I haven't written in a while.
This is not for lack of news in our household, but I leave that to the eloquent stylin's of my Lobster. This is a blog about triathlon, and truth be told, the off season isn't very interesting. To prove it, I will sum up the last 3 months in one sentence.
A recumbent bike proves you can work out while sitting and a treadmill is boring no matter what bad 90s Saturday morning movie is playing but when your workouts are all either biking or running but no swimming because it's cold out and the pool is only open at 5:00 AM (forget that) it makes for really solid base-building in the legs but slow deterioration in the core and arms so it's a wonder I don't flop over at the waist sometimes but a new era starts tomorrow.
I've set my '09 race schedule. In the serious (obsessed) tri world some athletes have "A" races (the ones they focus their training around for which to achieve the optimal peak of fitness), "B" races (important enough but no "A" race) and even "C" races (expensive workouts with a T-shirt at the end). This season I proudly announce to all: I have an "A" race.
Here's the layout:
May 24th--Madison Half-Marathon. I learned from Tyranena that the half-marathon distance is a nice blend of "enough challenge to warrant a few months of training" and "offers bragging rights the next day" with "won't be stuck on the couch in pain for a week afterward". Madison is one of my favorite places in the world, so it made sense to do their race.
June 7th--Lake Mills Sprint Triathlon. Within a half-hour driving distance, we won't have to wake up at Oh-My-God-It's-Dark-Thirty for this one. The distances and course are reasonable and I've heard good reviews so it should be a nice way to kick off the tri season.
June 28th--Bigfoot Sprint Triathlon. This is the race I missed last year from the bike accident, but the race director kindly transferred my registration so I'm back in '09--single vision, scars healed, helmet replaced, and ready to go.
July 19th--Spirit of Racine Half Ironman. This is it. This is the "A" race. A HIM (Half Ironman) nearly doubles my previous long race and brings me halfway to the ultimate goal--the Madison Ironman. A HIM is a 1.2 mile swim (in this case, a parallel-to-the-shore swim in Lake Michigan), a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1 (half marathon) run. I'm familiar with the area and the event's organization from doing last year's Spirit of Racine Sprint. It seemed like a good venue to attempt the HIM distance. Never mind that last year's water was a frigid 59 degrees. That won't happen again (right?). Never mind that 56 miles is from our apartment to Illinois. Never mind that the race will take me the better part of 7 hours to complete. This is my "A" race, and tomorrow starts the 20-week training plan to complete it. My base is built and I'm ready to go.
August 9th--Camp Whitcomb-Mason Sprint Triathlon. This is the first race I will repeat. It's easy to say you've improved when every lake, every hill, every transition area is different from race to race. Last year I was 5 minutes short of my goal (sub-2 hours) in this race, and I'm back to try again.
October 4th--Lakefront Marathon. Since college I wanted to complete a marathon--(certainly) not to change my lifestyle, but rather to say I did one and be done with it. While still a smoker and with no knowledge of proper training techniques (or shoes), I met the goal in 2003 at the Chicago Marathon in just under 5 hours. I thought, never again. I couldn't walk very well for days after and it impeded my smoking. My life is very different now--I know more things, I have better shoes, and I'm trying again--this time in Milwaukee. An Ironman closes with a marathon run, so if IM Madison 2010 is the goal I sure as shootin' better be able to run one.
The off-season continues, but the end is near.