I set up this blog last fall with the idea of sharing my thoughts about training and racing. I don't know where the time went, but here it is July 18th, and I haven't written a thing. I just did my 4th race of the season, and with the exception of some race reports on the various triathlon forums I post on, I've been very silent. That's not like me at all. So for the next few weeks I'm going to share my preparations as I head into my 2005 long term goal race.
My long term goal for 2005 as stated on my training log http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/discussion/training/index-weekly.asp?memberid=5600&year=&month=&day=#
Long term goals
Top 10 finish at AG Nationals & qualify for Team USA again.
A little background here. I've been doing triathlons since 1983. I had a few years off from 1999 to 2001 due to injuries, family issues, and weight problems. Before my time off I was pretty competitive in my age group. Top 3 was pretty normal except when I got closer to the numbers that end in 3,4,8 & 9. I always thought of myself as a big fish in a little pond.
I lost 44 pounds in 2001 and spent the good portion of 2002 getting myself back to a higher level of physical fitness. The bike was coming along quite nicely. I did some bike racing at the Empire State Games in the Masters division and won 2 silvers and a gold. Swimming was swimming, but I was battling my mind with running. So it wasn't until August of 2002 that I convinced myself that I could race triathlons again. To make a long story short, I came in 3rd in my age group, and 20th woman overall. Not bad for a 48 year old woman who hadn't raced in 3 years. I immediately went to the internet to find another race to do. I did the sprint at the inaugeral Granite Ledges Triathlon where I won my age group, and was 4th woman overall. I think all the fast women were in the Olympic distance race. :-)
In 2003 I decided I would try to do an Olympic distance race for the first time in 13 years. My last one had been the 1990 Bud Lite USTS race in Baltimore. I figured the easiest way to train for Oly after all these years was to sign on with Team in Training (TNT), and do Saint Anthony's. What a wonderful experience! (You'll see me write about TNT a lot since I'm still very involved.) I ended out knocking 11 minutes off my Oly PR and doing the race in 2:35. It put me in 12th place for 45-49, but it would have put me 2nd in the 50-54. It gave me something to shoot for the following year.
Then I got this crazy ass idea that I could go to Nationals, do the same sort of time, and make Team USA. I started working with a coach. I am not the most organized person. In fact I've been clinically diagnosed as ADD, and it impacts everything in my life from working, finding things in the house, and my training. I think I drove this coach crazy, and it was not an ideal match for me. I needed someone to stay on top of me more. I did a so-so time at Nationals, but did make Team USA with a pass down spot. So I would be competing for the USA in Madeira Island, Portugal in 2004.
Going to Worlds was exciting, but I made lots of rookie mistakes, and I sucked. Part of the problem was poor training. I spent 17 days in Australia and New Zealand in late January and early February. I did zero biking, a little bit of swimming, and some running. Anyone who has told you that it takes 1 day per time zone change to get back on track is not kidding. For two weeks it was very hard to get myself out of bed, much less do any sort of training. So basically my training for a race on May 9th started on March 1st. Do I regret taking the trip and scewing up my training? Hell no! This was a trip of a lifetime with my Dad that he paid for.
The rest of my 2004 racing season went much better after that. What I love about age group competition is that one actually can look forward to getting older. My non-athletic friends looked at me is if I had two heads when I told them I couldn't wait to turn 50. I did 7 more races after Worlds. Placed Top 3 in all but one. The one was Nationals where despite a foot injury I still came in 9th. I had posted one of the fastest bike splits in my age group, but could do nothing about the 4 women who passed me on the run, pushing me out of the Top 6 for a qualifying spot for 2005 Worlds. As it turned out 4 of the 6 Team USA spots were taken by 49 year olds who aged up. My 2004 results still made me feel like a big fish in a little pond.
So here it is 2005, and I have one more shot to grab a spot on this year's team. I'm not working with a coach. I debated it and actually started to fill out the profile, but I kept procrastinating. I just couldn't pull the trigger on spending that kind of money. Also there are other things going on in my personal life, so the coaching fees are paying for the therapist instead. Instead I'm doing my usual by the seat of my pants training. I've had some good results so far. 3rd at Saint Anthony's, 2nd at Pawling, 2nd at NYC, and 1st yesterday at SOBE Mossman.
The question for this year is: Can this big fish from the little pond keep up with the sharks in the big lake? My challenge for the next 4 weeks is keeping the good feelings going, and staying on top of my game. I'm hoping with Nationals in August I'll peak just right. The last 2 years they've been in September and October, and I've been a little toasted by then.