2016: My Race Schedule

People at the gym have this tendency to ask me, “Are you training for the Ironman?” To which, I’m always like, “Sure.”

But also, this:

Spartan Super Temecula (1/30): Last year, I filmed this race for my grad school documentary, which was part of the whole short-lived ‘maybe obstacle course racing could be my sport’ thing. (Spoiler alert: it’s not.) But I am still a bit curious how I’d do in an elite race that was actually over a distance in which I might have some endurance advantage, as opposed to a sprint through a baseball park, or an epic-ly cold nasty marathon-length thing that I quit. We’ll see.

Kaiser Half-Marathon (2/14): Who knows. WHO KNOWS. As in, I’m going to go out there and run my hardest, and hopefully that’s fast.

Tucson Training Camp (3/10-3/14): Contrary to popular belief, I actually highly enjoyed my last training camp experience. Really, for real. Except maybe the part where I had a breakdown and had to buy a bunch of beer and KitKats to make things better. But whatever, that happens sometimes. So I’m actually, for real, looking forward to this year’s training crash weekend — especially since I won’t be following it up with a second training camp two days later (which was a mistake last time) and because Hillary’s coaching me now, so you know, that’ll be a new experience.

Galveston 70.3 (4/10): This is what I’m primarily trying to get ready for in the early part of the year. This is the year of the halves.

Wildflower (4/30): I probably will do the long course. I should do the long course, given my strengths and training, etc. But there’s a part of me that’s still like ‘Oh God, it’s so hot and hilly and long and that one time I ended up with an IV in my arm after the Olympic.’ I’ll get over it, I guess. Also, heat training.

Pacific Grove (6/11): Yes, all the yeses. This is the best race ever.

The Dipsea (6/12): 1. You have to do the race or you lose your automatic spot. 2. It’s a classic. 3. Doesn’t this sound like the most fun/crippling weekend?

Vineman 70.3 (7/10): The year of halves. See above. I haven’t done this race since the 2011 mess. Actually, I haven’t done many halves at all since the mess of 2011 generally. But I am optimistic. Also training more, which is a key.

SF Tri at Alcatraz (8/21): Alcatraz is awesome, but Escape from Alcatraz is now $750 because triathlon is The Worst. In steps TriCal to bring back their Alcatraz race — complete with amazing marketing that was totally sub-tweeting EFA. Naturally, I signed Steve and I up.

Sunshine Coast 70.3 World Championships (9/4): OK, I’m not really signed up for this. But, in theory, if we’re going already, then shouldn’t I race it anyway too? Of course, I’m only giving myself one chance to qualify right now, so it may not happen. And that’ll just be that.

Kona (10/8): I’m not sure what it says that I keep having to look up the date for this race. Yes, I’m excited about it. Yes, it’s my A race. Yes, I’m going to be training my ass off this whole year. Obviously. But I’m not just training for “the Ironman.” That’s a long way away right now.

(Also, I may do other local things, like Folsom Triathlon or Morgan Hill Sprint or the Sactown 10-Miler, or whatever.)

What I’m Doing This Year

Of course I made a plan for the year. Obviously. I got out my paper calendar and I wrote things down and I crossed things off and I came up with a master, super schedule for my serious jump back into triathlon/first Ironman ever.

Here’s the plan, more or less, subject to change without warning:

MARCH

Training Camps: Alyssa convinced me it’d be a super great awesome idea to go do a long weekend training camp the last weekend of Feb/first weekend of March in Arizona with Hillary. I’d been trying to decide between Coast Ride and some kind of training weekend and this sounded more fun. I’ve ridden on the coast before; it’s not that exciting. Of course, then, it turned out that PacWest (my new team!) was doing their Arizona training camp the following weekend. So, now, I’m in Arizona for ten days to hang out with my sister, train, work and, hopefully, not catch Valley Fever. I’m like 73% sure I’m not going to make it through all this.

