As for Lavaman and what I learned here's a list:
1) I'm stronger then I think I am
2) It's ok to swim aggressively. I don't have to slow down and let the other person pass me
3) I'm a better swimmer then I gave myself credit for. I should take advantage of that
4) Don't assume the timer stops when you get out of the water - keep hustling through to transition.
5) Transitions don't have to take 10 minutes. I don't have to fear leaving transition
6) Training on hills, even when they tell you this will be a 'flat race' is still a good thing
7) Being undertrained is not the end of the world
8) A good nutrition plan really does make all the difference in the world
9) Running into random people a few days later who also did the race, is just as fun as doing the race yourself
And yes - I am thinking about doing Lavaman next year. After finishing in the 700's how could I not. I mean it's a race I almost can't help but do better at next year!
As for what's next for me? Well I've a list of races I want to do. Some for fun and to get some more confidence, some to challenge myself at the longer distance again.
Before I left for Lavaman, I wrote a training plan that pretty much takes me through the entire summer. I started on that 4/6. The goal is run 3x per week, bike 3x per week and swim 3x. So far so good although I haven't hit every workout - I feel like I'm continuing to improving my general fitness which is really the reason for all of this in the first place.
I've also started on a new nutrition plan. I know I can only improve my bike and run times by dropping pounds (I've proved that to myself before when I've lost weight). If all goes according to plan, when I return to Lavaman I'll 100lbs lighter as well as better trained! (I've dropped the first 10 already).
I'm also back to weight training 5 days a week. What a joy it is to have barbell back in hand - AND hubby and I might be taking yoga at least 1 day a week :)
So - a typical week looks like this for me:
Run - Treadmill Intervals
Bike - Trainer Cadence Training
Run - Treadmill Distance
Bike - Distance
Friday (AM or PM)
The remaining Swim/Bike/Run workout are not set in stone - depending on my race schedule, and what we are doing over the weekend, different things will happen different days. If there's nothing 'special' going on I'll probably be running and swimming on Friday and then Biking either Saturday or Sunday. However, this week I have a 10K race on Saturday so I'll probably swim/bike on Friday. My goal is to have one entire day of rest per week.
And yes, I realize that all looks really aggressive. But, when I say 'run' I'm usually talking about 2-3 miles. Bike is in the 10-15 mile range and the swim, we'll that's a bit more, but I love to swim :) . Weight training is a 5 day split and usually only takes 30 minutes or so (Chest on Monday, Legs - Tuesday, Back - Wednesday, Shoulders/Tris - Thursday and Bis/Abs on Friday).
It may sound strange but it feels good to be in charge of my own training again. Now I just need to hold myself accountable.
I'll try to update my progress every week or so!