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Is Tri season really over?

October 17, 2011
I woke up this morning with a sad feeling in my stomach knowing that yesterday I had raced my last triathlon of the season. Every triathlete goes through this feeling and you ask yourself, “what now?” During race season my life is dedicated to training and racing. What do I do with my time now? And now that I am not training for hours on end how do I keep myself from annoying the people I live with?”
I decided to take the next month off from training and “Get Fat” – not sure if I can really allow myself to do that, but sounds good in theory. I may ride and swim once a week, but no running. I need to recharge my batteries and the best part is I am not obligated by a race to get up and go ride every Sat or Sun or run long the other day. I can sleep in, go out, enjoy a few adult beverages (decided I love Pumpkin beer) and just take it easy before I start training for Ironman Coeur D’Alene.
Before I say I am doing all this, I have to decide one thing first. A good friend of mine named Marc is going to do the Rohto Ironman Miami 70.3 in two weeks and he has been trying to get me to go down and race with him. HMMMM. this would extend tri season, and give me one last hurrah with a chance to try and qualify for the 70.3 World Championships. See I am not the fastest out there, but if I play my cards correctly I can hope most triathletes have packed in their racing for the year and are doing what I said I was doing in the prior two paragraphs. I looked at the times from last year and saw that there are 4 qualifying spots to the World Championships in my AG (30-34). I saw the times from last year and the fourth position did (4:42), and the spot rolled down to the 7th person which was a 4:50. Now normally I would say I don’t have a chance to do that, BUT it is Miami in late October. The swim should be wetsuit legal (good for me- I call myself a manatee out there), flat bike course- which I can hold my own and great weather (high 82) for running which I can also hold my own. That being said, I can look at (36-swim, 2:26 – bike (23 avg) and 1:36 (7:25) run) with transition that will put me right around the time I need. We will see, the race is $300.00 plus getting there and hotel /food. Guess if I am writing another post next week saying this is the week before the race, yes, I changed my mind and delayed “fatness”.
Way off track now. We were talking about getting fat. Every athlete needs to get sufficient rest to mentally and physically prepare for the next race season. I will begin my training for IM CDA in December and just want to have some “me time” before I go all in training.
As far as the race yesterday, it went well. I finished 2nd in my AG and 12th overall. Damn all those runners who average sub 6 minute miles. I am an average swimmer, good biker and decent runner (6:40-50) for an Olympic distance race. I know what I need to work on in the off season…me and the pool are going to be spending a lot of time together and although I made good strides in running…I will be pounding more pavement in the days ahead.
My sister asked me in a previous post, “How do you stay motivated”. First response is sign up for another race. Just as importantly you have to set goals for the upcoming season- new goals to push you through the days when you don’t want to get up, when you want to go out with friends. These goals need to make you work so whatever your fitness level is, don’t hesitate to push. Most individual’s mind will break before the body does. That is why tremendous athletes can push into the red and exert every ounce of ability they have until they cross the line. Average AG’ers brains will not allow them to punish themselves, it is the brain’s way of protecting the body. But that is why we sign up for races as triathletes to push ourselves further than we have ever pushed. Demand more out of our body than most would in a lifetime and to experience the feeling of giving it all.
I thought of a third on yesterday when you end on a bad race. I didn’t have a bad race (podium finish), but there were things I knew I could have done better (sighting during the swim-probably swam an extra 300 yards because I was back and forth trying to pick up the buoys and my goggles kept filling with water) and pushing harder on the run. When I finished I always expect to collapse in exhaustion and although I was tired, I ran the last two miles faster than any of the previous 4 which means I should have pushed harder on the run. There’s the motivation (also the fact that the winner in my AG beat me by 4 minutes). One other factor weighed into me having a bad taste in my mouth, I missed my bike rack twice!!!!!!!! I always take precautions, count the racks to mine and make mental notes. Yesterday, coming out of the water I ran 3 racks too far then stood around trying to find it and when I came off the bike I ran past it again and had to have a volunteer help me find the rack. Seriously? What a rookie move. No one likes being beat, but no one really likes to make mental mistakes during a race. So there you are Motivation Number 3!!!!!!
Good luck to everyone who is racing into November, there are some great races (IMFL, IMAZ, Beach to Battleship, 5150 series finale in Clearwater, Ironman Miami 70.3 among lost of other local races). Keep pushing yourself, stay motivated and Keep TRIing!
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