I had specific fueling strategies that were easy to follow. I nailed my goals, shattered my personal records, and became an Ironman.

Through this, I remained mostly injury-free and never got sick. Not once. No sore throats, no coughs, no colds, no stomach bugs. I attribute that to spot-on nutrition. Considering what I put my body through during the grueling training process, I think this is a huge success.

I could never put a price tag on any of that. I was worth it.

A new normal in the off-season

Now that my 2016 race season is behind me, I don’t want this December to mirror last year. I didn’t board the runaway train this year. I put too much into my weight loss this year to blow that effort to shreds. Instead of spending January through April losing weight all over again, I want to continue fine tuning my nutrition. I want to have another “best year ever” with my race season in 2017.

I spent most of October and November easing into my off-season exercise routine and eating habits. I’m finding joy in working out, rather than obligation. I also find joy in the unexpected rest day without beating myself up over it and feeling a ton of guilt. My body needed a rest from what I put it through.

With that comes less calorie burn

I’m settling into my new non-training food habits now. In the peak of Ironman training, I was burning over 3000 calories some days. Now, I burn that in a good week. Luckily, my appetite dwindled with my activity level. I still track what I eat on MyFitnessPal fairly consistently. I’m finding a balance of managing my weight, but not feeling completely deprived over the holidays.

During the last month, I enjoyed and indulged a bit at a few parties and dinners. Then, the next day after each event, I set forth back into my not-so-rigid routine.  Most days, I make good choices. I admit that I still need to get more veggies in, but doesn’t everyone? I’m working out 4-6 days per week. I feel so much better after a workout, so I consider it a necessity!

Over 2 months post-Ironman, I’ve only gained 2-4 pounds (you know, female weight fluctuation). I’ve heard from others that have put on upwards of a solid 5 to 10 pounds, so I feel pretty good about this. I think my strategy is working.

As we still have a couple weeks left of the  holiday season, I want to extend an invitation and a challenge

If you’re like me, you might thrive on accountability. If so, I invite you to connect with me on MyFitnessPal: momcantri. I promise, I don’t judge! I have continued to journal most of my eating and exercise habits to keep myself in check. It’s so easy to use once you get into the routine of doing it daily. We can cheer each other on. Whether you want to start a food journal now, or in a few weeks, please look me up. I would love to have people join me.

Here is my challenge for you: invest in yourself. How you do this is entirely up to you. If you’re looking to adopt healthier eating habits, start an exercise habit, or have some serious goals in 2017, I want you to DO IT. Even if that means seeking the help of a registered dietitian to sort things out, DO IT. If you want to take your athletic performance to the next level, DO IT. If you don’t know where to start with an exercise program, I can help you  with some suggestions and direction. We all start somewhere, so start wherever you are now.

Share in the comments or email me directly via the contact page, and let me know your goal. I want to cheer you on!

After all, aren’t you worth it?