Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Season Resolution: Do things that scare you.

The 2014 Triathlon Season is upon us. This was the year I decided to do more short-course (Sprint and Olympic-distance) events to see if I can be somewhat competitive in my new age group. That's right everyone: I celebrated my age group birthday on January 1st along with 1/5 of all other triathletes. They age you up, so even though I don't turn 35 until August, I am in the 35-39 age group starting now.

While I'm working on short course triathlon, why not sign up for another half Ironman-distance event in May?  Ok, my short-course only year didn't work out exactly as planned, but at least I didn't sign up for Ironman Canada. I considered it for about a week. Maybe 2015?

My year is chalk-full of events that scare me though. Here's the plan with a 1-5 rating of how much they scare the bejeezus out of me.

Kaiser Half Marathon
13.1 mile run, San Francisco, CA - February 2 
Rating: 1
This half marathon does not scare me. It will be fun, and good training.

Solvang Century Ride 
100 mile bike ride, Solvang, CA - March 8 
Rating: 4
Mostly what scares the shit out of me is the ability to train this winter when it's raining and cold. Here is where I get a big boo-hoo from my friends in the Midwest who probably laugh at precipitation and 30 degree temps.

March Triathlon Series Olympic 
.93 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run, Lake Lopez, Arroyo Grande, CA - March 23 
Rating: 2
Sure, I'd like to kick butt at my first Olympic of the year, but my strategy is to get out there, enjoy the day and see what I can do. No pressure racing.

Wildflower Triathlon Long Course
1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run, Bradley / Lake San Antonio, CA - May 3 
Rating: 4
The Olympic course scared the shit out of me last year, once I realized the choppy waters of Lake San Antonio were not kind and further, my rented wet suit squeezed the crap out of me. I got out of the water feeling totally defeated. It was kind of uphill/downhill after that (pun intended). Not my best race. So why not do the long course to show that course who's boss? *gulp*

Alcatraz Challenge Swim
1.5 mile swim, The Bay, San Francisco, CA - June 29
Rating: 5
My plan between May and the end of June is really focus on swimming. It will take many weekends in the ocean to prepare mentally and physically (mostly mentally). I'm not in this to race, per se, and I don't really care if I'm one of the last people out of the water as long as the safety boat doesn't mind waiting around for me a little longer. If I can jump off of a boat positioned more than a mile off of the shore, and plunge into the San Francisco Bay, and then swim approximately 1.5 miles, then I can pretty much do anything.

Trans Tahoe Relay Swim
Swim relay, Lake Tahoe, NV/CA - July 19
Rating: 1
After two years of doing this event, this should be the best year ever. We have our team, we have our house, we now know what a "low profile Malibu" is. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Donner Lake Olympic Triathlon
.93 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run, Donner Lake, CA - July 27
Rating: 2
This event doesn't scare me, as much as I just want to do well. I should be elevation-ready after a week in Tahoe, and hopefully I'll get a couple of workouts in at altitude while vacationing in Kings Beach. Yes, this is how I spend my vacations now: tapering for triathlons. What about it?

Age Group Olympic Nationals
.93 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run, Milwaukee, WI - August 9
Rating: 4
Please note. I am not going to the Olympics,  nor will I qualify for the Olympics. The "Olympic" Triathlon just means the course is the same distance they do at the Olympics. If some of you thought that I am going to the Olympics - God bless you for thinking I am awesome, but I hate to inform you that is not the case. The reality is, I will work very hard to be in the top of the bottom 25% of finishers in my age group. (Not even overall.) Going to a national competition is scary. Will I be the last one out of the water? Will people laugh at me? I know I should put all of that aside, and just have the best race and be the best I can be. But, it's pretty intimidating to be on the same playing field with people who are really, really good. I will go for the experience, and I will not be the last person out of the water!

Marine Corps Marathon (pending lottery)
26.2 mile run, Washington D.C. - October 26
Rating: 1
I'm not scared to run another marathon. Remember the rating system is for scary, not difficult. Marathons are difficult. But, I've heard this is a great event with all kinds of clean cut men calling you "ma'am" and handing you electrolytes. Sounds like my kind of race!

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