Training plans tend to log miles OR duration, and I've always wondered which was best and which to do. So this year I started keeping track of BOTH mileage and duration in a simple spreadsheet that adds the day rows and weekly columns. My coworkers know best that I LOVE spreadsheets. I've now managed to totally geek out and combine my love for Excel with my love for triathlon :)
In 2012, I logged my second highest mileage total since keeping track starting in 2009. Even after taking 3 1/2 months 'off' after Louisville to do strength training and minimal cardio. The remaining 8 1/2 months totaled 277 hours of training and 2,560 miles of swim/bike/run.
In 2013 my goal is to go back to my roots and have more life balance doing shorter events. That is what I'm built for, and I miss feeling that burn and having that different kind of challenge. Will start off with two 5Ks in January and February to see how slow I am. I will geek out using some of my favorite tools like:
McMillan Pace calculator ~ http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/index.php/calcUsage/calculate
Triathlon Pace calculator ~ http://www.tricalc3.com/?x=3
Runnersworld ~ http://www.runnersworld.com/tools
If you are looking to get started on your fitness, check out sites like runnersworld.com, active.com, or beginnertriathlete.com for training plans, advice, and to search for local races. There are also countless run, bike, swim, and triathlon clubs in KC that you can join to meet up with active people with a spectrum of goals and a variety of paces. If your company does Corporate Challenge, sign up for some events!
We all start somewhere. In 2000, I did my first triathlon via Kansas City Corporate Challenge. I had no swimming background or experience, and did about every stroke imaginable (except Butterfly, lol) to get through that 500 meters. Halfway through, it felt surreal and I stopped and looked around in disbelief that I was out there in the lake. A friend shouted from the shore "Keep swimming Amy!". And I did.
After years of getting coaching and working on my technique, I went on to swim several distance events including 2.4 mile swims in 2010 and 2012 at Ironman Louisville. Going back even farther to cross country, I had never run more than a mile in my life. Ran a marathon during Ironman and another in 2011.
Don't ever put any self-perceived limits on yourself (let alone let others do that to you). You can do whatever you choose to do if you put your mind to it and work hard. And once you break through, don't forget where you started or the journey.
If you don't like running, maybe you like group classes or biking. Maybe you like shorter events and not longer. You can try whatever you want to and see what is best for you. Do whatever it is that you want to and enjoy doing, and remember we don't all have to be the same.