Got back to Cayman yesterday afternoon after a week in Ottawa that, it must be said, was about as dispiriting and exhausting as can possibly be imagined. I was pretty much better healthwise as of about 10 days ago (residual phlegm at bottom of lungs does not seem to want to go away, but I do not think there is anything much I can do about it), but there was no sensible way to make exercise happen in Ottawa given extent of other obligations...
(We did have a good walk every day with Brent's dad, who remains an excellent walker at age 82, along gorgeous paths just outside of the city - saw a huge turtle, a lot of ducks and geese on the canals, several groundhogs, a spritely chipmunk and various other birds and critters...)
I now have EIGHT WEEKS IN ONE PLACE - Brent will go back to Ottawa again in August, but I will not go with him this time, as although it makes me feel a bit of a heel I need to conserve resources! And I am going to make as good use of this time as I possibly can for fitness purposes. It has been a difficult year, this past year, with a lot of travel and responsibility overload of various kinds, but I am devoutly hoping the coming year won't be quite so challenging for me!
Emailed my lovely trainer Carla over the weekend (she is in particularly good shape just now as she was the female overall winner in the bodybuilding competition here last month) and had session #1 with her at 7am this morning. We had to stop a few minutes early as I was basically just flat-out DONE - it was excellent!
I have two endurance events in September (the amazing Survival of the Shawangunks and the Little Red Lighthouse 10K swim). Won't have any very particular training regimen for either, just lots of strength training, high volume on biking and swimming and then whatever running I can stand to do on the treadmill plus bits and pieces outdoors as heat and humidity permit. Main focus: improve body composition...
Ironman thoughts are much on my mind - the prudent course, unfortunately, may well be to wait till next year and register via normal channels (i.e. online, 1 year in advance) for a 2013 race, but I am not sure I can stand to wait so long. I am going to reconsider the question c. February or so.
I have set two preconditions that must be met for me to register at that point via a foundation slot (more expensive, but often available till some months before the actual race, while regular slots sell out very quickly for most IM races) for either IMCDA 2012 (late June) or IMNYC 2012 (mid-August - more expensive, and not sure about how far out the foundation slots will still be available - IMCDA ones were still available mid-spring, I think, and I would guess I'd have a good shot at still getting one if I were looking to register in February, but the NYC race will be in its inaugural year and it is harder to predict how all that will go).
Condition #1: financial prosperity/healthy bank account such that sinking c. $2500-3000 in IM dreams (this is a conservative estimate, probably lowballed, re: race registration, bike transport, hotel and airfare for Idaho - it may be that NYC would in the end be cheaper, and it is my HOME TOWN which is mentally beneficial, but it is a much hotter and significantly less beautiful race, and also falls in a month when I'd usually have sublet my apartment and be staying in Cayman at Brent's place, so I am really just not sure yet about preference on the one versus the other).
Condition #2: drop 30lbs. I lost a lot of weight five or so years ago, but a good chunk of that has crept back on over the last 2 years - I love exercising, but good nutrition does not come easily to me, and a situation of stress and work overload is basically death to healthy eating for me...
If I meet both of these 2 conditions by February 2012, and if the rest of my work spring doesn't look too crazy, then I think I will take the plunge and register for one or the other of those 2 races (if NYC is no longer available, my choice will have been made for me - but as I say, there are true pros and cons for each, including the fact that the later race gives me more summer training time, and summer is when my work schedule hugely lightens up whereas April and May are the busiest months of my work year). If one or the other condition has not been met, I will choose one of the two races and attempt to register via normal channels for its 2013 iteration. In either case I will try and do as many century rides as I can in spring and summer 2012, and do a lot of indoor bike hours over winter and spring, as this is where I continue to need the most work.
Also: I will see an allergist in the fall, and also revisit the pulmonary specialist I saw about my asthma last year, and see what might be done about improving lung function and making it less likely that I so frequently get a bad three-week bout of bronchitis.
(The other major factor that I should have more information on by February: I have two book manuscripts I'm revising this summer, and though it always takes more time for things to happen in book-writing and publishing than one can possibly imagine, it is not unrealistic to think I might have contracts on both of them by the end of this calendar year. This would put publication dates for both in 2013, most likely, which provides another incentive to try and make an Ironman happen in calendar year 2012. I didn't do much promotion for my last couple books, for one reason or another, but both of these two deserve/require more of my attention and a more serious commitment of resources, both in terms of time/attention and in terms of dollars, so that will be the other big piece of information I don't have yet but that will affect race planning.)
Anyway, that's a long one, but mainly it's just great to be back exercising again, I rely on those soothing chemicals to make me feel I am on an even keel!