It’s that time of year again. The focused triathlon training, tapering, peaking, and racing are behind me. No one will see me at the pool for months and my running / riding paces drop to levels that many people don’t actually believe even when I tell them. It’s also the natural time for reviewing the previous year and planning ahead.
2010 Season in Review. This went as well as I could have possibly hoped. All the biggest errors and meltdowns happened in the races that mattered least. This, in itself, is a real success. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any expectations for perfect execution for 100% of my races. I don’t expect to feel 100% ready to go to the well at each and every event. I do expect to score 100% on readiness and 95% on execution for those few races I’ve decided matter most and I did that. Primary goal was to give it a best go at age group wins at 3 national championship events – short course duathlon, short course triathlon and long course triathlon. Everything else was in support of that primary goal. Stretch goals were to place as high in the overalls at short course tri nats as possible and go for the female overall win at long course nats. I met my expectations across the board, which is awesome and in no way suggestive that those particular goals were easy to achieve. It was hard. I prepared well and executed well. Maybe I was even lucky when it came to who decided to show up at particular races, but that’s out of my control. I did it and I am proud to have pulled it off.
2011 Season Ahead. I’ve intended all along to race a reduced triathlon season in 2011. When I went to Halfmax Champs, I wanted to option to race long course worlds in Henderson, NV next year but wasn’t fully commited to doing it. In fact, I was remiscing with Gary about our last trip out to Henderson for Silverman Full Iron. That was my final race before pregnancy. It so happened that we scored the most awesomest home stay during that trip that made the experience all the better. I suggested to Gary that if we couldn’t get that same homestay again that I probably wouldn’t want to go, with it being such a long and expensive trip and all. Then I didn’t give it another thought until fate intervened in Myrtle Beach. Shortly after crossing the finish line, I am approached by Rex from Henderson asking, “Hey, Alicia, do you remember me!?” Well, I’ll be (insert catchy southern colloquialism here). It’s Rex the owner of the home we stayed at in Henderson for Silverman! Cutting to the chase, here, we are invited back to their beautiful home for worlds in 2011. I guess now I have to do the race!!
So, yes, I’m committing to long course tri worlds in November of 2011. It’s the triple Olympic Distance which I like and have had success with before. So long as I can get in the necessary training, I’m probably better suited for long course than I am short course, especially as my age creeps higher and higher. My ability to slow down less exceeds my ability to be super speedy. The key words here are “getting in the necessary training.” Preparing for a triple Olympic distance is no joke. It’s a time commitment greater than I originally intended to commit in 2011, but I do enjoy the training and there’s no rule that says I have to start my triathlon season before mid-summer. So that’s the plan. Worlds will be my one A race and any other triathlon will be specific prep. It will be an abbreviated tri season and I’ll be peaking well after most everyone else has flamed out for the year.
So what do I plan on doing in the many months before then? Well…some of you have heard me talk about trail running and doing a couple of short ultra’s. Yes, short ultra is an oxymoron and maybe I’m a moron for doing them, but my point with the short comment is that I won’t be doing any of this 50 or 100 mile business. Not unless I’m riding a bike. Why do them? First of all, I really enjoy long and slow trail run training. Secondly, they scare me a little bit and there’s no better path to satisfaction than preparing for, attempting and completing something that’s a bit scary. The main ones I have in mind are the Uwharrie Mountain Run 40 Miler and Bel Monte Endurance Run 50k. I’ll do some other trail running events in preparation, but those are the big deals. Oh wow am I glad I just checked out those websites out – Bel Monte registration opens tomorrow morning at 8am. I don’t know how fast that one fills up, but I know that Uwharrie fills in minutes.
I’ve had my eye on American Zofingen (the long course distance primarily) for a few years, but it just hasn’t worked out. It’s now in May and takes place up in upstate New York. That’s a long trip. I’d love to do it, but I don’t know if that trip is in the cards. Also, I wasn’t planning on having the sort of bike fitness and endurance for such a long event, but I’m sure I could fudge my way through it off ultra running fitness. We’ll see.
Another topic I haven’t mentioned in this post but have been thinking about is sponsorships. I have some ideas about that which I’ll share in another post.