I kicked off the year with my first race a few weeks ago at the Frozen Toe 10k, which was not-so-frozen (thankfully) but still tons of fun. Well I should say fun but painful as this was right around the time when my SI joint was NOT cooperating with me. Nonetheless, I was happy to be out on some beautiful trails, doing what I love, surrounded by a lot of familiar faces, even if it meant spending the rest of the afternoon doing PT to seek some sort of pain-relief.
After the Frozen Toe 10k I took a solid week off of running and then eased back into things slowly. Thankfully it's been smooth sailing since then! I have a long season of working hard ahead of me and so I'm doing what I need now to ensure my body will be functioning at its best later on down the road. Speaking of which, here are 5 things I'm looking forward to in 2016:
1. Running adventures!
I LOVE running just for the sake of the psychological boost it provides, but also because it sets the stage for fun adventures. Two years ago we visited the Hollywood sign on a long trail run (pictured above), and last year we explored the west coast (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Monterey) on foot. This year we've booked our tickets to to LAS VEGAS and in May we'll be checking off a major "bucket list" item: visiting the Grand Canyon! Except, if you know anything about the person I'm married to, you can probably guess that we won't be sightseeing from the back of a donkey (yea, NO way I'm getting off that easy). Let's just say I'll be spending my spring kicking my glutes in gear (literally) for some massive climbing and preparing myself for one VERY long day on my feet...
2. Finding vengeance ...
On the Promise Land course, that is! Currently the score is currently PL 50k 2: Kristen 0 in regards to traumatizing experiences on this course and I'm ready to for a bit of revenge (hopefully :) It's on my schedule and I'm signing up on Monday, so now I'm just trying to convince myself that a 50k should be not so bad in comparison to an ironman (oh the lies we tell ourselves! Because this race is NOT easy by any means). Anyway, A LOT has changed since I ran Promise Land three years ago: I have 3 years of quality coaching under my belt and 3 years of maturity as an endurance athlete. Although this will not be an "A" race for me and is intended to be a training run for our Grand Canyon expedition, I'm looking forward to coming full circle and seeing what happens and enjoying a day out on the trails.
3. Working hard
I've got long-term goals and short-term goals and mini action plans to go along with each geared towards IM Louisville in October and beyond. Even better, I have some awesome people in my court to help me navigate the roads ahead. Admittedly, I'm a bit scared in regards to what "training harder" is going to look like this year, because chances are if you tell your coach to "bring it" he will most likely take you up on it. So maybe I should restate this as "I'm looking forward to getting my butt kicked majorly in 2016," and having fun in the process... because in my mind working hard and having fun are all the same.
4. Becoming an auntie !
I've definitely entered the season where all my friends are having kids, which is great! My sister-in-law is due in March, my best friend due in May, and another friend due in March also. I will soon have lots of cute babies to coddle and spoil and love on. And when I'm done I will happily hand them back to mom and dad and go ride my bike, hehe :D
5. Focusing more on my strengths
I've learned a lot in the past few years in regards to my strengths and weaknesses. This past year, I spent a good amount of time being overly hard on myself for things I felt I was doing wrong without giving proper acknowledgement to my strengths, and that's just not a fun place to be self-esteem wise. That said, *I THINK* I'm finally getting a handle on organizing my life in a manner that emphasizes and utilizes my strengths more fully, and I'm working on accepting/worrying less about the weaker areas. It's a process!!
One more thing I'm looking forward to: WARMER temps and long workouts on tap for the weekend! It's like winning the lottery :)
So you tell me: What are you looking forward to in 2016 ?
Cheers and have a great weekend!
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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