I am still planning on the 6 half marathons I discussed in my last post. I love half marathons, and may even add a 7th if I can find one next fall that doesn't entail travel expense. But I was still unsure about my triathlon plans. That decision I have made for sure: I will NOT be doing another half-Ironman (70.3 miles) in 2013. However, I loved the training I did for SuperFrog, and was so proud of myself when I finished, so there will most likely be another one in my future. As I wrote before, there are only two 70.3 races in San Diego: SuperFrog and the Ironman-branded Ironman California, which is in Oceanside. Given that I want to do new things, I think I want to skip SuperFrog next year, and sign up for Oceanside 70.3 in 2014 (it's already sold out for 2013). So that big decision is out of the way. I am nervous about it, especially the hilly bike ride and the hard 8-hour cutoff that Ironman mandates, but I think I can do it. I know I'll try my best, regardless.
So, what else will I be doing in 2013? Well, I decided that this year I want to do something in each sport that scares me. I loved conquering my fear of doing a 70.3 this past year, and want to smash through other fears. These are my proposed plans:
I am 99% sure that I will be signing up for the Tiki Swim, which is in September. This is a 2.4 mile point-to-point swim (full Ironman distance) in Oceanside. Yes, there is a 1.2 mile option, but I've done that---my half-Ironman was 1.2 miles. I know I can easily swim 1.2 miles, and building up to roughly 4200 yards shouldn't be that much more of a stretch (I've done 3000 yards without too much difficulty) yet still a challenge for me. I think the biggest challenge will be fighting boredom---after 2500 or 3000 yards swimming in the pool my mind goes numb with staring at the black line. But I'm excited about the race. There is a 2 hour, 20 minute cutoff, which I should be able to do (I did the 1.2 mile swim at SuperFrog in less than an hour, and that included fighting those huge 6-foot waves twice in the double-looped swim). I also hear there is an aid station on a kayak about halfway through, which should be interesting. So while the Tiki Swim scares me, I'm also excited about it.
I am also 99% sure that I will be signing up for the Xterra Mission Gorge Tail Run in February. While the distance doesn't scare me (it's 15k, or 9.3 mile) the terrain terrifies me. I don't run on trails. I am pretty clumsy and am sure I'm going to hurt myself. In fact, years ago, back in 2003 I did a 4 mile trail race (this was while I was in the middle of training for the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon) and I twisted my ankle on some rocks. However, a friend of mine has been pressuring me to run this with him, and I finally relented. He promised me he would help me up and down the hills. So, in the name of doing something that scares me, this trail run is it. I guess I need to start training on some trails over the next few months. I have been running a bit on some horse trails lately, but I need to really get out to the real hill trails to train.
This is where things get fuzzy for me. Most things involving the bike scare me. It's no secret the bike has always been my weakest leg in triathlon. When I was training for SuperFrog, my longest training ride was 60 miles and I promised myself that I wouldn't ever have to bike one mile further. Well, now I'm reconsidering. I'm thinking about doing a century (100 mile ride). The San Diego Century is in June, and while it offers shorter distances (33 and 67 miles) I would do the full, which is actually 103 miles. The distance itself isn't the scariest part---it's the hills. This ride goes over hills so steep (for me) and so long that I'm truthfully not sure I can do. If I sign up, I need to commit to major hill training over the next 6 months. Ideally I would have a better bike; that's not in our budget right now but I think I can do the ride on my current bike. I'm about 50/50 right now on signing up for this. The idea alone frightens me.
So, if I'm not doing a 70.3 this year, will I do any triathlons at all? I want to do at least one. There are many in San Diego that I haven't done, but will probably only do one in the interest of my race budget. I'm eying the Chula Vista Challenge, an Olympic-distance triathlon in August. I can't see spending the money for a sprint this year, especially since I'm training for much longer distances with my runs, bikes and swims.
So, that's my proposed race schedule for 2013. I will most likely throw in a few more 5ks to do with my son, since he likes to do them, and if the Awesome 80's Run comes to San Diego again I would once again do the 10k since I loved the medal (and the new-to-me distance). The thing about San Diego is that there are no shortage of races to do---whether running or triathlon, and any distance (except for full-Ironman distance) but I can't do them all. Seeing what my goals were--especially the "try new things that scare me" part--is helping to whittle down the list.