You'll remember, because I'm going to remind you, that I wrote a post about my 2012 races back in December and set a few rules for myself. They were actually rules for the first half of 2012, and I decided that I'd deal with the second half of 2012 after IMCdA came and went. So just like bloggers learn how to do when they are small, let's check in on how that is going.
Race schedule ingredient #1: I will run no 5Ks in 2012.
I almost broke this one Saturday night by racing the Twilighter 5K, which I've done every year (I think) since it started, but then the poet convinced me to cook him a delicious dinner with lots of iron instead. But when I think about it, I've broken it twice - once in Rumpass when I ran a 5K at ironman heart rate off the bike. And the other 5K I did only sort of breaks this rule because it was a swim, not a run.
The poet has almost managed to convince me to break this rule again with him next weekend, and I'm actually a little curious about what my 5K fitness looks like right now. So race ingredient rule #1 is in the garbage.
Race schedule ingredient #2: I will run less (or no) races as training runs in 2012.
That went out the window with the first race on my schedule, or more accurately, when I tore my calf four weeks before my half marathon and begged to still run it.
That one was essentially a big training day (MAF test), along with the 10-miler, the century ride, and the 5K swim. I did taper for Knoxville (and then puked the whole run) and Coeur d'Alene, and I haven't run a bunch of short road races for no reason, but I still think we can officially declare this one broken as well.
Race schedule ingredient #3: I will be smart about choosing a 70.3 and I will not let it eat me alive.
Despite the fact that I still think Knoxville was a better prep race than Monticelloman would have been, the weather differences alone between the two races made me kick myself a little for switching. It was balls hot and rudely hilly at Knoxville....and everyone racing Monticelloman enjoyed cool and cloudy temps and a short bike course.
I think it's fair to say Knoxville ate me alive.
Race schedule ingredient #4: I will race the balls off a 10 miler.
I did run one, finally, but it was the day after a 5-ish hour brick in the middle of a build and I was instructed to run it as a MAF test. I couldn't find enough clear space to get my heart rate up to MAF, forget about balls hard, so this one is a big fail on two accounts. It's also the race that made me give my CW-X shorts to Liz so I can stop looking at race pictures like this one.
My last race schedule ingredient wasn't really an ingredient but a rule, and I broke it almost as soon as I made it: don't sign up for anything after CdA until CdA has come and gone.
As I built my race schedule for the second half of the year, I tried to consider that I'm not very good about following my own rules. I've also had plenty of time to sit and think about what I love. I do this sport because I love it. I fell in love with running a long time ago, but that doesn't even come close to the joy I get from being a triathlete.
But it's also not my job. It's just a hobby - a hobby that I work hard at, but a hobby nonetheless. I am never going to become a professional triathlete. I know some professional triathletes, I know some athletes who are rock star enough to go pro, and I know plenty of people for whom this is just a hobby, like it is for me. And I have to say, the group of people that fusses and bitches and points fingers and makes the biggest deal out of things that are, in the long run, completely meaningless is the group of hobby athletes. I'm not sure I've ever read a blog post from a professional triathlete that complains about a crowded pool or whines about training sessions being ruined by stupid shit, but my blog reader is filled to the brim with that kind of crap from age groupers like myself. I'm attempting to refine what goes in my head just like I'm attempting to refine what goes into my body (now that my bender is over) because it doesn't do anyone any good. It just doesn't matter. You know what matters, in the scope of your life? That you fill your life with people that love you and friends that will be there for you when your dog is dying and a tree fell on your house and that you make every attempt to be joyful in all things.
That's what I thought about, when I considered what I wanted to do with the rest of my year. I don't need to build a schedule like a pro, I need to build a schedule around distances and places that I love. I thought back to what were the greatest days I've had in this sport, and I think it's easy to see that Coeur d'Alene was at the very top. I didn't race the balls off the distance, I didn't win the race, I don't even know where I landed in my age group other than to guess it was somewhere in the middle. And I don't care. I'm not in this sport for the win, I'm in it for the joy, and there is no rule anywhere that says I need to wait until next year to do it all over again.
So that's what I'm doing with the second half of my year (please note that I signed up on January 5th, not recently). I've also picked out another 70.3 which I hope will finally be the fantastic race at that distance I've been hoping for, but it also might be another comedy of errors like the last three. But it's okay. The 70.3 doesn't have to be my distance. If I have one more race that is full of fail, I can just retire from it and focus on other distances. Especially now, when my heart is here.
(In a very long side note: I'm putting together an ironman Q&A post from a mid-packer [me]. I've gotten lots of awesome questions already, but please feel free to send me questions about anything and everything you'd like to know about training, the race, the aftermath, how many times I almost got divorced during peak week, all of it. Drop me a comment or send me an email at runthisamazingday at gmail dot com and I'm going to post this one later in the week.)