Looking Back at 2016 to Move Forward in 2017

I can’t believe the first week of December has already came and went!! With only a few weeks to the start of 2017, it is time to reflect on 2016. It is good to look at the past (taking a look at what went well and what needs improvement) before planning for the future.  I have taken some time to reflect and evaluate my 2016 journey so I can set S.M.A.R.T. goals for 2017.

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USA Triathlon posted a great article that I have used to help me evaluate my 2014 and 2015 training and racing seasons before trying to plan for 2015 and 2016. I have found this reflection very beneficial and thought I would use the same questions to reflect on my 2016 season so I can better plan for 2017.

1. In hindsight, were your goals for the season clear and attainable?

-My goals were clear and attainable: smile and have fun at Ironman Wisconsin while pushing to break 14 hours.  I feel like I could have pushed a little bit harder to break 14 hours, especially on the run. My overall finish time was 14:34:11, but I did manage to smile and have fun all day long!! I love Ironman racing…it makes my heart happy 🙂

Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad
Ironman Wisconsin #bikelove Photo credit: Erin Klegstad

2. What are you most proud of this season?

-I had a great training weekend on the Ironman Wisconsin course at the end of July. I rode 125 miles on the bike course with 6847 feet of climbing followed by an hour run…it was hard challenging, but gave me the confidence I needed for race day! The day after this big monster workout, I participated in a 2.4 mile open water swim event that was not wetsuit legal. This continued to build my confidence for my upcoming 3.5 mile open water swim that would also not be wetsuit legal. I followed this swim with running one loop (13.1 miles) of the Ironman Wisconsin run course. This weekend was a HUGE confidence builder!!

DCIM100GOPROGOPR5804.
125 miles of #bikelove in Wisconsin = ALL of the corn!
DCIM100GOPROGOPR5812.
2.4 mile swim sans wetsuit = confidence builder!!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!
This is what happy looks like after a successful Ironman Wisconsin training camp!

3. What would I like to duplicate next year?

-I have gotten so much stronger and faster on the bike, and I would love to see my cycling fitness continue to grow in 2017!! With Ironman Mont Tremblant’s bike course having 5900 feet of climbing, I can use this developed strength and cycling fitness to carry me through this hilly course in 2017!!

Nailing my FTP test with normalized power of 194 watts...I'm getting SO close to being able to push 200 watts for my 20 minute time trial!!
Nailing my FTP test with normalized power of 194 watts…I’m getting SO close to being able to push 200 watts for my 20 minute time trial!!

4. What frustrated or disappointed you the most this season?

-I didn’t have the run I was hoping for at Ironman Wisconsin this year. I know I can run a 4:45:00 marathon off the bike, but haven’t been able to make this happen yet.

-The 70.3 distance event I did in Madison in June was HOT and I didn’t have the race I was hoping for. I had spent the week before my race in DC, so I didn’t properly acclimate to the heat and humidity that Mother Nature bestowed on us on race day in the Midwest. The positive…I still finished (without ending up in the medical tent) despite Mother Nature’s bad attitude.

HOLY HOT!!
HOLY HOT!!

-Not having a nutritionally sound race at Ironman Wisconsin. I wasn’t hyponatremic by the end, but I was well on my way. I have to find a way to figure out this nutrition!

5. What do you not want to happen again next year?

-I want to have a solid nutritional experience in 2017 at Ironman Mont Tremblant…Ironman Wisconsin 2014 is the only long race I have felt good nutritionally.

-I want to avoid having a flat run at the end of Ironman Mont Tremblant. I definitely want to put together a solid race…strong and solid swim, followed by a strong and solid bike, followed by a strong and solid run!

6. What did you learn by going through these experiences?

-I’ve learned that it is time to mix things up and seek help! I have had the same flat training for the last couple of years, and it is time to make some changes! It is also time to figure out this nutrition so that I set myself up for a great race at IMMT! This is why I’ve hired Coach Kelly with Track Cat Fitness to help me make dreams come true!

7. What decisions did you make that were empowering for you?

-I felt empowered by stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things! Racing in a relay with friends and a duathlon were first time experiences for me this year. I am happy to say that they are both experiences that I want to do again!

#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon
#solesistersweat and a podium finish at my first ever duathlon

-I also felt empowered by empowering other women in endurance sport through our women’s only rides this year! I finally made the time to help other women feel more confident on their bike and it. Was. Awesome! The smiles and confidence these women exhibited spoke volumes to how they felt!

Ladies Night!
Ladies Night!

