Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(This Post Is Cleverly Called) Triathlon Tuesday

I registered for this Monday:

Ironman California Oceanside 70.3 is on March 31st, 2012.  So it's still awhile away, but works out really well in my schedule.  I'll do the Big Kahuna 70.3 on September 11th, spend the rest of September, October and November having a little fun (mountain biking? cyclocross?) and then start ramping up training again just after Thanksgiving.  I actually like the idea of staying busy through the Holidays - I'll have some time off from work and maybe I'll be able to stay more focused on the training than the holiday cookies.

Of course, the question that will eventually come up (assuming I successfully complete these 70.3's) is "What's next?".  It'll be a fair question, and I have no idea what the answer will be.

The obvious answer would be a full distance Ironman.  But I'm not sure that's the right answer.  It's not because my man-suit was lost at the dry cleaners and as a result I don't think I'm tough enough.  Rather, it's because only a few years have passed since I got out of an all-consuming relationship with alcohol.  And I'm pretty sure that training for a full Ironman would be another all-consuming relationship.  I worry about this.

Sure, I could half-ass the training and let the chips fall where they may come race day.  But I have this internal performance standard that to be honest I can't even fully articulate yet, other than that it falls somewhere in the middle between winning and crawling over the finish line.  Finishing strong within the context of my abilities is the best way I can describe it at the moment.  I'll eventually need to quantify what "finishing strong" means and then decide if I want to turn up the heat or keep things where they are.  By the way, things aren't so bad at the moment.  But the parts that do need work would undoubtedly feel the extra strain of an Ironman training commitment.  Looks like I'll have some soul searching to do come next Spring.

I have set a goal for the Big Kahuna 70.3 race, though.  It's 5:10 or better, and being that the race is still a few months out, is subject to revision in either direction.  Calculating this was pretty simple - I took my best times to date for similarly distanced individual swims, rides and runs and then added 15 minutes.  I have no idea if this is reasonable or I am out of my mind.  I do worry about running a half marathon three and a half hours into an already intense day, though.  We'll see.

I got another bike fit on my Specialized Transition last Friday.  It had been a year since the last time I saw the fitter and I recently have switched out the aerobars and the saddle.  For aerobars I went Vision Trimax.  My understanding is that a lot of people don't like them but I love them.  They fit me perfectly and moving from an R bend extension to a J bend extension has been huge in terms of comfort.

After demoing an ISM Adamo saddle, I honestly didn't find the shorter nose length made any real difference for me.  So I stayed with what I knew and went with the Fizik Arione Tri 2 saddle.

But all these upgrades put my fit out of whack.  I was also hoping to get into a little more aggressive position.  Well unfortunately, the flexibility in my hip flexors still blows, so I didn't get a more aggressive position.  But we did bring the saddle height down a few centimeters and took out a spacer.  We also moved the saddle slightly forward and gave it a little bit of a downward angle.

The difference is unbelievable.  Power transfer is better.  Comfort is WAY better.  I'm very happy with the bike at the moment, though I'm really going to have to try and fit some yoga classes in somewhere.


The Green Girl said...


Petraruns said...

Love the bike. Looking good.

Interestingly enough - with ref to your comments about addictive personalities and Ironman - I heard / read somewhere recently about a trial where a medical experiment was done where Ironman athletes were put on the kind of medication given to those suffering from OCD. Many of those given this medication found themselves no longer willing / interested in doing the Ironman training. If this sounds like I'm slamming Ironman - I'm not. I am FULL of admiration for the focus and dedication this goal takes and support people doing this. But I think honesty about your own motives and attitudes is crucial here - and you are being honest and it is very refreshing. I too have recently realised that I use my marathon training to avoid some truths about my life - I will not give up marathoning but force myself to extend my focus elsewhere as well.

Good post - in short...

Jennifer said...

Great post. I with Petra on this one. I am a boater, have been for years. Someone once asked me if I wanted to crew on his sailing race team. I was so pleased but my reply was a fast "No!" I knew it would be all consuming because I would love it so much. I think the right time will come (or not) for a full IM and you will know it!

Sweet bike. BTW.

Unknown said...

Nice upgrades on the bike. Been thinking about switching to a J-bend myself for comfort purposes.

Do a couple more 70.3's and then hit up the IM. The training does take over your life but it sounds like you know that. The only reason I jumped into the long distance so soon was b/c it was in my backyard. I knew the regret of not doing it would be worse then the time commitment of doing it.

KovasP said...

Maybe you could balance your IM training with a return to alcohol? Then you couldn't overdo the workouts. The drycleaner's loss of your mansuit is a huge blow to WTC as well.

Jason said...

Great self evaluation but I would come to expect nothing less from you.

As for that time in IMCA go for it. I will say that the middle climbs are very tough and that might sap some speed from your time and also from the 1/2 Mary at the end.

If you want my take on the race let me know and I'll tell you what I think you should and should not do.

it's all about pace said...

As for your 1/2 IM finish time... your brick workouts will help you gauge your goals... oh, and nice bike, BTW

Johann said...

I agree with you 100%. I know all about all consuming. Before you know it, it is already there and everyone except you notice it. You are wise, the full IM will come.

Unknown said...

That's always the question, right "what's next?" I agree that full ironman isn't always the answer. I don't think it will be for me for a long time. Depending on how my race goes on Saturday, I think a HIM is what's next for me.

J. L. said...

I agree with your thoughts about training for a full IM. And that's why I'm sticking with HIM. In fact, sometimes I refer to them as my half-assed ironman. But I'm realistic and know I need to take care of my kids, too. But I'm also in awe of your 5:10 goal..Yeah!

Caratunk Girl said...

Nice bike.

IM training takes up so much time, and thinking about IM when you are not training takes up the rest of it.

It sounds like you know all of that though - to me, it is about what works best for your life and happiness. Maybe what's next Doesn't have to me IM - it could be PRing in HIM, or Oly, or Sprint. You don't always have to go longer for "the next step".

Sounds like you are rocking the training BTW.

Tri4Success said...

"Finishing strong within the context of my abilities" ..... I have the exact same performance standard. Odds are the full IM will happen some day but you are wise not to force the issue. That's a serious HIM goal - no doubt you'll rock it!

The Weird Teacher said...

I have much bike jealous.
Also, my performance standard is always asking myself, "Did I push as hard as I could have? Did I conquer the fear?" If the answer is yes then I'm happy with my time. ...normally.

Ransick said...

Great introspective look. I felt like a slave to my plan for my first HIM and I was shot most weekends. I'm trying to decide if a full is in the cards for me next year too. I need to look at why I want to do one.

5:10 is a smokin fast HIM and your bike looks awesome! No matter what you decide, I look forward to following your journey. It definitely helps motivate me.

Ransick said...

Thanks for the training advice. I like Friday's off so I can go to happy hour with my buddies. If I ever get really serious, I suppose I'll have to cut that out.

As for my mobile blog, I use blogger and just enable it by following the directions in this post.

Anonymous said...

I think the 70.3 is a pretty bad a$$ goal. While I think most go naturally to the "a full must be next" option, I don't think that's always the right option. There's something to be said for waiting until the right time in life... I say rock the 70.3 and don't sweat the "what's next". Can't wait to hear what happens! I don't even have the man-suit enough to do a sprint tri... or a woman-suit... what the heck does a chick wear in this type of situation?>??

Chris K said...

I say go for it. What would be so bad about being committed to a training plan? Sure it takes alot of time and work, but I don't see it as being addicted. I see it as being committed and focused on a goal. In fact, THAT'S what I live for.


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