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What Now?

Posted Dec 08 2009 7:47am
As I begin writing this post, it is Sunday night, the house is quiet, and I am bluer than B.B. King on a drunken bender. It's nothing unnatural or worthy of concern. I get this way after every season-ending Ironman. It's the Ironman blues.

Typically, it gets worse if I sit still, but right now I cannot train. Indeed I ought not train. So, the next best thing I can do is start scheming and planning for next year. That's where you come in. I always enjoy racing more when friends are involved. I'd love to host you in magnificent Tejas, and I'd love to race with you somewhere else.

But first . . . about that Ironman thing.

I am addicted and conflicted. I feel lost without the epic threat of an Ironman date on my calendar. It creates organization and purpose from necessity--sheer survival. And part of me wants some Ironman redemption. I did not race as strongly at Cozumel as I wanted to do. And that has only a little to do with the number on the clock.

And yet, I think my plans to do IM St. George are unwise. Cozumel took the starch right out of me. I cannot see being ready to commit to another Ironman, even by January. In addition, I've started thinking about other things I would do if not training 15 hours or more a week. There are family and professional obligations I should be attending to. And I want to pour time into my writing, including a fiction workshop here in Houston, instead of training on an Ironman level.

And Ironman is not making me better any more. Ironman is not making me improve. I've plateaued with the long and slow. I know what I need to do to improve and another Ironman is not it. I need to learn how to race and to suffer and to go fast. I need to get my butt into masters swim 5 days a week, regular swim lessons with a coach, and race HARD at the Olympic distance once or twice a month all year. Later in the year, I ought to try building up to a substantial PR at the Longhorn 70.3 and try to see how far under six hours this old dog can go.

Toward that end, I'm already scheming next year's schedule. What follows are some of my ideas. You are invited to come along and stay chez Greyhound, and they are subject to change if you want Greyhound couch surfing at your place:

2/27 Rodeo Run 10K (Houston)

3/13 Bayou City 10K (Houston)

4/10 Gateway to the Bay OLY (Kemah, maybe)

4/25 Lone Star OLY (Houston, definitely)

5/15 Ogden 1/2 Marathon

5/31 Cap Tex OLY (Austin)

6/25 Philly Tri OLY

JULY/August--Colorado Cycling Adventure, Boulder Stroke and Strides

8/29 Alcatraz Triathlon (REALLY? Swim in S.F. Bay? Holy Shit!)

9/6 Austin Tri OLY (prolly only if no Alcatraz)

9/26 Houston Tri OLY (new race)

10/17 Longhorn 70.3 (Austin)

Then in 2011 something epic, like IM Lake Placid or Austria or Brazil or New Zealand!!!

Come on, peeps. Help me out of this funk. Let's get some suffering on the calendar and make some bad decisions.
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