Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What Now?

As I begin writing this post, it is Sunday night, the house is quiet, and I am bluer than B.B. King on a drunken bender. It's nothing unnatural or worthy of concern. I get this way after every season-ending Ironman. It's the Ironman blues.

Typically, it gets worse if I sit still, but right now I cannot train. Indeed I ought not train. So, the next best thing I can do is start scheming and planning for next year. That's where you come in. I always enjoy racing more when friends are involved. I'd love to host you in magnificent Tejas, and I'd love to race with you somewhere else.

But first . . . about that Ironman thing.

I am addicted and conflicted. I feel lost without the epic threat of an Ironman date on my calendar. It creates organization and purpose from necessity--sheer survival. And part of me wants some Ironman redemption. I did not race as strongly at Cozumel as I wanted to do. And that has only a little to do with the number on the clock.

And yet, I think my plans to do IM St. George are unwise. Cozumel took the starch right out of me. I cannot see being ready to commit to another Ironman, even by January. In addition, I've started thinking about other things I would do if not training 15 hours or more a week. There are family and professional obligations I should be attending to. And I want to pour time into my writing, including a fiction workshop here in Houston, instead of training on an Ironman level.

And Ironman is not making me better any more. Ironman is not making me improve. I've plateaued with the long and slow. I know what I need to do to improve and another Ironman is not it. I need to learn how to race and to suffer and to go fast. I need to get my butt into masters swim 5 days a week, regular swim lessons with a coach, and race HARD at the Olympic distance once or twice a month all year. Later in the year, I ought to try building up to a substantial PR at the Longhorn 70.3 and try to see how far under six hours this old dog can go.

Toward that end, I'm already scheming next year's schedule. What follows are some of my ideas. You are invited to come along and stay chez Greyhound, and they are subject to change if you want Greyhound couch surfing at your place:

2/27 Rodeo Run 10K (Houston)

3/13 Bayou City 10K (Houston)

4/10 Gateway to the Bay OLY (Kemah, maybe)

4/25 Lone Star OLY (Houston, definitely)

5/15 Ogden 1/2 Marathon

5/31 Cap Tex OLY (Austin)

6/25 Philly Tri OLY

JULY/August--Colorado Cycling Adventure, Boulder Stroke and Strides

8/29 Alcatraz Triathlon (REALLY? Swim in S.F. Bay? Holy Shit!)

9/6 Austin Tri OLY (prolly only if no Alcatraz)

9/26 Houston Tri OLY (new race)

10/17 Longhorn 70.3 (Austin)

Then in 2011 something epic, like IM Lake Placid or Austria or Brazil or New Zealand!!!

Come on, peeps. Help me out of this funk. Let's get some suffering on the calendar and make some bad decisions.


Molly said...

I think that sounds like an awesome plan (and not just because it's the same thing I'm doing). I think taking a year to work on speed in between IMs is smart or you get so bogged down in the long slow distance. Give me a holler when you are coming to CA for Alcatraz - I'd love to come up and cheer for you!

21stCenturyMom said...

What Molly said. And who, knows - maybe I'll do the Tri Califorina Alcatraz, too. Swimming in the SF Bay is my version of bungee jumping - terrifying but exhilarating.

I would LOVE to go to Austin for Long Horn. I'm not ready to commit funds, though so I probably won't get the chance before it sells out - sigh...

Wendy said...

You might consider some open water swims, too.

skierz said...

How about Triple T??

Coach Liz said...

I'm game for some of the short stuff. I would love to go out to Hawaii for the Honu 70.3 but that might be a pipe dream.

greyhound said...

21st CM: Longhorn typically does not sell out fast, so don't count yourself out. Just keep a watch on the website.

Fe-lady said...

That's a LOT of racing-are you entered in Alcatraz lottery? or what?
after you swim once in SF Bay you will be back for many more because it's currently 6 of the most wonderful swims I have ever experienced in my whole 27 years of OW swimming!
And you will enter Sharkfest and Alcatraz Invitational and other swims there...you can count on it!

Trishie said...

I could have written this !

Meredith said...

You can just sign up for the Tri-California Alcatraz Triathlon. www.tricalifornia.com. There is no lottery system.

essle said...

That's what i was looking for. I will definitely share it with others.
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