Summer is in full swing, and we’ve been soaking up the sun here on the West Coast. From trips to the beach, kayaking around the lake, hiking excursions and dining al fresco, weekends are for taking full advantage of all the outdoorsy goodness that Oregon has to offer.
There may be no fall marathon on the horizon this year, but we’re still staying plenty active, too. I’m taking this unofficial off-season as a time to finally kick some of those chronic running injuries (SI joint, plantar fasciitis), as well as focus on getting stronger in cycling and — yes — swimming!
Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working this year.
Here’s the latest on my progress:
1. Seeking Balance
Between the heat and a packed summer schedule, Ben and I have been dialing back weekend workouts for a change. And you know what? Now that I’m over the initial anxiety of not being on a strict training schedule, it actually feels good.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m still researching races as I mull over my next move. But listening to my body and being active when and how I want to (like an afternoon bike ride for ice cream or a lunch run with friends or a leisurely morning coffee walk with the dogs) versus doing only what’s prescribed for training has been really refreshing.
2. Training Smarter
My SI joint pain has all but subsided thanks to quitting kettlebell swings. And while I still run a few times a week to maintain my mileage, I’ve been hitting it hard and cross training with all kinds of barre, yoga, pilates and interval training classes.
My newest discovery, though? Racing for fun.
Ben and I signed up for a weekly trail run series here in the Portland area and have been enjoying running without worrying about pace. Plus, I’ve paced new trail racers for the past two events, and helping them get across the finish line and accomplish something they weren’t sure they could do has been an incredibly rewarding experience!
3. Facing Fears
Huge news on this front: I took an informal swim lesson last week with a few friends! Mary Anne, who did the swim portion of the Pacific Crest long course triathlon along with Ben, kindly offered to hop in the pool, check out our form (or lackthereof) and share a few pointers.
As it turns out, I’m not totally hopeless in the water! There were three major takeaways: I need to work on my body position (straighter vs bending at my waist), kick (full leg vs at the knee) and stroke (relax and extend more).
I also learned that I need to CHILL OUT in the water because I’m literally trying so hard and moving so rigidly that I’m actually working against myself. Mary Anne shared some great drills, so we made a pact to get in the pool more often to practice. Exciting!
4. Pushing Myself
As I mentioned last month, in lieu of setting training and racing goals in the immediate future I’ve been pursuing professional ones instead. Pulse Creative is officially up and running, so I’ve been digging into client projects, networking and meeting all kinds of interesting entrepreneurs in the process.
That’s not to say I’m not thinking about my next challenge. On the contrary, I’ve been eyeing some destination races for fall travel, as well as potential events to add to the calendar for 2016. More on those soon…
5. Giving Back
Boom! It’s time for the official Team LUNA Chix Portland Run update. But first — how awesome are these ladies?!
In July, we participated in our first sponsored event, the Portland Parks $5 5k Series race at Gabriel Park (note: we’ll be at August’s event at Laurelhurst Park, as well — join us!). We’re also growing in leaps and bounds — we’ve got an amazing group of regulars who are killing it every week.