The end of a season
The official end to my 3rd season as a triathlete – milestones like this are bittersweet. I never enjoy hallmarks of the passage of time – as time and life seem to be flying by at breakneck paces. It is, however, a great time to sit back, even if just for a minute and reflect on accomplishments. I’m proud to say that I have worked really hard to make it to where I am in my level of fitness. I had set several goals at the onset of 2013 that I have been able to check off one by one while staying healthy.
· To follow a structured, efficient training program 6 days/week for an average total workout time of 6-7 hours/week. I have been able to sustain this commitment and it’s one of the main reasons for my successes this year. I have a great coach who has designed training blocks month after month that have built upon my strengths and addressed some of my weaknesses. I still have a lot of work to do and a lot to learn, but I feel good about the foundation I have.
· To become comfortable riding/handling my new tri bike and improve my average sprint tri race pace to at least 20.0 mph. I have proven both that you can buy speed AND that one’s engine is just as important as one’s equipment. I became much more competitive on the bike this year and, although it’s still my weakest event, I am now towards the head of the pack instead of the middle during this leg of the race.
· To participate in the USAT Age Group sprint tri nationals in Milwaukee and qualify for a spot on Team USA for the 2014 ITU World Championships. Pleased to report that I checked this off the list in August – headed to Edmonton, Canada in 2014!
· To complete an Olympic distance triathlon. I did the Rev3 Half Full Olympic triathlon in Columbia, MD just two weeks ago. It’s a little less than twice the distance of a sprint tri – it was a beautiful course that can be described in two words – very hilly. The weather was perfect and I really felt like I had a good race and really enjoyed it (as much as you can enjoy swimming 0.9 miles, biking 25 miles, and running 6.2 miles as fast as you can) – I finished in 2:38:21 and came in 1st in my age group and 5th overall female. It was a great way to finish the season and prove to myself that even though I have only been able to train for the shortest triathlon distances, I have the ability to sustain the effort over longer periods of time…..thinking about adding a few of these distances to the schedule for next year now!
I’m looking forward to setting new goals for 2014. I need to shave at least another 5 minutes off of my sprint tri time to compete with the “big dogs” next year. There are some really fast 40-something Mommas out there – at Nationals, my age group was one of the most competitive and fastest on the course that day. It’s exciting and a little intimidating, but, most of all, it’s very motivating to work harder and smarter to step up to the next level. Wish me luck!