Making goals can be tricky. For one, you have to temper your need to constantly get better with the reality of what you are able to accomplish. The worst thing is to set goals so lofty that you don’t achieve them, so that any result that doesn’t meet them, even though an improvement, will seem to be a failure. I was guilty of doing that in 2012, so as I sit to think about what I want to do in 2013 I am being careful to not set goals that are not realistic.
When looking at races to sign up for a year ahead of time you need to make some assumptions on how you feel your training will be at that point in time, even 9-10 months in the future. That can be tricky at best. This is where Jennifer and I have a disconnect (the few that we do have). I tend to be overly cautious, and she tends to be overly ambitious. This has proved to serve us well at times, making me personally attempt things I may not have on my own, but also served us poorly, making us attempt things we are not ready for and not doing well, which then can hurt the ego and drive going forward. We came into 2012 knowing we wanted to attempt Half Ironman distances. I did not think I was ready for it, and I was right. I finished both of the ones I entered, but the race time and how I felt during and after the race showed clearly that I needed more seasons under my belt. Our long range goal was also a full Ironman in 2013. I think the experience we had in 2012 was a reality check for us, and some great (loving) guidance from Coach KC, told us that we needed at least another season before attempting this distance.
This is not to say we are not biting off some huge distances this year coming up. I can say that Jenny is the catalyst for this undertakings, but truth be told I could say “no”, but I don’t, because deep inside I need to see if I can do it. I know this about myself. I accept it. Let’s move on.
The first race on the schedule is the Goofy Challenge at Walt Disney World. This is a Half Marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. What are my goals for this race? I have NO clue. I hate using the old stand by of “I just want to finish” because at this point I should know what I can expect. The marathon in 2012 was my first (and only) and my goal was <7:00:00 hours. I missed that goal by 17 seconds. So should I use that goal again? Probably, but last year I didn't have a half marathon the day before, so can I do a sub 7? Not thinking I can, but no sure what a realistic goal is … so I will say … I Just Want To Finish.
In February I have two races; The Best Damn Race and the Gasparilla Beck’s Light Challenge. The BDR is a half marathon, so I will be shooting for that ever elusive sub 3 hour mark that I have yet to accomplish. The BLC is two days of racing; a 15k and 5k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. I am OK with this one because I did this distance in ’12 and completed it, so I should have no issues this year. Times are iffy with this one also, as with all challenge types like this, but will still be shooting for the sub 3 on Sunday.
March is when it starts. The first triathlon of the season will be the HITS 70.3 in Ocala. A lake swim, where I struggled in Haines City, followed by the hills of Ocala and a hot run thought the forest. To be honest, the only thing I worry about is the swim, but my overall goal this season is to do well enough in the swim that I don’t screw up the rest of my race. I will be shooting for a sub-7 hours, and hoping to do MUCH better. April is another big month with St. Anthony’s Triathlon on the 28th. Once again I will be doing this with TNT (so get ready for the donation requests), and with a pretty successful race in 2012 I will be looking to build on that. My time goal will be in the 3.5 hour range … with a hope to be closer to 3 than 4.
May May May. This is looking to be a bugaboo month. The current plan is to do the Gulf Coast 70.3 in Panama City for a couple of reasons. One being there is no way I am doing Haines City again after the debacle of that lake this year, and the second being that it is run on the same course that the Florida Ironman is run on, so it’s a precursor to 2014’s plan to attempt that distance. We shall see. Until I can get comfortably in the 6 hours range on a 70.3 course, I am unsure about taking on a 140.6. Not because I don’t think I can finish. I am pretty sure I would finish. But full Ironman races are a huge investment, not only in money (some upwards of $600), but also in time for training (say goodbye to every weekend hour).
The Summer is the normal activities for us. Our “A” race is Esi Ironman Augusta at the end of September, so the Summer months are sent training training training. We do participate in the Crystal River series of sprint triathlons because, well, because they are fun, and they do give us a chance to get in race conditions and test out some techniques and set-ups. I know some people hate doing these little races, but I like them.
As I said, the last race on the schedule now is Ironman Augusta. yes, I still had swim issues this year, and yes the hills were killer, and yes my bike let me down and cost me at least 90 minutes, but the venue was great, the people were great, the area was great, so I am doing it again. Since it is the final race of the year for us, it will be the decider on whether to attempt the 140.6 in 2014. Shooting for the 6 hours range, but as I said earlier, this is 10 months away. So much can change in 10 months.
|I need this shirt … except for
the Diabetic part.
Another aspect of 2013 is that I will be turning 50 years old in September. I cannot even imagine being 50 years old. I don’t feel 50. I don’t think I look 50. I definitely don’t think like a 50 year old. It’s a bit surreal hitting that milestone. I am not sure how my psyche will handle it. The other thing about turning 50 in the middle of a season is that, due to USAT rules, you are considered 50 for the entire season, so beginning in January I will be in the 50-54 age group in races. Not sure if that will make a difference. Triathlon is so different than other sports, mainly in that you tend to get better as you get into the 40-50 year age groups. It will be a telling test.
I am looking forward to the season. My hope is that at the end of the year I can look back as I am writing my goals for 2014 and say I got better, I had fun, and I am a stronger person.
Because, as you know ….
We ARE Fat Slow Triathletes …
… and we WILL be reckoned with