Thursday, October 29, 2015

Where do I go from here?

You are so very welcome.

With it being the end of the year, I've seen many posts and articles about goal setting.

Everyone is signing up for races. Coaches are writing articles about how to set up goals. Yet, here I am; at a loss. I haven't even wanted to talk about next season because I don't know. In typical Tea fashion, I let those feelings be. I didn't know why I felt that way, but I did.  I know the more I push to figure it out, the more resistance I was going to feel. It has nothing to do with feeling burned out or anything. I just don't know what to do.

For those of you who know me, I'm a goal oriented person. I always have the next big thing lined up.

I let it be. Anyone who asked about my schedule, I replied, "I'm enjoying my time not thinking about next season."

Weeks have gone by. I started putting the pieces together and figuring out (without thinking about it) what's going on.

When I qualified for Nationals and then raced Nationals, it was the biggest goal that I had. It was a monster goal for me. It was a 5 year goal. Of course I didn't need a goal after that. Five years was a long time.

Then, I hit my goal 3 years early. Technically, I guess it was 4 years early since it was my first year with Liz.

Athletes have those little short term goals: What am I going to do at my next race?
Then, they have the season bigger goal: What do I want to accomplish at my big A race?
Finally, we have the BIG SCARY GOALS: What do I want to accomplish somewhere down the road that scares the pachookie out of me? (Things like qualifying for Kona.....or say Nationals).

I accomplished my big scary goal. Now what?

Yes, I've talked about working my way back to Ironman, but can I commit to that training? Is there something else I need/want to do first?

I've mentioned this before. Several years ago, I had a conversation with a friend. I told him that I don't even know what my best distance is. He replied, "I do."  But he wouldn't tell me what it was. He could have been bullshitting me, which is more than likely the case, but the conversation always stayed with me.

What is my best distance? I don't think anyone else that I know, thinks about this. 

So, I went to Nationals, raced both distances in a weekend. 

I accomplished my big scary goal, but was it enough?

At 48, I'm now in the best shape of my life. My nutrition/fueling/training is allowing me to give my best. 

What if I have more to give at the shorter distances? What if I I gave my best for where I was? How could I have really given my best if I wasn't at my best? Clear as mud?

But, there was more than just short course. There are other things I want to do.

Over the weeks, I was able to narrow my focus. 

I came up with TWO big scary goals.

1.) I want to go sub 6 at the 70.3 (half iron).
2.) I want to qualify for Team USA at the sprint distance.

Maybe not the BIG Scary Monster goals but very big.

My last 70.3 was pretty far off from sub 6, but given everything I've been doing, I can get there. (Also remember, my last 70.3 was in 2014. I wasn't really into it.) It will hurt more than anything I've ever done. The 70.3 that I chose has a very fast bike course but a tough run course. But, I can do it. 

My best sprint race was 1:16. In order to qualify, (based on last year's times), I have to race better than 1:15. (To make Team USA you have to finish in 22nd place or better after the age up rule is applied).  22nd place came in at 1:15 last the 45-49 AG. However, I turn 49 next year, which means that in order to qualify, I would fall into the 50-55 AG (because that's how old I would be for the next World Championship.) Those women are very fast, but so am I. I can do it.

I decided on a 70.3 for the first half of the year. 
I decided to race the Sprint National Championships (in Omaha) in Aug.

When I laid out my plan, Coach liked the plan, but she asked, "Then what? What's after that?"

I told her I wanted to leave it open. She and I already talked about leaving the Fall schedule open, so it was no surprise to her.

Why? Because I'm looking at something really big. I've learned that I can do things I didn't really think were possible. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I believe I can accomplish every goal I set my mind to.