The plan for this year's race is simple: there is no plan. Last year, I followed a meticulously-crafted training program. Almost every workout was prescribed; almost every hour accounted for.
This year, not so much.
Because Ironman Western Australia was so late in the calendar year, I had to carefully regulate the intensity of my workouts. Most friends and fellow cyclists train to peak for events September or October at the latest and then take a breather. With my race scheduled for early December, I didn't have that luxury -- and while all of my friends were training to peak early, I had to keep my focus, exert some self-control, and avoid a late-season burnout.
Vineman is in late July, not December, so I'm not too worried about burnout. The theme for this year is last year's diametric opposite: go hard or go home.
I've been pushing pretty hard for almost two months now, with half of a light week in early April. Mileage has ramped up, hours have increased slightly, and I've (finally) managed to incorporate some swimming into the mix. This year, I'm not trying for long hours in the saddle: I'm looking for intensity. Intervals, faster runs, soreness and burn. It's going to be an interesting experiment.
Tomorrow, Kristine and I are going home for a nice, long weekend with family. My legs are going to enjoy a few much-needed off-days, and I'm going to see relatives who I haven't seen in a year or more!
When I get back, it's back to going hard. Until the end of May, when I'm going home again. And that'll be a fun (and well-timed) trip, too!
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Who would've thought that "the last weekend in April" and "the first weekend in May" would be the same weekend? Apparently, I need to get more familiar with my calendar. I registered for Wildflower on Tuesday, only to realize just minutes after punching in my credit card that I'd be out of town the same weekend. Stupid!
Fortunately, I called up the folks at Tri-California immediately, explained the situation and they were kind enough to refund the entire $285 entry-fee.
Even so, I'm disappointed. For a few seconds there, I was totally psyched to test my mettle in three week's time. There's still Auburn, though I'm not totally sold on doing that one again, and Bay to Breakers. We'll see.
UPDATE: Well, I didn't win the Kona lottery. I had been keeping my fingers crossed that I'd somehow snag one of the 200 available lottery spots for a chance at tackling Ironman's biggest race. Alas, it was not meant to be. I'll try again next year!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I caught the end of the U.S. Half-Marathon today down by Aquatic Park here in San Francisco. Milling about the finish line and listening to the race emcee call out the names of the runners as they crossed the line seemed to jump-start my competitive juices. It's been four months since Western Australia; I think it's time I sign myself up for a race.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
For a few brief moments on this morning's ride, I felt like an actual triathlete and not just a guy who trains a lot -- and not for any particular reason, either. I don't really consider myself a triathlete; I'm just a guy who likes a challenge and triathlon just happens to be the one that's caught my interest. I'm just a guy who can swim well, and ride a bike, and then grit through a slow run after.