Oakland Half-Marathon or Shamrock’nIn case you didn’t notice, I did not race the Kaiser Half Marathon last weekend. My body was just too beaten up and it would have been a disaster/I’d have hurt myself. But, I’d still like to race a half in early spring and see where I’m at. Depending on how I feel after training camps, I’ll either do Shamrock’n (the weekend right after) or Oakland (two weekends after). Oakland is probably a smarter idea, but I’ve heard it’s long — like 13.4 instead of 13.1 — and I’d really like to set a PR, so I’m apprehensive about the extra quarter-mile.

APRIL

HITS Napa Valley Long Course: I’m not 100% sure this is my most smartest idea ever. But, I want to get a couple (ie. two) halves in before IM Coeur d’Alene. And, this is the best open time to do that in early April and also not give more money to WTC (Ironman Corporation). So, it’ll be a shaking the cobwebs off kind of race. We’ll see. Ideally, it’s not as cold as when I raced the Olympic there a few years ago.

Boston Marathon: A few weeks ago, I told someone that I wasn’t going to race this all out; it’s not a goal race. And, they were in shock. Why not?! Uh, cause you only have so many A efforts in you. Of course I’m going to run Boston this year. It’ll be fun and I’m pretty sure every single person I know is doing it, all of the people. But, am I going to try and kill myself to run a 3:04 or something? No. Definitely not.

MAY

Wildflower Long CourseI have some demons to shake at Wildflower. It is not my most favorite race. I’ve done the Olympic twice, ended up in the med tent twice and finished once. It is an iconic triathlon, though. And, a bunch of people from PacWest will be doing it, plus more friends I’m sure. And, it fits well with an end of June Ironman. As long as I don’t kill myself with it being 12 days after Boston and me being at a wedding/in Chicago for five of those days.

Morgan Hill SprintThe last time I did this race Chris McCormack and Chris Lieto did it too. Actually, I think the last time I did it, it hailed and I got a flat tire but didn’t know. The time before that, they did it. And, I’ve been told they’ll be back this year. I love sprint races and I like USA Productions for local, fun events. Though, I’ve also been told that with the drought the race will be moved because the reservoir is dry. So.

JUNE

Escape from Alcatraz: I am so excited about this. Which sounds insane — “I’m super excited to dive off a boat with 1,000 other people into 55 degree water and then bike up and down all over San Francisco and then run across sand and up stairs and through tunnels. Yay!” But, it and Pacific Grove are my favorite races, in a totally masochistic way. And, I haven’t done Escape since 2011. So, it’ll be “fun” and a good last hard race before Ironman.

DispeaThen, a week later, I’m running the Dipsea. Naturally. Because there’s really nothing quite like the Alcatraz-Dipsea combo to totally mess you up. Also, if I don’t do it, I’m pretty sure I’ll never get a spot again. Then, I’m resting.

Ironman Coeur d’AleneAnd, then, the last weekend of June, it’s the BIG ONE. The Ironman. Ahhhhhhhhhh. Already stressing.

After Ironman, I really don’t know what I’m doing the second half of the year. I mean that quite actually, not just in terms of racing. Ideally I’ll be making a trip to a certain island in October, depending on how IM CDA goes. But, there’s no way to control everything about that or to know in advance. I may do another Ironman in Mexico in December instead. I’d also like to race Age Group Nationals in August, because 1. it’s in Milwaukee, which would be awesome for my aunt/uncle/cousin to come and 2. it’s a pre-requisite to qualify for 2015 Worlds in Chicago, which I crazy want to do.

However, I’m not making plans yet. Steve says I’m trying to spend all of our money, which if I did all these things I’d probably accomplish. I also just finished applying to grad school and to a job that also sounds awesome. Now, I’m waiting to  figure out how those things work out and to make a decision. So, when I say I don’t know yet what’s happening after June 29, I really mean it.

What races are you doing this year?

My Race Schedule

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This is what I came up with last night. I want to do a fall marathon, maybe a half, maybe an ultra depending how my foot holds up. I want to do a couple Olympic tris and start building a base for my triumphant return to triathlon next year – or something. Only I don’t even know what races would be cool? Something in the fall? In Northern California? Interesting course or low-key or draws my attention?

How do you pick races?

