Like most athletes on this side of the globe I'm enjoying the beauty of the off-season. With all the key events out of the way I'm already looking into the next year. After evaluation of this year I decided that the next year focus will be on the half distance or 70.3 if you will.
There are few reasons behind this decision - first and quite important one is that I just love racing this distance. It is challenging enough, but it does not wipe you out for many weeks. This past season I was actually able to finish two 70.3 races in the same month without much suffering (well if you do not count the gash in my leg I suffered in the second race in bike crash). Second reason is that you can actually train for this distance on fairly reasonable schedule. Which means that you can still keep your job and maintain reasonable level of social life. You do not need to become training and race goals obsessed as with full Ironman training. It is all about balance.
I already discussed the preliminary race schedule with Craig and ran few ideas by him over the past few weeks. After the first discussion I already secured spot at my key race which will be a new venue for me - Ironman 70.3 in Rhode Island. I have read few good reviews of the race and I wanted to try one of the officially sanctioned events next year. It is within driving distance which was also something I considered. Prior to this race I'll do Black Bear half ironman which is pretty tough course, but that is a race I wanted to do. I like killer courses that thrash you - I did the Black Bear sprint this year and did not do all that bad considering the total meltdown during the swim. Plus CGI always puts on great events. I'm considering few other 70.3 races in the region one of which is Quakerman half which I have raced in the past two years and always had a great day securing second spot in my AG. Leading up to the Black Bear I'll do few running races 10k in February, half marathon in early May and I'd like to do mid-May duathlon in the area where I live. But that may be a challenge to squeeze in with the half marathon and half ironman on both ends of month of May. I'm still likely to do the Anthracite Tri which is Olympic distance course on tough biking and run course - well it is in Poconos just like Black Bear and the hills are just hard to avoid in that area. I may do Steelman Olympic distance race and I'm still looking for late season half to close off the season. I may do the Beach to Battleship half if I can find money to get there with my family and bike.
The season plan is not all locked down, but I already have few key races I'm aiming for so my training can start taking shape again in early 2009 to get ready for the bear...