Well, it's three months into 2010, and this particular Ironman isn't looking (or feeling) all that tough anymore. Up to this point, I haven't really felt compelled to commit to a 'big' race, which would require a co-committment to an actual training schedule, so we've sort of tabled the issue for as long as possible.
But yesterday we threw down - Cath, Drew and I are registered for Racine IM 70.3, which will take place on July 18, 2010, or just under 20 weeks from now. As mentioned previously, I'm not a huge fan of repeating 'A' races, and we previously did Racine in 2006, but there were a few factors weighing in its favor:
- it's close;
- it's now a 70.3-sponsored event;
- the timing is good; and, perhaps most importantly,
- there's a revenge factor.
Yes, the 2006 version (then known as the 'Spirit of Racine' half-ironman) was a particularly horrible day to race - temps were deep into the 90s and it was very humid. No doubt the hottest race I've ever competed in, and it was miserable. I remember really wanting to be off the bike, and just struggling through those last few miles. I thought the run would be refreshing, but I jogged out of the transition area and just felt like absolute crap. I probably ran a half-mile before stopping to walk. Luckily, Drew and I met up, and he wasn't feeling much better than I did, so we suffered together - alternating long walk breaks with brief fits of running. There were people collapsed on the side of the road, all red-faced and spacey-looking. It was a pretty gruesome scene.
Of course, my amazing wife was having a great day - she passed both Drew and I relatively early in the run, looking fresh as a daisy, and went on to beat both of our asses (which she takes great pleasure in reminding us...). I think I finished in around 6 and 1/2 hours, which is a good hour longer than what I'm usually capable of. It was just brutal.
So, needless to say, Drew and I are looking for a little redemption in ol' Racine, Wisconsin this year. And I'm excited to have a goal race on the agenda. It sounds a little bratty, but I don't consider a 70.3 to be all that much of a challenge anymore, but it really is a great distance for a triathlon - long enough to be a challenge, but without the uber-long training sessions that a full IM require. I'm not sure I could mentally commit to that kind of intensity this year. So, this should be a good compromise.
I'm still not sure what we'll be doing with the rest of the year - I had thought about a possible marathon, with an eye toward qualifying for the Boston Marathon (which, for my old ass would be a 3:20.00 - I did a 3:26.00 at the Chicago marathon in 2005, so it's theoretically possible), but I'm not sure. A stand-alone marathon just seems really hard, even harder than a full IM (which, of course, makes little/no sense). I've had a few running-related injuries in the years since 2005, and I'm afraid that all that running would be an invitation to re-injury.
But, we'll see. We're taking 2010 in baby steps. At least we have our mid-year goal in place.