Spring Racing and 2014 Plans

This post is a long time coming. And just plain long. I apologize in advance if it seems like a bunch of random thoughts thrown out. But there are a lot of factors going into my plans for the year and I want to try to explain them all so that my decision makes sense (even if just to me).

After making the announcement of my goal of qualifying for the Ironman World championships (one day) back in October, I began filling my race calendar with triathlons – 70.3 Eagleman in June, 70.3 Princeton in September, Ironman Florida in November. Every ounce of my competitive self wanted to train my butt off and focus as much time and energy as I could to start the road to (hopefully  one day) qualify for Kona. (*Note: the only race I am currently signed up for is Eagleman; I held off on Princeton and it is now sold out; I was going to run IM Florida with Team Refuel again so no entry was necessary.)

I don’t remember the exact moment or day, but at some point in December / January I kind of had that “aha” moment and realized there was a part of me that did NOT want to train for an Ironman this year. (I kind of alluded to it in this post.) It’s not that I didn’t want to do it – more that priorities and other outside factors outweighed my training for an Ironman. I may have only done one, but I can tell you this – you have to be all in. If there is a part of you that doubts your decision or feels guilty, you won’t get through training. So the decision was made to postpone Ironmans until (more than likely) the boys are in school. It was a gradual decision brought on by a few factors – some of which are listed below.

– Weekend Freedom: Last summer, the boys were 2 1/2 and ~8/9 months. It was a difficult period with the two of them to go places. And so my being gone for 6-8 hours on Saturday and 5-6 hours on Sunday didn’t really change or prohibit our summer activities. The days were spent in our kiddie pool, at the park or inside staying cool. This summer is a completely different ball game. Trips to the beach, Sesame Place, the zoo are age appropriate for both of them and my husband and I want to make the most of the nice weather. Since most of my longer training days would take place on the weekend, my training would infringe on things we want to do this summer.beach2

– Sons’ Awareness: The older the boys get, the harder it is for me to leave them for longer periods of time. When I was in LA two weeks ago, my oldest had a tough time with me being gone. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s really important for me to do things on my own – and for them to have alone time with my husband (or with other family members). I have no qualms with being gone for 2-3 hours for a long run, but I feel like half the day (or more) twice a week will be too much on all of us.

– More Time with My Husband: Okay, I will be totally honest here. This area of my life took the hardest hit last summer when I was training for IM Lake Placid. Between training, cooking, cleaning and occasionally blogging, I was often asleep just after the boys went to bed (they go to bed on the later side – usually 730-830) since wakeups were often around 4am. There was little to no time to spend with my husband. Even just sitting on the couch, sharing a glass of wine and watching TV became a rare occurrence.

– Trying to not do too much. While I don’t regret my decision (one bit) to train for and complete the Ironman last summer, I am tired of going back and forth and not dedicating myself completely to one sport. I spent much of the fall with the nagging thought that I should get in the pool or that I should  bike more to give me a better base to begin triathlon training in 2014. But I also wanted to give running my complete attention. And so I felt torn. I know some people can train for a PR marathon while juggling maintaining fitness on the bike or in the pool, but quite honestly, I just don’t have the time or energy to do it all. I’ve been loving the last few months – I’ve logged higher miles, biked a few times a week, strength trained, incorporated barre and pilates and done more core work.  

Truth is, I think the biggest factor for postponing IM racing is that I am happy right now. I feel like for the first time in a while, I have found a sort of equilibrium with my life, training and my goals. I am training the way I want, I am well rested and have energy and time to spend with my boys and husband.  There were points last summer where I felt like I was barely treading water.

I also know I didn’t realize the full effect Ironman training had on me and my family until a couple of months of “normal” life and “just” training for a marathon. I think I had my blinders on when it came to some things because I was in the thick of training and the excitement of it all clouded my vision.

So having said all that, my tentative plan for the next few months:

  • Spring Marathon: I have decided to piggyback my training for the LA Marathon with a short training cycle so that I could give the marathon another shot this spring. I’m still on the fence about which race – either NJ Marathon (Apr 27) or Long Island Marathon (May 4).
  • Focus on Running: I would like to focus on shorter distances (5k and 10k) over the summer. Work on getting faster. And then turn that into a faster half marathon and marathon in the fall.
  • Hold off on Half IM and Ironman Training. I still believe that the IM distance is for me but it’s too much for me to juggle right now. I have every intention of returning to it when the boys are old enough to be in school (full days).
  • Heartbreak Hill Half & Festival – June 5-8: Super pumped about this opportunity with Runner’s World! I am going to be heading up to Boston for a few nights to run a few races and hang out with some of my running friends. More on this all in an upcoming post…BUT if you want to come join me, feel free to use these discount codes:
    • 5k AND 10k: blognycrunningmama5&10
    • Half Marathon: blognycrunningmamaHalf
    • Hat Trick: blognycrunningmamaHat04081-Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon Logo

Have you run NJ Marathon? LI Marathon? What are your thoughts on the course? Would you recommend it?

Are you running the Heartbreak Hill Half??


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    33 thoughts on “Spring Racing and 2014 Plans

    1. Pingback: Back on My Feet in24 Philadelphia Entry Giveaway

    2. Just seeing this, but I am also running the Heartbreak Hill Half. I can’t do the full weekend because of other family commitments, but I’m looking forward to the event and seeing some of my favorite bloggers all in one place!

    3. run nj! I ran it last year and qualified for boston, the course is great. Glad I found your blog I am a mom of 3 and mainly train for half and full marathons, although I had the same thought as you to work on speed this summer with 5 and 10ks!

    4. Motherhood entails some level of sacrifice. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time, and it definitely won’t be the last. But I agree with you 100%….you’ll never get those days back and all those fun moments…totally worth it to put your big goal on hold.

      In other news, if you can stomach a lot of spin classes and trainer rides…..Ironman Texas moves to April next year…..so if you aren’t pregnant….you could always shoot for that. Easy enough to start training late November, on the heels of a fall marathon, or an early winter marathon!
      Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted..I Conquered My Jogging Stroller Tempo Fear! (and a quasi BOB review)My Profile

    5. I love this post! I really want to run an IM (hopefully before I’m 30), but the sheer amount of training scares the heck out of me! Especially losing time with loved ones and life in general. Your comment about having to be “all in” to train for this type of race really spoke to me and definitely helps to see if you are ready for a race of this caliber! Thanks for great insight!! :)


    6. LI full is a really boring course. Its 13.1 on the Wantagh pkwy with no one out there really…

    7. As a new momma, I completely get the need to readjust goals and learn to balance all areas of life. Love that you are listening to YOU and choosing to do what works for YOU in this season of life. Here’s to making it past a 9 p.m. bedtime : ) I’m trying to do this myself.
      Jenn@Mark My Miles! recently posted..PMS or Overtraining?My Profile

    8. You are being very smart and rational about your decision. Training for the Ironman world championship must be all kind of crazy, especially with that schedule of halves/full ironman you had planned.
      I train/work-out about 8 hours a week, and that’s as much as I can manage with 2 little ones (plus a husband, plus work, plus the house). I can definitely relate to all your reasons. You will do it one day.
      2 Cups ‘N Run recently posted..Healthy Monday for Runners: Foam RollingMy Profile

    9. Smart move. I really wanted to start running and training again after baby #4 and it wasn’t happening, which made me slightly frustrated. I finally came to my senses and realized that they’re only little once and one day I’ll long to have them little again. There will always be running and triathlons, but they’re only little once!!!

    10. I think that is really courageous, and so loving of you to put off the Ironman. I think you have made the right choice as at the end of the day, time with family, especially children will mean much more to you (and them) than an extra hour in the gym. That truly is what matters the most! Especially as you are still pursuing your dreams, just not to the intense-ness of an ironman! You realize that there is no point doing it if you cannot be your best, I think that is so smart :) Inspirational actually!
      Tina Muir recently posted..#nomakeupselfieMy Profile

    11. Are you still doing Eagleman? I’m doing that race with a bunch of my team members, we are a new All Women’s Triathlon team in the tri-state area. Would love to get to meet you one of these days :)

    12. Super jealous that you’re doing the RW races! Thanks for the discount – it’s very tempting now :)

      I’ve done the LI Half before, and it is flat, flat, FLAT, but it’s a boring course as far as “Things to see” goes. Most of the marathon is on the Wantagh Parkway, so it’s not the most exciting course.
      Jenn recently posted..Gate River Run Race RecapMy Profile

      • NJ was a great course…you run through lots of local shore towns and finish on the boardwalk. It’s fairly flat too. Not a ton of crowd support during the middle miles but there’s a long stretch of out and back where spectators can catch you at mile 8ish and then at 17ish. I had family come last year and they stayed for hours and cheered on everyone.
        sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..40 years and 5 monthsMy Profile

    13. Good for you! It’s ridiculously hard to train for anything when you have a young family. I want to someday compete in my first IM but I KNOW I can’t even think about training until the boys are in full-day school – which means at least one more year. I can also relate to wanting to just focus on running. As soon as I compete in the Duathlon in Spain, I will do nothing but run all summer!
      Allie recently posted..The Rundown: No Rest for the WearyMy Profile

    14. I love that you are able to write this- and have it come off as inspiring, smart and everything positive. Changing goals and shifting priorities is not a bad thing- it’s part of life. I think waiting until the boys are in school is a great plan, and I think it will pay off in the athletic aspect as well as the family aspect. I’m uber jealous about the Heartbreak Half hat trick weekend, I would love to do something like that just don’t know if Boston is in the cards twice this year ($$$$). I love the plans you have made and think that you are going to have some awesome races this year, I am just seriously hoping our paths cross at least once!
      Laura @losingrace recently posted..Boston Training: Still on the Roller CoasterMy Profile

    15. Run NJ!!!! It’d be perfect….You can kick last year’s race out the door and finish strong like I know you can! You’ve learned so much about your self/training over the last year….it’d be a great thing to show yourself that those “quizzes” will get you to acing the big one.
      I’m running it again this year too so I’m a bit biased. =)
      I enjoyed reading this post and I think your decision to not train for an IM is backed by some pretty good reasons. Family Family Family…..Gosh, we sacrafice so much for endurance events…
      sally @ sweat out the small stuff recently posted..Weekend Wrap-upMy Profile

    16. I was supposed to run the NJ Marathon. I was training so hard for it (maybe too hard), until I had to stop because of a stress reaction in my tibia. I’m out for another 3-4 weeks and, although I’m swimming a lot and pool running, I don’t think if I’ll be able to run it in the end… so bummed.

    17. Couldn’t agree more on needing to be “all in” with IM training. My previous life BK (before kids) my husband and I trained together and it was great. Now it’s a take turns and a real desire to spend more time with my family than be out training 6 hours on a Saturday.

    18. I’m running Heartbreak Hill hat trick! I’m so excited. I think I’m going to focus on the 10k for the weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes. I hope to see you there!
      Judith recently posted..That wasn’t easyMy Profile