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.
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!