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.
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.