All was on track until two weeks ago: Two day fever followed by light recovery followed by normal week training equals where I am now: on the couch, day 3 and a fever. I'm very uncomfortable and not sure when I can train again.
Any ideas I had about a good early season are out the window, which is fine as I rarely race until June or July.. to me, there is little point. A hard training session can tell me as much as an off-peak race.
To each his own though, perhaps someone without the time in endurance sport could learn a bunch about his own strengths/weaknesses in early season racing.
What about the actual season? June to Oct? ... I really don't know actually.
I felt I proved to myself in '08 and '09 everything I'd always felt was reasonable when I first started.
Last season specifically I only raced in town once (more on that) for the bigger races to the north in the "elite" waves (mix of Pro and competitive Age Group athletes)... It was eye opening to be sure.
What I proved to myself is that in spite of my technical weaknesses as a swimmer I can usually race my way into the fray for an AG podium or better. At Issaquah a stupid mistake in T2 (3min looking for my shoes !?) cost me the OA AG win in the 35-39, a scalp I would have been happy about for a stretch. :)
Then there was Bellingham Erin Baker's, Seafair (both elite waves), the very sub par Lake Stevens, and of course Aluminum Man, plus SOMA 70.3.
So, here I am wondering what I need to do this season for myself.. Is it a time I want, a place in a certain race, what?
Actually, none of those.
In the gazillion years of racing I have I always wanted the best competition where I went. Last year, to get it, I left Oregon and I got it, the fields were deeper and faster. For example anytime you see a race w/more folks per AG and closer finishes to the respective athletes as compared to another comparable event you have a deeper field. :)
Aluminum Man? Yes, I would have liked a certain cadre of guys to show up to the sprint. As it was they were somewhere else.. I'll go on record to say that prior to the last few years @ Alu the fastest times out there were posted by Arash Kia and Andy Heiman and we finally just got back there in the couple of years, point in fact.
Not only that but the sprint event is historically deeper and more competitive then it's sister event, it just is, results demonstrate this.
In God We Trust, but in numbers We Trust more !
And although I "only" finished second the person who beat me was in another epoch as a cyclist and a swimmer relative to even the best regional folks, hence his course record. Lots of what ifs on my end (if my PM had been on could I have taken a chunk out of him riding?). I am happy with running a course record run split though.
And SOMA ! I wish, wish, wish I had not had that darn bike accident prior to SOMA.. I felt I could do a 4hr 20min-ish time on the course and w/the bike and run I posted proved that was in the cards. No podium but so close with a shoulder that is still discolored and gives me fits to this day.
Finishing first in Aluminum Man (or an AG podium at SOMA) would have been totally meaningless to me unless I feel that I was in a race.
If you just run away from the competition, it's hardly a test.
Do *I* feel I was tested at all my races in 2009? Yes. I wanted the best and got it. And wondering post-event if results would have been different had another competitor had showed is a waste of mental bandwith; at all of my races the best on the day were there, bar none and I raced at my limit each time even on the one bad day.
So, if you ask me what I want this season, I want a test of my abilities at my peak, something new though. I need a little inspiration, like my time as a runner I'm feeling my time as a competitive triathlete is starting to run its course, there is more in the tank but I need something more.
Gods of Multisport, bring it in 2010. :)