Write Down a Log of What You Do During the Day

A couple days ago someone posted on twitter this suggestion: KEEP AN ACCURATE LOG OF WHAT YOU DO EACH DAY HOUR BY HOUR AND PREPARE TO BE HORRIFIED. (Caps their’s, not mine.)

So, I did. Yesterday, I wrote down in a notebook everything I did in time chunks over the day. I was quite exhausted by the end of the day, mostly from all the writing of the notes — which means today’s notebook would probably read: ’10 a.m. – 11 p.m.: Sit on couch.’

Here’s what I did yesterday, which was more-or-less a normal day:

8:45: After going to bed way too late, not falling asleep, and waking up on-and-off all night, I finally decide to just get up after 4-5 hours of sleep.

9:00: Phone interview with industry analyst for story on start-up tech company. Jot down questions for start-up tech company later.

9:15: Shower, try on multiple outfits before deciding just to wear dark jeans and a white t-shirt again today. Check the address of the doctor’s office, pack all my stuff up.

9:45: Drive to doctor’s office. Manage to get lost despite looking up address and the fact that it’s 5′ from my house.

10:00: Phone interview with start-up tech company, while sitting in my car.

10:20: Doctor’s appointment to figure out what’s wrong with my foot. (Including a quick drive back to my house to get extra pairs of running shoes.)

11:20: Leave doctor’s to head to RIA Biz office, with stops to get gas and breakfast/lunch from Whole Foods.

11:55: Get to RIA Biz office, pow-wow briefly with editor about story on tech start-up and other things working on.

12:10: Eat lunch/breakfast, browse the internet and read news/stories/ideas/stuff. My essay is up on The Billfold! Yay! Whoa, some of these comments on my essay are intense. Answer all my emails, setting up other interviews and stories and jobs, while finishing lunch/breakfast.

1:15: Phone interview with another industry analyst for story on tech start-up company.

1:40: Start working on story on tech start-up company. Begin opening tons of internet windows to research different facts. Write maybe 100 words.

2:05: Phone interview with advisor to tech start-up company.

2:30: Decide to go for a walk, stop at the bank, get some M&Ms.

2:45: Start seriously writing story. Alternate write sentences, check facebook.

4:10: Leave after quick pow-wow with editor about story, will have finished tonight! Nearly 850 words done, lots of stuff to clean up and edit, though. Drive home.

4:50: Finally get home. Stupid traffic. Talk to Steve in New Mexico for a bit. Change back into shorts.

5:15: Phone interview with new hire to tech start-up company.

5:30: Phone interview with different new hire to tech start-up company.

5:45: Do core work for a bit. Change into swimsuit and walk down to complex pool. Swim a bit.

6:25: Shower, put on different shorts and t-shirt. Try to decide what I want to do tonight. Decide what I will probably end up doing is sitting on the couch and watching TV. Bemoan the fact that I want to go out to eat, but nothing sounds good after last night’s rich, super-cheesy hors d’oeuvres with Vivek at fancy wine bar where George Lucas’ chef makes whatever food he feels like making. Wonder if downing a pitcher of margarita and bowl of gaucamole by yourself is sad. Probably only if you do it in a public place. Decide it is time to start drinking.

6:45: Make a snack and start work on finishing story.

8:15: Submit story! Congratulate self by reading stuff online.

8:45: Unload dishwasher, do dishes, pay bills, watch the new Law & Order. It was trippy. Eat dinner of gauc and hummus. Finish bottle of wine.

10:00: Send an outline to an editor person for potential story, answer a bunch more emails related to different jobs.

10:50: Sit down to fulfill goal of working on my writing every day. Am so tired and sleepy though. Write a terrible few hundred words.

11:15: Brush teeth, put on different shorts that qualify as pajamas. Get in bed and read some stuff.

12:00 Make executive decision that I will not be waking up early to go to track practice.

12:10: Turn off light.

I actually feel pretty good about my day yesterday, but not so good about my day so far today. I really don’t feel like working out at all, which makes it hard to get motivated. I don’t know if that means I should just do it anyway or what. And, it’s getting so hot. I hate the heat.

You try it. Write down what you do for one day. Disgusted with yourself?