Going for a Walk Streak

“Disclaimer: I received an annual Strava Summit subscription and Strava merchandise to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I’m quite behind on blog posts. As those of you who follow me on Instagram or Twitter know, I crashed my bike in my last race. I’m still working on the race report from that day. It’s a more emotional process than I thought it would be.

In sum: I’m fine, my bike is fine, my race season is not fine. The next couple of months are going to be all about rehab and recovery, but I’ve been here before and I know I can do it.

However, one of the big issues in coming back from injury is motivation. I can’t really bike, I’m not allowed to swim, and running is right out. I can walk, however, so the BibRave Strava Run/Walk Streak is perfectly timed.

(Note, I’m currently putting Strava through its paces and will be doing a review later in the summer.)

“But Megan! You’re anti-streaking!” And this is true. In general, I don’t like run streaks. I think they encourage people to push through injury or illness just to keep up the streak. That said, I think a limited-time streak (a month, for example) can be a good thing. And I think a walk streak is a great idea. Obviously, if you have a lower body injury, a walk streak is maybe not a great idea. But right now, as I’m dealing with a broken elbow, I think a walk streak is exactly what I need.

Right now, I have zero training mojo. None. Mostly because I’m not allowed to do anything. But getting out and moving every day (or walking on the treadmill) is something I can do. It doesn’t have to be fast, and it doesn’t have to be far. But I’m giving it a shot.

Anyone want to go on a walk streak with me through the month of May? To officially join:

  1. Sign up for Strava.
  2. Join the BibRave Run Club
  3. Walk! (Or run, if that’s your jam.)

March Mileage Report

Spring! Spring is here! Allegedly.

March was a pretty darn good month. I got in some miles and went to Disney World. What more could I want?

In my “cooking more” goal, I have failed miserably. Sort of. I’ve started using the Hungry Root service, which is a meal kit delivery, only it’s for very busy/lazy people who want to eat well and don’t want to cook. So far, I’ve been pretty pleased with it and I may do a review later.

I’ve not been great about reading either, mainly because I’ve just been crashing in the evening. I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks though, as I go through my day, so it’s kind of a win.

March Totals
Swim – 14.7 miles
Bike – 108 miles
Run – 58 miles

My bike miles were way down this month, but that makes sense, as I took my bike in for a tuneup (I really need to be better about keeping my chain and cassette clean) and I was out of town, so there was plenty of time spent not biking. And of course, with that came increased run and swim miles. My coach is getting me ready for the Fort Ritchie Swimfest 4500 in May, so my swim workouts are getting long. I did the 4500 at Swimfest two years ago without swimming this much, so I can only assume it will be less painful this year. And maybe faster.

Next up, April, when race season officially begins. Yikes!!

2019 Totals
Swim – 30.3 miles
Bike – 381 miles
Run – 106 miles

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

The title of this post is one of my favorite quotes from Theodore Roosevelt, and it’s something I try to remind myself of on a regular basis.

In this world of social media and everyone trying to put their best foot forward, it’s hard to feel like we’re not constantly being compared to everyone else.

I often talk about how I’m a proud back-of-the-pack racer. I joke that I like to get my money’s worth out of a course. And generally, I don’t mind being on the slower side. I’ve met some great people while out on race courses as we hang out in the back of the pack.

But sometimes, as people are busting out amazing race times, I wonder if maybe I’m not good enough, even when I’m out there doing my best and breaking my own records. It’s a feeling I’m sure a lot of people have, as they watch others chasing BQs and Kona qualifiers.

One thing I’ve decided to do is be more vocal about my personal accomplishments, show that we can all be proud of ourselves, regardless of paces.

Last week, though it made me a bit nervous, I posed a screenshot of my morning swim. I swam 3500 yards on a Monday morning. While I often share my distances, I don’t often share how long those distances take me. But this time, I decided to go for it.

I was very tired by the time this day was over.

And you know what? It felt kind of good to put it out there. Yeah, I’ve got friends posting 100 times under a minute and I’m struggling to break two minutes (though I managed it this weekend!) but that doesn’t matter. We’re all at different paces and that’s okay. I showed up at the pool on a Monday morning and swam for 90+ minutes and I’m proud of that.

I have similar feelings about FTP tests. I’ve seen lots of cool screenshots from people taking FTP tests and I’ve never shared that because I always felt like my FTP was so low compared to everyone else’s. But my FTP is continuing to climb, and that’s the key. I’m getting stronger. I can’t compare myself to anyone else.

