January 11, 2012

2012's Fuzzy Goals

So we're already a week and a half into 2012 and I don't really have my fitness goals outlined. Specifically, I don't have my triathlon goals set. I have 5 half marathons on the docket (Surf City, Hollywood, OC, Rock 'n' Roll San Diego and Portland), all of which I'm very excited about. Completing Surf City and OC, in conjunction with the Long Beach Half Marathon that I did in October, will earn me a special medal called the Beach City Challenge. Portland will bring me back to visit my dear friend Krista, who will be running it with me...and give me state #3 in my far-fetched quest to run a half marathon in every state. Hollywood should just be pure fun, as it's the inaugural event. And finishing these 5 half marathons this year will bring me to 8 races within 365 days, which is the next level in Half Fanatics.

Plus, my ultimate goal is to crush the 2:30 mark. I almost did it in Vegas, as I was just a few seconds over 2:30...and I am determined to reach that goal this year. 2012 WILL be the year of the sub-2:30 half marathon.

Which leads me to triathlon. I am only signed up for one, the Super Seal in March. I did the sprint version of this race last March, but this time I am doing the International Distance, which is a 1500 meter swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run. I have only done one other triathlon at this distance, which kicked my ass, so I am looking at this race with both excitement and nervousness. The bike portion is flat, so that should be a huge contrast to the giant hills I had to contend with last September.

But that's all I have planned so far, and that's no good. I need to have races in mind, as my training goes best when I have a goal to work toward. Today I knocked out 50 laps (2500 yards) in the pool, but if I didn't have a big triathlon to train for I doubt I would have gone that long. So you see, I need race goals.

I am not sure what I want to do post-March. I have a few choices:
1) to complete a few more sprints, which are smaller in length
2) to complete another Olympic-distance tri, perhaps the same one I did last September. That one was so hard for me, especially on the bike portion, and it would be great to train hard and seek vengeance on those hills
3) to complete a half-ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run).

The logical step in my triathlon career would be a half-ironman distance, otherwise known as a 70.3. But there are so many reasons I am afraid of this distance:
  • the swim portion of the 70.3 I'm looking at consists of 2 loops in the ocean. That's two ocean starts. I know I can swim 1.2 miles, but have never done an ocean entrance. Every triathlon I've done has been in a bay. The very real possibility of being knocked around by the waves, not only once but twice, is scary.
  • Although the bike portion is flat, I've never biked 56 miles. I would have a headwind one way. And the time cutoff for the bike is 3:45, which I'm not sure I can do.
  • I can easily complete a half marathon, but after that huge swim and a 56 mile bike ride? I'm not so sure. And the time cutoff for the half marathon is 2:45. I would be really cutting it close, as my recent times have been ranging from 2:30-2:43.....and those times have been run on fresh legs.
  • To summarize what I just wrote, I am afraid of not being able to finish in the allotted time. I mean, I'm pretty darned slow. I'd hate to train all year and not be allowed to finish.
More than all this, I'm not sure I have the drive and motivation to train for a 70.3 right now. To complete this race I would have to train soooo much, much more than I already do train for my half marathons and Olympic-distance tris. I would need to drastically increase my bike mileage and speed, practice ocean-start swims, and do huge bricks (running off the bike). And as I have been plagued by injury in recent months, with both plantar fasciitis and glute pain, I'm not sure it's the smartest thing for me to do.

On the flip side, how amazing would that be to complete a 70.3? As a former non-athlete, it would be positively miraculous.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with sticking to Olympic-distance tris...or even sprints. Anything that keeps me in the pool and on the bike is good, as I love the cross training and need it to counteract the pounding that running does to me.

I don't think I'll make any major decisions until this triathlon in March. I want to race it to see how it feels doing that distance. If I finish feeling like I could go longer (like double) then I'll consider the 70.3. Otherwise, it may be another year of the same for me...which is okay!


  1. Those are some good goals. I'll see you at Hollywood, should be a fun day....I may break out the Elvis costume one more time.

    As for the 70.3....you can do it. Take a look at Vineman 70.3 or Barbs race (all women) The swim is in a dammed portion of the russian river and is shallow for most of the swim.(the reason I chise that race for my first 70.3) You can read my race report at http://bobrunner.blogspot.com/2011/08/vineman-703-race-report.html

  2. Great goals! I'm sure that if you set your mind to it you could do the 70.3. But I'm with you the idea of an ocean swim (being from land locked Colorado!) would scare the bejesus out of me!

    I soooo want to get under 2:30 on my 1/2 time. I'm sure I have it in me to do it one of these days!

  3. That's sort of how I feel about a 70.3. You'll get there. It's just slightly too intense to contemplate comfortably. And you'll smash your 1/2 PR too! :)

  4. WOW! A 70.3?!?! That's so impressive! What an awesome goal!

    1. It's a goal...but not sure I will do it. So daunting! A girl can dream though....

  5. Terrific goals! How about waiting until after March to decide on a 70.3? It sounds like you are definitely doing one at some point, but i think you will know when you are ready for the training time and when you feel your base and body are ready for it. I think you'll know after your March race. I love following your training on DM - thanks for sharing and good luck to you as you keep going! ~Tara

  6. I think you CAN most certainly do it, BUT I also understand the time concern. It takes an enormous amount of time. If my son was small and not a teenager I'm not sure I could do it because I'd have so many obligations with him. It's hard and he's about to get his own car....so with little ones I can not even fathom....There is also nothing wrong with easing into things. See how you feel with the Oly distance this year and maybe gradually start ticking up your training NOW in anticipation of the future. Just build a big base and keep it on ice.....it'll be there when you need it :)

  7. While thinking about the 70.3 .. you should do this 66 mile bike ride I'm doing! http://sandiegocentury.eventmediainc.com/

    I wanted to do a 70.3 this year but hate the swim and suck on the bike.. so I figured conquering the bike distance first would leave me with only the swim to worry about. baby steps!

  8. I personally don't understand why people need to have an OMG-2012-RACE-SCHEDULE set in stone. It's nice to have it open like you to do add things that come up as you go along. I did that last summer with triathlons and it was really enjoyable, and it made me feel bad-ass signing up for a tri a week before the tri.
    Anyway, looking forward to you crushing that 2:30!

  9. Looks like 2012 is going to be another great year for you!


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