Saturday, June 18, 2016

This season’s loose “race calendar”

Training plan.
I can safely say that I won’t be doing a 70.3 distance triathlon this year. Unless the heavens open and unlimited training time and a perfectly healthy body come floating down to me, I’m going to stick to the shorter stuff.

I haven’t signed up for anything yet because I am paranoid and don’t want to jinx myself and/or waste any money. But my loose “race plan” this year is to do the open water mile and Aquathon I do every year over Independence Day weekend (2015, 2014), and do a couple of sprints or Olympics in August and September. It’s nothing too stressful, but enough to motivate me to get out there and train.

I half-considered doing a triathlon last weekend, but I haven’t even done an open water swim yet this season, and as it turns out I ended up volunteering at one, which was way more fun. I’m swimming at least a mile at a time in the pool, so I know I can do an Olympic swim distance, even if my speed is down the drain (ba dum tsss).

My ultimate goal for my annual open water mile is to get out of the water before a friend of mine who also does this race every year. Ha! My speed lately suggests this would not be possible this time around, sadly. However, we may have to make a friendly wager on the run-swim-run Aquathon, since I could probably beat him on the run parts.

I’ve only been cycling in the 35-mile range lately and, honestly, I’m not missing the longer days and 50-mile rides. 2 to 2.5 hours seems like the perfect range to make it worth getting all my stuff together for a ride, yet not having to dedicate an entire day to one. Plus, I can really only ride long on the weekends, and weekends are for sleeping in, so that limits my time in the saddle to late morning, early afternoon.

As far as running, I have no doubt I can finish a 10K as my “long” runs have been in the 7-8 mile range. But, the question remains to how fast I can go. I’ve had a few fast-for-me-coming-back-from-injury runs, but I’d still like to get those average paces down. Do I want to struggle through a 10K or push through a 5K, which will be over more quickly? Decisions, decisions.

I haven’t ruled out a fall marathon, but I’m going to leave that ball in the air for now. I’m OK with a “wait and see” approach, and I want to get some double-digit miles in my legs – pain-free, preferably – before I make any decisions about training or racing. I’d rather skip a fall marathon if it means I can do the Gasparilla Distance Classic – a 5K, 8K, 15K and half-marathon over two days – in Florida in February. The challenge would be just different enough to shake things up a bit, but it’s still a big goal that would require me to stick to a training plan.

I don’t want to waste all the time I’ve been putting in swimming, biking, and running, so I want to do SOMETHING with my summer. But hey, if I don’t get to do 15 races, and instead only do a few quality events, that’s OK with me too. I mean, even last year I only started four and finished three races, so it’s not like I have been in the habit of racing every weekend anyway.

I want to have fun, keep my legs in check, and stay in shape. If I can collect a bunch of medals doing that – bonus!

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