Sunday, June 19, 2016

My race schedule & my "why's"

I've gone back and forth about whether or not I post my race schedule here.  The reason for it is the "why" I'm doing certain races. Maybe the "why" matters. Maybe it doesn't. Obviously, it matters to me.

In order to address the "why", I have to talk about what happened last year.

Next year, I turn 50. That's right. This is my last year in the 45-49 age group. In the world of triathlon, aging up is always a big deal because we get to race at the young age of an age group against athletes who are older. Granted, triathlon is highly competitive. As time goes on, recovery methods, nutrition, training tactics, change. Athletes are getting stronger and faster as they get older. (Case in point, there is a woman in the 50-54 AG who runs a 1:20 half marathon at the 70.3). Still, it's an advantage to be at the young side of an age group. (There is an exception to this rule, but I'm just talking about age groupers who came to the sport later in life....not in their 20's or teens).

I started triathlon in the 35-39 age group. I always thought when I turned 50, it would be a good time, fun idea, to do a full Ironman.

Don't get your panties in a twist. I'm not done with my story.

Last year, Mr. Tea came to me and said, "Next year, why don't you do two 70.3's. If it goes well, you could do a full Ironman when you turn 50."  To get that level of support from your better half is a really big freaking deal.

I gave it some thought. I talked to Liz about doing Ironman. I registered for the Boulder 70.3.

The result was the same. I left feeling incredibly satisfied with my performance, but I can't imagine going further. I have no desire to go longer. I don't want my weekends spent training. Fueling for a 70.3 is incredibly tough. I don't even want to think about having to do that for double the distance.

This has been something that other triathletes struggle with. The triathletes that I know have (99.9%) are always trying to convince me to go long. I've even been told that my confidence would increase dramatically by going long.



I've given up trying to explain my position.

I get it. YOU like going long. YOU find challenge in logging hundreds and thousands of miles a year.


I find challenge in going as hard as I can for shorter distances. When Liz tells me "+500 watts", I want more. I want to see how much I can handle. I want to be completely spent after an interval only to realize I still have 10 more to do.

I live for the feeling of shaking legs. I live for getting off the bike and starting my run with jelly legs.

You don't get that with long distance training. It's a different pain.

That's my whole point. No distance is better than another.

There are merely.....different.

After Boulder, as much as I enjoyed everything I accomplished. AND, Liz is the only Coach I've ever had for 70.3 training, prior to that I followed training plans......SINCE I've been with Liz, I have shaved OVER an HOUR off my 70.3 time by training for shorter races and doing 70.3's sporadically.

If I can get faster at the 70.3 on fewer training hours, why wouldn't I do that?

ANYWAY, I finished Boulder and once again confirmed that "every few years" is about all I can handle of 70.3 training. The likelihood of me doing a full Ironman is 1%. (I have to leave the door open).

The other thing that Boulder did was solidify my goals. I have long term goals that I want to accomplish. There are other things I want to do and other races I want to try out.

Here's my race schedule and my "why":

July 24th, I will be doing a sprint race.
Why: To get me ready for Nationals. I haven't had a sprint race since last year. I need practice in moving fast through transitions, fast in the water, fast on the bike, fast on the run.

August 14th, I will be doing Age Group Nationals, the sprint distance.
Why: Last year, I did back to back races. It was stupid hard. Honestly, truly racing an Oly on Sat and racing a Sprint on Sunday was 100x harder than my recent 70.3. This year, I decided to focus on the sprint distance.

August 27th, another Sprint.
Why: I really really want to qualify for Nationals again. It is not easy to do. I picked several races to do, so I have as many opportunities as possible to earn my spot.

September 10th: Big Shoulders 5k swim
Why: It's a bucket list thing. I love open water swimming.

October 1st: sprint tri.
Why: Another attempt to qualify for Nationals.

As far as qualifying for nationals, a podium does not necessarily guarantee qualification. Qualification is determined by the number of people in your age group and where you place. Sometimes, you have to win to qualify. Sometimes, you can come in 3rd and qualify.  We don't find out until around Thanksgiving.

In the Spring of next year, I have (so far) one race planned. Next year, I'll be doing more work on the olympic distance with sprints thrown in for serious speedwork.

Sprints and Olympic distances: That's where this party is.