Maybe it's my body or mind's way of trying to prepare me for what's to come. A total, complete overhaul of my life, my priorities, and my concept of "free time." Maybe it's a healthy dose of reality--that, as stated before, I don't "half-ass" anything, and maybe trying to complete another Ironman next year would force me to half-ass SOMETHING...at best, the race...at worse, more important priorities.
But I've been having these thoughts and even dreams lately. About going fast again.
See, I haven't really gotten to go fast for a while. The past two years were very LSD oriented as I prepared to go long. For me, right now at this stage in the game, I cannot go fast and long. Kudos to those who do and can. Perhaps someday I will be there.
Right now, I seem to have to choose one or the other, and I'm OK with that.
So, even the sprints/olys I've done in the past two years haven't been very fast for me. I've had to use them as practice, as a gauge to test nutrition, hydration, leg power, etc. And all this summer I did say how I missed hammering, didn't I? I know that I did. I remember telling Wil I couldn't wait to go fast again next year--we even planned on doing the Chicago Triathlon before she got the whole RaceAthlete deal, and I, uh, got knocked up. :)
Maybe what I need next year is a nice, healthy dose of fast.
I mean, it could be just what I need to feel fresh again. I was very tired at the end of this season. Hungry for more, but tired nonetheless. It had essentially been a two-year journey to the Capitol in Madison on September 10, 2006. A slow, steady, and deliberate two year journey.
With a newborn (wow, I can't believe I even really just typed that), time will be at a premium. I still think I am capable of marathon training. I know it sounds bizarre, but to me after IM training, marathon training just doesn't seem to take up the same amount of time that it used to in my head. But maybe I will focus on racing short-courses for a while--the local sprints, olys, and even the 5Ks again. To mix it up. Keep it new. Test out my new wheels and push my speed on the bike. Perhaps training for those would fit better into my lifestyle, as I can easily get up early to hit the track for 800 repeats, do some Open Water swims in the evening or push my pace with the Masters, and try some lactate work on the bike. Efficient. No "junk miles." Every workout with a purpose, and speed and hills being an efficient way to do this.
This way, I could race often. I could race every weekend, theoretically, if I wanted to--whether it's a local 5K, the Towpath Marathon, or an NCN triathlon. There's so many great races around here. I haven't gotten to do this in what seems like forever.
Looking at my previous Oly times, I factored in my "PRs" for each distance: the swim, the bike, the run, and the transitions. Now, granted, each course is very different, the weather, hills, humidity, etc. blah blah blah I know outside factors play a large role. But, when I put together my "perfect" race based on my Oly PR times, I get a 2:43. So, in my head, I think I should be able to do that. And I'm a little excited to try.
Cause it's FUN to hammer sometimes, you know?
So maybe I should follow the excitement. Maybe what I thought I wanted I really don't. Maybe I'll have this little one and decide I still want to go long and slow again. Maybe I can't possibly sit here and predict any of this, but for some reason, it just feels right to lean towards the direction of faster.
I think my body's talking me into it. This little fetus is smarter than I give it credit for, huh?