Saturday, November 15, 2008

California (70.3, that is), here I come

It's been two weeks since my last blog. I've thought about writing things down a number of times, but, I admit, I've just been either too busy or too tired. It is now four weeks since the Halfmax in Nevada. The time since then has been a mixture of ups and downs. Obviously, the excitement of qualifying for World's has been a lot of the up feeling. The end of the season "rest" has probably contributed to some of the down feeling. I'm not sure if the lack of endorphins has contributed significantly to how I've been feeling, but it certainly has had an impact.

The last couple of weeks have been a microcosm of the issues and challenges that I face in life. Owning two businesses certainly has its stresses and I've had a lot going on in terms of both in the last few months. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling an incredible amount of fatigue. I get this "sick" feeling that I think I can relate to fatigue, and it was really strong. Ironically, I did a good swim about a week ago and felt much better afterwards. Yesterday, I swam 2700 yards in the morning and realized that I was much more relaxed at work. Things that would have set me off a week earlier, didn't even make a dent yesterday!

It's interesting how the balance between work, family and triathlon training comes about. For me, triathlon helps me relax, keeps me grounded in some level of normalcy, and keeps me fit and healthy. That said, my family is the most important thing to me. Work is not a job for me, which is both a good thing and a problem. I don't know how to do anything at less than 100%. I put all my energy and effort into everything I do. This creates a lot of challenges.

When my stresses at work are high, training helps me to deal with it, but dealing with the additive fatigue puts further stress on me. At this point of my life, I would rather work less and train more. My rest break has helped my mind. That said, I'm ready to start thinking about my next race, the California 70.3 in Oceanside the first week of April. I've done the race three times in the last five years. In 2004, just getting back into tri's I did 6:08, the next year 5:49, two years ago, with a year of good coaching under my belt I did 5:13. Can I go under 5 hours this coming year? We'll see. I really like the course and can pretty much visualize most of the race having done it three times.

A few weeks ago, my coach told me to take my mind off training and to not think about my upcoming race season. Well, my rest "break" is over and it really feels good to be able to start thinking about California. I know what I have to do to be successful. I can definitely improve upon my swim from past years. The Halfmax and recent training suggest that I can get my swim time down to somewhere between 30 and 33 minutes (best previous time has been 36). My running improvement in the last couple of years tell me that I can break 1:40 on the run (best time 1:45). My biggest challenge will be the bike. It continue to be strong, but I haven't had a major breakthrough in the last two years. I really want to get my bike time down closer to 2:38 (it's a hilly course, my best time is 2:45). If I achieve all of these goals I can actually get down to 4:57. That could make me fairly competitive in the 50-54 age group. Well, there, I've written it down and said it. Now, I have something to shoot for. Ironically, it doesn't really matter what I do at the race. It really is all in the journey!

No comments: