After many days of cold and wet weather, we should have some sunshine tomorrow. I look forward to getting a ride in before visiting some snowier climes over the holidays.
As far as training goes, I am still working out my race plan for 2009. I had wanted to do the Race Across the West but decided to hold off for logistical and financial reasons this year. It seems like I would need to find a sponsor for the event and I just don't have the time to organize that. I would really like to do this in the future and am targeting 2010. Maybe by then I could find a group of 8 and shoot for the RAAM relay instead! Although from listening to the experience of TT1 guys & gals, it sounds pretty brutal! I am a big fan of sleep so it would definitely be a challenge!
So far on the calendar I have the Death Ride in July and of course Ironman Arizona in November. I also will be doing the Oceanside (California) 70.3 triathlon in April, some version of Wildflower in May, and the up-coming Disney World Marathon in January. In 2006 I made the mistake of signing up for too many races, which left me drained--I have found that I don't take the "Treat it like a training day" line too seriously. So I'm trying to not pack it in too much. (Hmm, maybe it's too late!) Plus, each of these races is expensive, especially the triathlons. (Triathlons are becoming way too expensive in my opinion. Come on!)
My general strategy is to focus mostly on cycling and swimming between Jan and June and to not get too worked up about any triathlons I have during this time. I've never really taken a break (more than a few weeks post-marathon or during injuries here and there) from running since I started running 20 years ago, so I'll probably still try to work in a run now and then. I've entered a couple other cycling events, including one double century, in early spring to keep me motivated, and the Death Ride in July will definitely be a big incentive for doing some serious training. I may also enter some local road races and plan to attend some clinics and introductory road races in January. (I had better get my old red road bike tuned up!) Cycling is generally my best method for weight loss and also has a significant, positive impact on my blood sugars. My heart rate on the bike is nearly as high as it is during running, although I can stay out longer with less impact, so I tend to burn more calories. And I do tend to enjoy it as well.
I'm not sure what the best approach to structure my training for all of this would be. Figuring that out is my next step.
My goals for Jan-May '09 are:
1) to get my weight down to my target "race" weight before the start of Ironman training in June, which will help me with my other goals
2) to improve speed/power on the bike;
3) to improve speed on the swim by 15 sec/100 m (as a start);
4) and to increase my endurance so I can be more "fresh" (in the Ironman sense) after the bike leg of the triathlon.
Any suggestions are welcome! I'm still having a hard time letting go of RAW but I think I have enough on my plate at this point...