8. What habits seemed to hold you back from achieving your potential?

-I need to overcome the fear of being uncomfortable. I am always afraid to leave it all out there…whether it is during a training session or a race. Where is that balance between being uncomfortable and able to successfully finish and being uncomfortable and failing? It is time for me to find out. It is time for me to get really uncomfortable and learn to feel truly comfortable with the uncomfortable! This year is all about #courageovercomfort and pushing my limits both in training and racing!

It is time to start living my dream instead of living my fear!
It is time to start living my dream instead of living my fear!

9. What decisions should you make in order to have your best triathlon year ahead?

-I have decided to hire a coach for 2017 and I am super excited about it! With Coach Kelly’s knowledge, guidance, encouragement, and support, I hope to have the best year yet! I will also focus on believing in myself and my training more…not just the superficial believing, but the deep underneath the surface at the very core of my being believing! I’m confident Kelly and I will work well together to help make this all happen! 🙂 2017 is the year of #courageovercomfort as I push myself to new limits!

My 2017 S.M.A.R.T. goals will come in a few weeks time. Stay tuned…

Have you looked backward so you can plan for the future? What did you learn?

2016 S.M.A.R.T. Goals for my “A” Race

Many people start the new year with “New Year’s Resolutions” and most of those people quit trying to keep these resolutions within the first month of the new year. According to the Huffington Post, only about 13% (1 in 8) of people who set New Year Resolutions successfully keep their resolutions for one year. This is why I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions…instead, I set intentions and S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based) goals.

I evaluated my 2015 journey, which allowed me to reflect on successes and failures throughout the year. Being truthful with myself and my 2015 journey, has helped me set S.M.A.R.T. goals for my 2016 “A” race.

Smart Goal

When setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, it is important that they are:

  1. Specific…having precise goals stated in terms of performance.
  2. Measurable…being able to determine if the goal has been accomplished.
  3. Attainable…setting high, but realistic and achievable goals.
  4. Relevant…setting a goal that is important to YOU and NOT because a friend or family member has a similar goal.
  5. Timely…having a specific time frame for completing the goal.

My “A” race for 2016 is Ironman Wisconsin on September 11. My time goal for this race is sub 13 hours…

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  • What does this mean for a time goal for each discipline of the race? Swim = 1:15-1:20 (I swam 1:21:52 in 2014 at Ironman Wisconsin); Bike = 7:00:00…or less (I biked 8:15:12 in 2014 and 7:56:58 in 2011 at Ironman Wisconsin and I biked 6:46:12 in 2015 at Ironman Boulder on a much easier course); Run = 4:30:00-4:45:00 (I ran 5:15:32 in 2014 at Ironman Wisconsin and 5:28:05 in 2015 at Ironman Boulder); With transitions, this could be close…can I do it? ABSOLUTELY!
  • Why do I have a sub 13 hour goal? While it would be awesome to set a new PR (and sub 13 hours would be a PR by over an hour), I really want to push my limits and see what I can actually do. I have BIG DREAMS and a sub 13 hour Ironman would get me one step closer to fulfilling these #BigDreams.      IMG_0973
  • What steps am I going to take to get there?
    • I am going to focus most of my efforts on the bike to improve my bike strength. Incorporating more power focused workouts on the bike into my training plan will definitely help me build the bike strength I am seeking to conquer this hilly course.
    • I am also going to incorporate more brick runs off the bike to teach my legs to run strong when they are tired.
    • I am going to run my long runs at a faster pace. In the past I’ve been trying to maintain a 10 min/mile average pace, but I feel that if I can focus on a faster pace, that I will set myself up for a faster marathon at the end of Ironman.
    • I am going to follow a well laid out training plan making sure it includes proper strength training and recovery to help prevent injuries.
    • I am going to continue to incorporate mental training into my training plan so that I continue to teach myself to #believe in me, my abilities and my training.
    • I am going to focus on my nutrition and figure out how to overcome the hyponatremia issues I’ve experienced in the past. I am still seeking a place to have a a sweat test done where they measure the electrolytes that I sweat out; this information will help me prevent hyponatremia in future events.

I am expecting some challenges along the way…after all, it wouldn’t be an Ironman if there weren’t challenges. The most challenging part of Ironman Wisconsin for me, in the past, has been nutrition and the 6156 feet of climbing throughout the bike course. I am looking forward to overcoming these challenges and pushing myself to new limits at Ironman Wisconsin on September 11, 2016!!

What is your “A” goal for 2016? Have you made this goal a S.M.A.R.T. goal?