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Gearing Up for Triathlon Season

by Meghann on March 26, 2012

My gym has an outdoor heated pool that’s open year around. A fact that was a major selling point when i signed up last May. A year around pool meant I could continue to cross train through the winter and that I had no excuses to make the most out of training as possible, right? Umm…. not exactly.

After my half ironman last September I sort of fell off of the swimming and cycling bandwagon. In fact, I haven’t been in the pool since September and my bike has been sitting in the garage with two flat tires since October. That wasn’t the original plan. I wanted to continue to cross train through the winter, but without a reason to swim or ride (aka nothing to train for) I lost that desire to get out there. Instead I stuck to my first love – running – all winter.

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Photo from the St. Pete Half in February.

I wasn’t the only one who was taking a break – the hated pool was empty almost every morning all winter. Long gone were the crowds that would sit and wait on the sidelines for an open lane during the summer, in their place were bored looking lifeguards and the occasional dedicated swimmer or two that had the whole pool to themselves.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed a change. As the days become warmer – and triathlon season begins to pick up steam – the pool suddenly isn’t as empty. Seasoned veterans have begun to slowly make their way back in the water, dusting off their swim caps and finding their old strokes. Almost every lane was full this morning and for the first time since September I stopped at the window and actually began to think “should I be out there too?”

Last summer was the ‘half ironman summer.’ I trained my little heart out and dedicated all I could to Augusta. Completing that race was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding because I knew it was something that I earned. It was my proof that hard work and dedication really do pay off.

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This year I haven’t really given much thought to triathlon season. My little brother has planted the half ironman bug in my ear again (this time in Miami), but I’m holding off on other races until after Flying Pig in May. One race at a time.

The half ironman isn’t the only bug my little brother has planted in my ear. The full ironman is alive and well in there too. Two weeks ago Ben called to inform me volunteer registration had opened for the 2012 Ironman Florida. I was instructed to log online and register as a finish line catcher for November.

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Full Ironman races are notorious for selling out fast. Registration for the 2012 Ironman Florida opened just a few days after the 2011 race – 30 minutes later, it was sold out. If you’re not quick on the computer, there are other ways of guaranteeing a spot… like volunteering the year before. wink. wink. nudge. nudge.

In January 2009 I volunteered for the Disney marathon. I was so inspired by the runners that ran past me at mile 21, that I immediately registered for my first full marathon. Will volunteering for the full ironman have the same effect as volunteering at the marathon did? We’ll see. 😉

But, again, one race at a time.

Let me get through Flying Pig first, then I’ll be ready to tackle whatever triathlon season has for me this year. After that, I’ll begin to worry about 2013. I may have stayed out of the pool all winter, but I’m ready to dive back in for a fresh new start.

Who’s with me? 🙂

Lunch came in the form of a salad today.

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  • spinach
  • carrots
  • avocado
  • snap peas
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • hummus
  • blue corn chips

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The hummus and chips dominated the bowl, everything else was just a veggie bonus. 😉

1 Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter March 26, 2012 at 2:05 pm

For some reason, swimming was easy for me to keep up during the off season, it’s finding time to get the cycling in thats been my challenge.

I’m doing Augusta this year! Loved reading your recap. Running a 50k next weekend then getting into gear for 70.3 training.
Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter recently posted..Playing Hooky

2 Victoria (District Chocoholic) March 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

IM Louisville 2012 has spots still open, and is 21 weeks away. Plenty of time to train.

Just saying…

3 Allison March 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Let me know if you want to starting riding again… It’s been way too long since I’ve been on my bike!

4 Rae March 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Being a catcher is freaking awesome, and from 2-6 means you’ll get all the pros and super fasties. You should volunteer and the sign up…it gives you a good lay of the land and it’s a good way to get a feel for the day!

5 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Haha it’s the exact opposite in Chicago, the pool at my gym is always busiest in the winter when nobody wants to be outside!

I’m hoping to do a half ironman (the one in WI) and thinking of next summer, I loved your posts on training and your recap, I’ll be sure to read through them again before I sign up!
Lindsay @ Running the Windy City recently posted..Boston Marathon: The Would’ve Been Start of Taper

6 Ash Bear March 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Won’t you be in NYC running the marathon that weekend???
Ash Bear recently posted..Reflections on Running

7 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Ahhh the thought of an ironman gives me serious anxiety! haha although I’m just training for my first half, which is next week! I like your “once race at a time” mindset though!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Running–Speed Tips

8 Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I’m so glad the weather is finally getting nice here in ND, so I can start doing more things outside…I’m actually gearing up to go rollerblading by the river soon (working my way up to running the whole way ha)!
Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers recently posted..“Cheeseburger” Cookies: Perfect Kid Project!

