With my first half marathon under my feet and the Genesis Multisport Club going strong, it's time to turn my attention to my second (third?) triathlon season. I feel like I've got a really good handle on how to plan a season, how to periodize my training, and how to get the most out of myself, so the prospect of looking forward is downright thrilling.
A new season . . . a new chance to prove ourselves. Anyone else feel like they have to rein themselves in, this time of year? We've just gotten past the ITU and Ironman world championships; we've seen the best of the best do their best against each other on some of the toughest courses around. And they make it look so darn easy! I watch Sam McGlone powering through mile 20 of her marathon, her arms and legs swinging easily along, one foot in front of the other, and I think, "I could do that."
It's disorienting when I actually get out on the track (or treadmill) and realize that, even though I feel as good as she looks while running, I'm setting a 9:20 pace. Which is nowhere close to the 7:00-minute miles I would probably need to clock if I were to get anywhere near the top spots in a sizable race; I just don't have the kind of speed to be on the podium.
But as I go into a time of recovery this off-season, the back of mind is whirring like the cogs in a tiny, homemade clock. Now if I just base build here and start my speed work here . . . if I really work on technique . . . if I buy a new bike and really put in those long hours . . .
The impossible suddenly seems achievable.
With that in mind, I have this crazy, empty-headed notion that this year I'm going to be competitive. This year I'm taking my hopes beyond Oh God I hope I can finish this thing, which is what I experienced in my first (and only) Olympic distance. This year, I have the knowledge, commitment, and desire to take my training and racing to the next level. And if that's not enough, then it will provide that much more fuel for the 2009 season.
As to the brass tacks . . .
April 22 - Spring Migration Tri (super sprint, priority C)
May 5 - Wildflower (Olympic or half, I haven't decided yet, priority B)
June 3 - Flint Hills Tri (Olympic, priority B)
June 16 - Topeka Tinman (Olympic, priority A)
July 1 - Town and Country Tri (super sprint, priority C)
July 18 - Shawnee Mission ("Long," priority A)
July 28 - Mudwater (sprint, priority A)
August 11 - Salty Dogs (super sprint, priority C)
August 25 - Splash 'n' Dash (super sprint, priority C)
September 9 - Midwest Meltdown (Olympic, priority B)
September 22 - OKC Redman (Half Iron, priority B)
That's a lot of races for one year, and I'm sure--absolutely positive!--I'll pare it down. For one thing, it'll probably be too darn expensive to do all of them (my spreadsheet tells me almost $800 just in entry fees). But I love racing, I want to do as much of it as I can, and this plan is only tentative anyway.