Friday, June 05, 2009

2009 Racing Plans

I’ve been getting so many questions about my race plans for 2009, and although the season is in full swing I still don’t have a concrete race schedule. Or better stated, “I have a plan to NOT have a plan”.

After racing 16 times in 2008, and pretty much burning up my competitive juices, I’m not sure what to expect for the upcoming season. Last winter, I had every intention to significantly scale back my racing to enjoy a larger variety of adventures… I wanted to participate in fun training camps, spend more time doing yoga, maybe the Leadville 100 Mtn bike race etc. etc.. BUT here I am, at the start of the season already registered for five triathlons, with more on the horizon. How did that happen???

It’s Simple…

I guess when it really comes down to it I love triathlon. Most importantly I love the people in the tri community, and I love how training and racing makes me feel. I believe we have the BEST local races/local clubs and it’s easy to get energized by each other’s enthusiasm…. On the flip side, it’s also easy to let pressure and expectations take away some of the enjoyment, but it’s truly how you manage that which makes the difference. Just last week I had someone come up to me and say (any I know they did not mean any harm), “Cathy, what happened at Gear West Du-I heard you almost lost”…. WHAT?!?! I came away from that race energized and feeling wonderful about what I did-And it wasn’t about the victory, but that I didn’t give up. If I finished last but believed I raced the best I could , then I’m happy. Winning races is NOT why I race-In fact, If I NEVER win another race, BUT I’m still having fun, and I’m ABLE to participate then that is MY VICTORY. I know there are so many amazing amateurs out there that could kick my butt on any given day, but that does not change anything for me-I do this for FUN.

Don’t get me wrong, I have every intention to still go out and train my butt off, and race HARD each race. I have goals to improve-That's what's FUN for me right now.

Recently, I’ve heard a lot of very tragic stories, reminding me how fragile life really is. I can’t stop thinking about Cynthia Brochman: A local athletic goddess, who one day during a training run starting coughing up blood and then spent the next 6 days in the hospital charting course for the hardest and toughest fight of her career-the fight for her life. I’ve only met ‘Broc” on a few occasions, but her story is very sad and very real. It serves as a painful reminder that ‘things’ can and do happen…Things which can drastically change your life. With these unsettling reminders, my days of worrying about the little things are over (well, as much as possible). I will not take anything for granted-especially my health. I certainly don’t want to make anyone sad with this message, rather hopefully bring forth these reminders as inspiration to make the best of what you have. Go after dreams with no regrets, but most importantly ENJOY the journey.

So with that, this is what I have on the horizon:

Pigman Sprint (series race): Although it seems strange to drive 4.5 hours for a 70 min race, there is something special about Pigman. This will be the third year for the popular equalizer format. Women get a head start and bust a lung to stay in front of the Big Boys. $750 bonus for the first person to cross the line.

Manitou Sprint (series race): This was the very first triathlon I did in MN, and holds a special place as the local tri opener. I missed this race last year because I decided to drive to IA for a big $$ race (which ended up getting cancelled on race morning), so I’m very excited to be back in 2009.

Buffalo Springs 70.3. It’s been an adjustment getting ready for a 70.3 in June, but I’m excited to go after it in Texas. I still feel so inexperienced at the half distance, but I’m very much looking forward to the challenge. This race serves as a qualifier for both Kona and Clearwater, bringing out a competitive field. I’m going with two great girlfriends so it should be a super fun weekend.

Post Buffalo Springs remains unknown at this point. If I enjoy the 70.3, then I may decide to spend time working on Distance training/racing. I’ll do Pigman ½, maybe pick up another September half, or even a late season Ironman.

OR, if after BSLT I decide that I like the simplicity of OLY racing then I will shift into short/speed mode and maybe go to USAT Nationals at the end of August.

SO many great options… I am so blessed.