Next weekend our first full-triathlon season will kick off at “The Rookie” on May 6th.
Despite having to miss two of Austin’s major triathlons over the Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day holidays – we are still going to have a full plate of TRI’s this summer:
May 6 – The Rookie Super Sprint TRI 300M swim – 11 Mile Bike – 2 Mile Run
June 17 – Lake Pflugerville Sprint TRI 500M swim – 14 Mile Bike – 3 Mile Run
July 15 – Couples Sprint TRI 800M Swim – 11.2 Mile Bike – 3.2 Mile Run
August 5 – Jack’s Generic Sprint TRI 500 M Swim – 13.8 Mile Bike – 3 Mile Run
September 30 – Kerrville Olympic TRI 1,000M Swim – 29 Mile Bike – 6.4 Mile Run
October 21 – Austin Half Ironman 70.3 1.2 Mile Swim – 56 Mile Bike – 13.1 Mile Run
6 Events which will take us from the shortest of triathlon events all the way to the Half Ironman distance of 70.3 cumulative miles between the swim, bike and run.
There are a couple of running races on the schedule as well where I hope to run well and look to Age Group. In June we are going for our 4th consecutive AG win at the Holland Texas 5K. Being my last year running in the 40-44 year old category, I’d like to make it 4 for 4 which would be pretty special.
In September perhaps the “A” race of all “A” races in2012, The Prefontaine Memorial 10K in Coos Bay, Oregon.
An event I’ve had on my bucket list since I started racing more than 5 years ago – it looks like this may be the year where I can make that trip happen, visit the famous track at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR and turn a few laps before heading to Pre’s hometown of Coos Bay. With luck we’ll be primed for a big day running along one of his favorite training routes, past his Mother’s house along the route and at the end of the race, turn a final lap on the High School Track that bears his name. Pretty cool.
One thing that I have learned about “race days” over the years is that you should expect the unexpected. Poor weather, winds, storms, high heat, cold temperatures, having an illness prior to an event, not feeling well on race day and even simply showing up properly prepared mentally and physically only to discover over the opening miles that your head and heart were “in it”, but somehow your legs were not.
I’ve had it all happen to me over the years and as Boston proved just last Monday – you really can’t count on anything to go exactly the way you hope.
All you can do is show up and give it your best.
When it comes to the triathlon, this is even a dicier situation. Not only do you need to have the weather cooperate – you need to be “on” in three different disciplines.
Your swim needs to be solid.
Your bike needs to be there for you.
Finally you must race smart to this point, conserving enough energy to let it all hang out on the run.
Of course there are also the matter of the two transitions to deal with.
You have to come out of the water focused and calm, get moving to T1 (Transition One), remove your goggles and cap, put on your socks, shoes, helmet and glasses, run to the mount line and hammer away on the bike.
As you power to the dismount line on tired legs you need to run into T2 (Transition Two), rack your bike, take off your glasses, helmet and bike shoes. Slip on your visor or running glasses, race flats and your number belt – grab a quick drink and you are off again.
We haven’t even started talking about any equipment trouble or heaven forbid a flat tire on the bike, which I had the joy of dealing with on Wednesday this week on a training ride.
It all has to come together for you with no hiccups or missteps.
Looking up at my race schedule for all that to go perfectly not once, not twice but SIX times is highly, highly unlikely.
That is exactly what has me so excited about this Summer and Fall. Sometimes the excitement is about the “not knowing”. At least it should be.
With any luck and some hard work hopefully we will find our way onto a podium or two – but if not – the real goal is to earn that Half-Ironman Finisher’s Medal with Dawn and Landry looking on in October.
We’ve been fortunate enough to earn a few of those medals over the past 5 years of racing, but that last one on the list above to a “runner turned triathlete” who quite honestly could not swim the length of a 50 Meter pool one year ago today will be something special.
I know exactly who’s little neck I can’t wait to put that one around.
Here’s to a summer of swimming, biking and running.