Back at it

I have sat down numerous times to start a series of blogs chronicling my training and racing this season but walked away from a blank screen every time.

Today is a new day and I have the goal and current motivation to provide a monthly account of my training and racing up to and including my focal race of the year, Patriot Half, on June 19th.

I should start with a brief explanation for my hiatus from triathlon. First I had to figure out then lay down a foundation of being a dad. I created standards, goals, expectations, objectives, the Do's and Dont's of how I wanted to be a dad for Noah. This took most of my attention from sport and rightly so. Matter of fact becoming a dad put sport into a different perspective for me. Then there was a lack of excitement for racing. There wasn't a race that was available to me that stoked my fire. There is no point in putting in the training if your aren't excited to race. Finally I wanted to run really long distances. I set out to "find my ultra". So after 18 months away from sport I'm back to hunt down my goals, find my limits and pursue my passions.

One motivating factor to race triathlon again was the opportunity to compete at Vineman 70.3 again. I feel that course is tailored made for me and I was excited and driven to have another crack at it. Well, Ironman decided to douse my flames as they not only moved the venue of the race but also the date to two months earlier. Not being able to race Vineman definitely took the wind out of my sails and left a sour taste in my mouth regarding the Ironman company. 

I now had to find a race that would fit into an already busy Summer calendar. By the time Ironman "cancelled" the race I had very few options. April and May were too early for me, June had a couple of possibilities, July I would be on family vacation, August I'm riding the Vermont Challenge with my Dad and have a family wedding, September i'll be headed to Lake Placid to coach and there is no way I can stay focused on training for a race in October. June would be my time. Before I scoured the Internet for June races I established a set of criteria and standards; it could not be an Ironman branded race, I'd love to experience a Challenge Family race, Rev 3 always puts on a great event, it must provide the support and foster the love of sport. The Patriot Half in Massachusetts fulfilled the needed criteria.

Next topic, training. To date training has been very consistent which makes me extremely happy and at ease. I haven't had any "epic" training sessions rather I have been quietly putting in the work each and every day. Small amounts of progress for long term gains. I built a nice base with all the previous running I did so I'm not too stressed about hitting my goals. My swim is coming along nicely. I'm constantly working to  dial in my stroke and become more efficient through the water and I'm proud to say I'm making progress.  The bike however is a different story. I put myself in a difficult situation with not riding a bike for so long and then having to find and get comfortable on a new TT bike.  Needless to say I lost a lot of bike fitness and have a very. . . long . . . road ahead of me to reach the top of the mountain.  The reality of the situation initially stressed me out because I know the splits I need to produce to reach my goals. However I decided to have a nice conversation with myself. I could throw in the towel and not race, I could make my goals more realistic to accommodate my depressing bike fitness or I could just HTFU, put my head down and do the work. Suffer now, celebrate later.

Most athletes will shy away from making their goals known for a number of reasons; fear of being scoffed, ridiculed, scrutinized, criticized, etc. I feel comfortable sharing my goals because they will hold me accountable. My goal is to finish in 4:45 or better. This will be a PR and demand huge sacrifices. I've broken down the 4:45 into a 31 minute swim, 2:25 bike and 1:40 run. I will have to have a perfect day and lay it all out there (both of which I plan to do).

So what is the plan going forward?  Real simple. Pedal my bike until my legs fall off.

I'll report back in a month.


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