Prior to Vegas, I couldn't even think about next year.
Then, I took a few days off....lost days....I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to think about anything other than getting myself up and off to work (ie---drag my butt to the loft).
Things started coming together. I started doing some strength work. Then I biked. Then I ran. Then I attempted a swim. (We'll just leave that one alone. I'm sure the gym will let me return once the excitement dies down).
I started thinking about what I want to do, what I want to race, what I want to focus on, etc.
Maybe I could do things a little differently this year?
Last year, I felt like a first time triathlete all over again. I was trying to take in so much. I wanted to become a better runner, not just faster but BETTER.
Of course, I was faster when I was racing. I can honestly say that I didn't become a better runner until recently. It took me a year. I know I haven't even scratched the surface.
Thank you Coach Mike for being so patient with me.
Does that sound crazy? That it took a YEAR? It really is true. I've told Coach this before. I've read articles. I've researched online about becoming a more efficient runner. Until I had someone say to me: DO THIS EXACT WORKOUT. I didn't get it. RUN THIS PACE. RUN THIS HR. DO IT. DO IT NOW.
And THEN IT BECAME---DO THIS IN A RACE. DO IT. DO IT NOW.DON'T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE.
Maybe that's not EXACTLY what he said, but it's pretty close.
Finally, after a year, all the pieces fell into place. It didn't happen at a race. Nope. I was running one week, and I noticed that I felt different. I noticed my stride was different. EVERYTHING was different.
So much so that the family unit has taken it upon themselves to declare Wednesday nights as "let's make fun of how Tea used to run."
HOURS of good old fashioned family time.
Some families play board games.
Mine makes fun of me.
I'm trying to say this.
I have a long way to go with my running. After seeing what I've done in one year, I'll be patient. I'm not the fastest runner, but I'm not the slowest either. I'm way above average. Maybe I'll never break into a 9:00 pace in a half marathon, but maybe I will. Maybe I'll even get into the 8's. Who knows? If I'm having fun doing it. That's the most important piece.
And I AM enjoying running, for the first time in years.
Over the coming weeks/months, I have a TON of shorter races on my schedule. They're fun. They keep me going in the winter.
Another thing I've learned is that the more I race, the more I can enjoy races. Not every race is for a PR. Sometimes I goof off (like in Florida). Sometimes, I work on different strategies. Sometimes I test out Indian food the night before a race.
Whatever my plan is for that day, I can have fun with it. It is WAY more fun for me to not treat every single race as the BIGGEST MOST IMPORTANT RACE IN MY WHOLE WORLD.
I've come up with a schedule that let's me do my tri's but gives me a lot of chance to work toward my 2:15 half goal.
Running isn't my only goal.
I want to really work on my bike. I'm not quite sure what happened last year. I need to prove that my bike speed last year wasn't a fluke.
After the winter races, then I'm running a half marathon in NY with my brotha from anotha mutha. Given that it is about a month from my first tri of the season, I will probably run this one for fun. Definitely using an easier running strategy than I did in Vegas.
Rumor has it, I'll be going to AZ in March for a week. We'll see.
June, I'm thinking about a sprint tri
July, I've got a sprint tri at the beginning of the month and Then Rocky Mtn at the end of the month.
Rocky Mtn will be my priority race. I would really like to see what I can do. I had a great race last year. I think I can beat it.
August, I'm thinking about doing an Oly.
A ton of the swim/runs (either at cherry creek, aurora or boulder res), and I'll call it a season.
Then, I'm into Sept. I'm going out to KS to run a half with Sam. There are a few at that time of year that look pretty good and that Sam is familiar with. We'll see how this goes (leading up to the race).
Is it too close to Vegas (Dec 2nd ish) to run hard? Hmmm. We'll see.
ROAD TRIP anyone?
I would LOVE to visit IM Lake Tahoe (also September) and check out the course.
October: Maybe that's more of MY off-season. Nah. Because in November, I'll go back to attempt to annihilate my 2012 4mile Turkey Trot PR.
Also in November: I might be going to IMAZ, check out THAT course
December, it's back to Vegas.
And that's it.
I think it's a great schedule. I'll get to visit some friends and have fun at local races.
I'm looking forward to it all. After all the racing I've done this year, I think that's a good sign.