Looking ahead: 2013

About two weeks ago, I reached the point where I was just ready for the 2013 season to be over already. This year has been fantastic but I needed the mental break and needed to reset and rebuild some of that endurance I felt like I had lost somewhere just around or after Vegas. As a result, I made the decision to go with unstructured training and pack in three Rev3 races in October alone: the the Half Full Olympic, the South Carolina Olympic, one weekend off and then a finale HIM race at Rev3 Florida. To be honest, I think I learned more about myself as an athlete in those last three races than across the full season, mostly because I was discovering the "what not to dos" and other areas of improvement highlighted by the combo of a heavy racing schedule and diminished training and recovery.

Heading into 2013, my coach shared some guidelines for looking back objectively at your race season: when did your training have the most pay-off? When did you struggle with motivation? What went wrong? What went right? From your traditional S-B-R to nutrition and recover, body comp and gear, no stone left unturned. On my drive back to New Orleans after Rev3 Florida, I had lots of time to think about those kinds of questions. Where did i want to go from here? And to get where I wanted to go, what do I need to work on?

Here's what i found: 

there's no where else i would rather be than flying along on my bike

half-ironmans (unfortunately) really are my favorite distance

Rev3 is the best race company out there if you want to a) have a ridiculous amount of fun b) meet a ton of crazy people and c) have the best race photos ever running down the chute with your kids

for anyone looking to improve their bike split, a powermeter is your best bet and investment—my (frequent) trainer sessions are SO much more meaningful now.

despite what people might say, experience alone is a SERIOUS advantage when it comes to a given race distance (i'm looking at you, 30-34 females)

you can never eat enough gels or salt tabs during a race (if so, I haven't yet found my limit).

core work should not stop once the season starts: on the windier courses (Vegas, Florida), I found myself trying to brace my core against the wind with very little luck

everyone could use an annual "TREAT YO SELF" week.

the best way to cut a run split is to practice running through aid stations when all you want to do is walk and enjoy the buffet. Last race of the season, Rev3 Florida, it finally paid off!

a good wetsuit can make a huge difference in your swim... and even for your form the next day in the pool (or is that just me who feels like dara torres the first swim back in the pool after rocking my blueseventy helix?)

I can pull off a decent race while semi-hungover, but will feel terrible for a few days after (aka never ever ever do again)

my run has slowly been catching up to where it should be but I still have lots of room for improvement.

cute gear = more time spent training = faster times: FACT (quick, treat yo self: pearl izumi, soas, betty designs, michele landry)

if you think there's a 30% change you'll be slightly cold out on the bike, WEAR GLOVES. otherwise you'll be fumbling with your brakes and shifters the entire time.

lastly, I am leaps and bounds from the athlete that first toed the line at Rev3 Knoxville back in May, which i couldn't be more excited about. heading into my third year of triathlon, I guess I'm no longer a "newbie" in the sport.

the master plan...

I said I wanted to work on my endurance, right? That's why.... as much as a toll i know this is going to take on my social life... I am signed up for my first full Ironman next August in Mont Tremblant, Canada. Most of my season will be about getting ready for the full distance, while gaining endurance and accumulating miles. The rest of the season will be Rev-heavy, with my favorite race production company, Rev3 triathlon:

  • April 7th - Lonestar 70.3
  • May 5th - Rev3 Knoxville Olympic
  • June 1st - Rev3 Quassy Olympic
  • June 23rd - Inaugural Rev3 Williamsburg Half
  • August 18th - Ironman Mont Tremblant
  • October 7th - Rev3 Half Full Olympic
  • October 14th - Rev3 South Carolina Half

Obviously there a few gaps left to be filled in but i'm waiting until 1) i know where i'll be living late summer next year (a move to Austin is in the works...) and 2) to see how my body responds to the Ironman training that lies ahead...