That said, I’m not going to hide my numbers or be ashamed of them. My FTP is currently 157 watts. That’s the highest it’s ever been, and I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made over the past year, coming back from injury and being able to start the season stronger than ever.

I guess the lesson here is to not worry about how you compare to others, but just be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. And don’t be ashamed to share them. I know I’m always excited for friends when they achieve a new goal, regardless of how my own goals compare.

February Recap

February. The doldrums of the year. Some of my favorite people have birthdays in February, and there is always an awesome Superb Owl party, but beyond that, this month is so grey and dreary. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get recapped. Let’s start with my non-sports-related goals.

I set a goal to cook one new recipe a month. I give myself half a point on this one. I didn’t cook any new recipes, but I tried out Hungry Root, which is a meal prep delivery deal, except it’s pretty much just mix, heat, and eat, rather than the chopping and the prepping. It’s certainly not for everyone, and it’s not cheap, but I enjoyed what I had, will likely keep ordering it sporadically (because man, being able to eat real food during the crazy weeks was so nice), and might do a review one of these days.

Another goal was to read more books this year, and I’m doing okay on this one. I’ve been trying to read things on my to-read list and get through the giant stack of books I have in the house, and I think the problem is that I haven’t been in the mood for those particular books. So I put out a call on Twitter for recommendations and so far, that’s helped send me back in the right direction.

Finally, I wanted to get back into an awesome strength work routine. I started strong, but haven’t been doing as well as I would like. Stepping that back up this month.

February Totals
Swim: 11.9 miles
Bike: 147 miles
Run: 26 miles

I have caught up and gotten ahead of my swim goal pace for the year. Apparently that’s what happens when you actually show up for swim workouts. Who knew?

Run totals are still low, but I just managed to get a transfer entry into the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler, so those numbers will be picking up pretty swiftly, and Kim’s back, talking me into fall races, so running, here I come. Bike numbers are all Zwift miles, so those don’t really correlate to outdoor miles, but that’s okay.

In way more exciting bike news, I did an FTP test this month and my FTP increased by 13 watts. 13 more watts! And more exciting, this is the highest my FTP has ever been. That means I’m not only back from where I was pre-surgery and pre-injury, I’m finally making some real gains. That’s a huge mental boost. (Except that a higher FTP just means harder workouts, and everything is terrible.)

2019 Totals
Swim: 15.6 miles
Bike: 273 miles
Run: 48 miles

January Recap

KSAC Pool with slide
This pool is so nice and so stupidly hard to get to. Where is my hovercar?

You know those people who start off the year with banner workouts and then fall off throughout the year? Yeah, that’s not me. January was a low mileage month for me. I blame Disney and getting sick. Disney was totally worth it. Getting sick was way less fun, but probably also the fault of my Disney trip. Either way, I expect things to go up from here. And hey, if nothing else, I ran way more miles than I did last January!

January Miles:
Swim – 3.7 miles
Bike – 126 miles
Run – 22 miles

Yep, behind on all counts. Whatever, I’ll get there, I’m sure. (As I write this, I can envision my coach reading this and laughing, Mr. Burns style.)

But I set goals other than just mileage goals. This year, I wanted to cook one new recipe a month, read 50 books, and get back to strength work. (And budget better, but this is decidedly not a personal finance blog, so let’s just assume I’m always working on that.)

This month, I tried two new recipes, Miso Butter Salmon from the Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow cookbook and Millet Pizzas from the Run Fast, Eat Slow cookbook. The salmon was FABULOUS and I will be making it again. The pizzas were… okay. They were a lot of work and not so delicious that I am desperate to make them again.

I also read 6 books this month! (Okay, I finished 6 books this month. Two of those books were things I started to read previously and hadn’t gotten through. So I picked them back up first thing this year.) If you’re interested in that sort of thing, you can check out my profile on Goodreads, but I think from this batch, the book I’m going to recommend is The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann. It wasn’t quite a book that I couldn’t put down, but it was darn close. I definitely looked forward to picking it back up.

As for strength work, I did it! I’ve restarted ChaLEAN Extreme. And it’s just as hard as I remember it being. I’m not following the calendar of workouts, just doing a workout once or twice a week as dictated in my training schedule. So it will take me more than three months to get through the cycle, but it’s still a great workout, and a great way for me to be able to track my results. I don’t expect to get swole or anything, but it’s definitely good for my body to get some strength work in addition to all the cardio.