Swim-Bike-Run: 2013 in Review and Race Plan for 2014

13 was a very lucky number for me.  This year was, without a doubt, the best year ever for me athletically.  I'll get into the stats shortly, but to sum up by the numbers:
  • 3 -- number of times I placed at a race*
  • 5 -- number of triathlons I did
  • 6 -- number of running races I did
  • 1 -- number of marathons I did
  • 3 -- number of half marathons I did (I include the half marathon in my Half Iron in this)
  • 24.25 -- number of miles I swam from February** to December
  • 820.19 -- number of miles I biked*** from February to December
  • 845.30 -- number of miles I ran from February to December
  • 5 -- number of PRs I attained
[*2nd place age group Adoptions from the Heart 5K; 3rd place age group Parvin State Park Sprint triathlon; 3rd place age group Quakerman Half Ironman triathlon]

[** February because that's when I got my Garmin 910XT watch]

[*** as reflected on my watch -- the numbers are much more than that because I didn't wear my watch on my bike trainer when I rode indoors]

It's truly been a banner year where I achieved every single one of my goals and/or surpassed what I thought was possible.  Lesson learned: never, ever, doubt the possibility of anything.  Here's a sort of recap.


I swam 42,690 yards (i.e., 24.25 miles) this year.  More than the distance, I am proud of the improvements I've made with my comfort level in the open water.  I am a decent swimmer, but certainly not the fastest.  My goal in the water is always to hang in, stay strong and not exhaust myself for the rest of the race.  Right or wrong, I treat the swim like a bit of a warm up - I know that pushing myself too hard in the water will bite me in the butt later on (and might even make me panic and elevate my heart rate too much).  So strong, steady, and kinda on the slower side is the key for me.  I have been taking swim lessons with a coach who does triathlon herself.  I've noticed a definite difference.  

My goal for 2014 with swimming is to continue to improve and make my swimming more efficient.  My goal for Ironman in July is to come out of Mirror Lake feeling warmed up, proud of my swim, and ready for the remaining 138 miles of the race. 


Biking Schmiking.  My watch has me biking 820.19 miles in 2013.  It is definitely far more than that because it does not take into account any of my rides on the trainer ... and there were many rides on the trainer. Late this year, I upgraded the components on my bike and got a new fit and made it more triathlon specific. And in January, I'm having a power meter added to the bike, which is a great way to train and to measure progress and, well, power.  I'm pretty pleased with my performance on the bike this year - I've definitely gotten faster and my goal is to continue to get faster and stronger on the bike. The bike is where you stand to lose the most in a triathlon.  My MO for tris has been to make up the time on the run, but that's not ideal.  So I am going to work hard on the bike.  It will be good to ride and train with Amy (and Bill) this coming year because Amy crushes the bike.  So I will try to keep up with her, which I think will help me improve.  

My goal for 2014 with biking is to get stronger and faster.  My Ironman bike goal is to do the 112 miles in about 7 hours.  


My love is running.  There is no real surprise that my running miles are as much as my biking miles in 2013.  I ran 845.30 miles!  That's a lot of miles.   I've gotten faster and stronger in my running this year.  I've also incorporated more speed work, which I think is the primary reason I've gotten faster and stronger.  I'm thrilled with my running PRs this year: 

My goals for 2014 are to continue to get stronger and faster ... my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  My Ironman run goal is to have as strong a marathon as possible - to prepare my legs, mind and tummy for a really good 26.2 miles.  And, of course, to finish the Ironman in less than 17 hours and hear Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) say "Shanna O'Neal ... YOU are an Ironman!"  Also, I really hope he pronounces it correctly.    

The easiest part of my race and training plan for 2014 is that I am not in charge of it.  I've (well, we [Amy, Bill and I]) hired a coach for Ironman, and he sends us all training plans each week.  I just do exactly what he tells me to do.  It is really nice to take any guess work and self-doubt out of the equation and solely rely on someone else's expertise.   Ironman is so huge and the distance is so daunting that even if I could take off from work and just train every single day all day long, I would worry that on race day I'd show up and fret that I didn't do it right. That's why we hired a coach.  Our coach's focus is injury prevention - he wants us to get to the starting line in good shape, physical and mental.  We've been training for over a month now, which has been good.  My mind is far more at ease.

2014 is going to be Ironman specific and training intense.  And you can bet dollars to donuts (mmmm, donuts) that I'm going to share every nitty gritty detail here on the blog.  Lucky you!  

Happy New Year! 

See you swoon,

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