9 Ida March 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Volunteering at the Ironman will be so fun! I volunteered at one, and it made me realize how much training goes into it. I’m sure you’ll get the itch to do one yourself, but I say wait until after the wedding to even start training.

10 Jessie March 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I’ve signed up as a volunteer for the Lake Placid Ironman this year, with the thought that I might have an urge to do the full Ironman next year. I’ve been told by friends that once you are there, and get caught up in the whole atmosphere there’s no turning back and you’re going to sign up. So be prepared!

11 Rae March 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

You should totally do it 🙂 I volunteered in 2009…and yep…signed up the next day! Awesome experience!!
Rae recently posted..Winning Friends with Fruitcake

12 Jess March 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

LOL Ben said the same thing to me about the 70.3 in Miami. He told me to come down and do it with you guys, but it’s the same day as MCM unfortunately.
Jess recently posted..Forced Rest Makes Me Cranky

13 Emily N March 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Salad looks yummy!
Emily N recently posted..Whirlwind Trip Home

14 Marianne March 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I assume the last part of your SXSW recap isn’t going to happen? Its been a while. 🙂

15 Xiomara @ parkesdale March 26, 2012 at 4:58 pm

It’s been at least 5 years since my last triathlon. I’ve been contemplating doing a tri since last year. I’m really hoping I can do one this year! So glad I found your blog to motivate me to finally commit to doing one.

16 Running Girl March 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Love the idea of volunteering in advance, to motivate yourself to sign up. Very good idea. 🙂

I’m goign to try hummus on my salad – that looks delicious.
Running Girl recently posted..It’s feeling like spring

17 Mary March 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I am just starting my official training plan for the Vineman 70.3 (gulp!). We had great weather here in Michigan to train outside this past week, but today it’s back down to 38 degrees with a wind chiill of 30 (BRRR!). I can’t wait to get to Florida for spring break next week so I can train outside again. Ever ride on the Pinellas railtrail? I am staying about 3 miles from there, and plan to bring my bike down to ride.

18 Meghann March 26, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Yes! That’s not too far from here. It’s a great trail, just be careful because it’s stop and go with a lot of crosswalks.

19 Army Amy* March 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I seem to remember Ben posting on his blog about the idea of completing a full Ironman. I say, go for it! If anyone can do it, it’s you!*
Army Amy* recently posted..Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

20 Erika March 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Wow! How inspiring. A half ironman is inspiring. Will be curious to see if the full ironman becomes contagious!
Erika recently posted..I’m going MAD!

21 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Smart move on volunteering! That’s always a way to get your foot in the door just in case. Plus, how exciting and motivating will it be to see all the amazing athletes come through your post?

Skies the limit on dreams!! Go big!
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Running Buddies and SoL Sunflower Beverage

22 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights March 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

My husband is signing up for his first triathlon this summer and I’m considering volunteering so I can be a part of his race weekend experience without actually doing the tri. Maybe I’ll gain some motivation after I see everyone’s awesome experiences!
Allison @ Running Through Red Lights recently posted..Run Like Angels, Part 4

23 Sara@RunningInPinkProject March 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I cant even comprehend attempting a triathlon or 1/2 iron mad. Im so impressed with people who have that kind of dedication. I’m starting my training for a 10 miler soon (Tower of Terror) so its baby steps for me. 🙂
Sara@RunningInPinkProject recently posted..Some Give-Away Love

24 Sarah March 27, 2012 at 2:37 am

Yay for signing up to volunteer!

I just volunteered this weekend at the Asia-Pacific Ironman Championship and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done!

I’ve been out injured for the past year, but volunteering has inspired me to one day do an Ironman!

25 allpointswhole March 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

Exciting season!!

26 Kristina March 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Tri season definitely kicks off in the spring here in CA. Oceanside Half is this weekend. I hoped to volunteer but we have company.
However, I’m psyched to be gearing up for Wildflower, the “Woodstock of Triathlons”, in May. Just the Olympic, but it’s so beautiful and fun (even with crazy hills!).

27 Laura March 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I’m doing my first Half Ironman this summer (Scared!!)
And also volunteering at Lake Placid IronMan this July (hehe to get in line early and sign up for IM Placid in 2013).
Any tips for first half ironman??? Im mostly scared of the biking part

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