Saturday, May 14, 2011

Post-Ironman and Pre-Half

There's one big problem with doing an Ironman in early May - it's the beginning of the racing season for almost everyone who lives in northern climates. So basically, I'm starting my season with a big recovery week.

This past week I did nothing. I took five days completely off from training. Strangely enough, I found this was much easier to do than anticipated. Although it did help that I developed a sinus infection, and the last thing I want to do with a sinus infection is get up early and work out.

But my training has re-commenced with a run and a swim yesterday. I can't afford too much recovery time from Ironman because back when I was making plans for racing this year, I decided to do the Mooseman 70.3 in New Hampshire, again. Mooseman is in early June and only a month after Ironman St. George... which means... I ONLY HAVE THREE WEEKS to prepare for it.

Scheduling races this way made perfect sense last year when I was doing it. At that time, I was expecting Ironman St. George to be a shakedown race for Ironman Lake Placid (late July) and therefore throwing in a hilly half seemed like a great idea. But now, it doesn't matter how you slice it, it looks like an idiotic move to schedule a half only four weeks after a full.

Mooseman was a fun race despite the killer hills and last year's race-long downpour. It's in a very beautiful part of the country and when I asked my husband Jim what he thought about going back this year, he said "sure" almost instantly, i.e. without hesitation or deep thought. Since Jim is an engineer-type who never makes rash decisions about anything (including what his favorite color is) and has almost no impulse responses, his answer sent me directly to the online registration page. Last year, Mooseman was one of those "what else can they throw at us?" races where I found myself both crying and laughing hysterically DURING the race (last year's race report: "Everything BUT the Moose"). It was miserable and yet Jim still wanted to go back. All I can say is: maybe we WILL see a moose this year.

What I really need to do now is focus on how to maximize the next three weeks. Mooseman is not an "A" race. And as of last weekend, neither is Ironman Lake Placid. But I would like to make a fair showing at Mooseman. It would be nice to prove to myself that my bike training has done wonders and not get passed on the bike by as many women as last year. It would be nice to have a fast run for a change (after the St. George plodding). And I guess it would be nice to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 Championship in Las Vegas in September. But, I only have three weeks to pull together a plan and a race attitude (which was lacking last year).

I'm thinking the best way to approach it is to just try to have fun. Afterall, I'm qualified for Kona, I'm in ironman recovery and the season has just begun. There's no reason to burnout early.

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