While this post goes online, I will be out on the road, riding my bike next to the women's lead pack at the Spinx marathon. I genuinely was looking forward to this volunteer assignment, while at the same time was nervous about it too. Basically, we have to make sure that the lead pack is turning at all the right places.... No pressure right?? Besides nightmares about letting the leading ladies in the marathon make a wrong turn and screw up their race, I am just antsy to see this race unfold right before my eyes and see some really good runners hauling a$$ on the asphalt.
It's now a week since my last race of the season. That was plenty of time, to really focus on what I want to accomplish over the off season. Here is a first shot at the goals, that most likely going to be adjusted/ amended over the next couple of months.
- Get stronger. That means I have to go back to the gym and start lifting again. On Thursday, I did my first lifting class in several months and boy, I got my butt handed to me.
- Get more flexible again. Yesterday morning, I did a yoga session at home and had to find out, that I lost a lot of my flexibility over this tri season, when I neglected yoga completely.
- Mix it up. November and December will be used to mix up the tri routine with gym classes, yoga, hiking and whatever else presents itself. My tri team buddy and I were talking about rock climbing and I would really like to tri out Crossfit. Now all I need is a Groupon deal... Pretty please! And yes, there actually were Groupon deals for rock climbing in the area recently and I just didn't pull the trigger. DUH!
- Get faster. January and February will be focussed on becoming a faster and stronger runner. The distance will go down (not weekly mileage, I will have shorter runs, but more of them) and the intensity of the runs is going to go up. The December half marathon is off the table and the focus will be on speed, speed and speed. I am sick and tired to get passed on the run during triathlons and the focus on speedy (rather than distance) running is hopefully going to let me be a more rounded triathlete come next season.
- Plan and save. By the end of the year, I want to have my tri season mostly planned out and want to be signed up for the races as possible. The series that I am looking at right now for next season has some good prices as long as you get registered before January 1st.
About my back.
I do feel much better compared to last Saturday. I was still in quite some pain Sunday morning, but ever since pre riding the Spinx course in the afternoon on my roadie, I am mostly pain free.
After talking to several of my tri buddies and my coach and really trying to figure out when all of this back pain stuff started, I was always coming back to the tri bike. Yes, the brand new shiny and so pretty new tri bike. What I am thinking right now is, that I have been fitted too aggressive on the bike and my lower back or maybe even my hamstrings cannot support this position for longer periods of time. Funny enough: I never had pain while on the bike or running, but while sitting in my office chair and when I was standing for longer periods of time. Goal one and two from above is going to help some with this, but I am also going to get me fitted once more on the bike. This time by the guy that also fitted me on the road bike and I am very happy with that and do have a lot of trust that tri bike and I will be best buds again soon.
While I do think that the new bike fit is going to eliminate the back pain stuff, I also started some core exercises that were specifically developed to conquer back pain (Foundation by Dr. Eric Goodman and Peter Park). Terry had a lot of success with these exercises in a pretty short period of time and he also says that he can really feel the difference in his running as well. No back pain and becoming a stronger runner... Sign me up!