The calendar says it's spring, but I'm not really feeling it. At least the overnight temps aren't dropping below zero any more. That was getting a little old. I'd really like some warmer temps because I received my first package of Zoot gear full of warm-weather running clothes! We still have a few more weeks before the custom gear arrives, but I'm very excited to get my shoes so I can start breaking them in for racing!
Backpack, water bottle, timing chip, race number belt,
visor, tech shirt, shorts, and shoes. Just need a few more degrees outside to wear it!
My race schedule hasn't fully been determined, but at least most of it is figured out. Last June I switched coaches to Bretsher Multisport. It was too late into the season to get the full effect of his coaching, but by the end of the summer I was seeing good gains in my racing. This winter I have been working on my running, and I'm excited to see what a full year of coaching under Daniel will bring. Most of my races are the same as last year, so I'll really be able to see the difference.
I start off next month with the Marion Rotary Half Marathon. With the work I've been putting in on my running I hope to PR at the race. I ran it last year in not-so-ideal conditions (wind and sleet...thank you to the tall guy running the same pace as me!), but hopefully Mother Nature will be a little kinder this time.
I hope my run fitness will roll well into the two duathlons on my schedule, Lake MacBride and Iowa City. I much prefer triathlons, but the duathlons are so close to home that I figure I might as well sign up. And, I like to support the Just Go Faster races, since the race director has been great to me. I'd love to do all 3 races in their series again, but the last race is the same weekend as Age Group Nationals.
As most years, my triathlon season kicks off with the Pigman Sprint. Always a competitive group that shows up for both the men and women. I don't expect any less this year.
A few years ago I raced Holiday Lake Triathlon and loved it! Gotta enjoy a race where the community is happy you are there, and has great food at the finish line. The first year I raced they even held out a finishers tape at the finish line for me! It also falls right around Ebe's birthday, and he throws a great post-race party at his in-law's lake house.
Hard to believe, but this summer is my 20 year high school reunion. I feel so old! While I'm back for it I figure I might as well sign up for Copper Creek. I've raced it once and enjoyed it. It's half the distance of an olympic, so the swim is a little longer than most sprints and the bike a little shorter. I hope to convince a few of my classmates to race as well :) Bronwen, Mark, Brian...? You know you want to!
One of my favorite awards is from the Lake Geode Triathlon. They are geode rocks attached to plaques. It's usually pretty warm for the race (mid-July), but the aid stations on the run are fully stocked to ice and sponges to keep you cool. They even have a water bottle hand-up on the bike. And, when you cross the finish line there is a soft serve ice cream truck!
|Jami, Stacy, and I with our Lake Geode awards|
Wes has been getting in more training this winter than he has in a while, and wants to race in the championship waves of the Hy-Vee 5150, so we set out to find a qualifying race. I wish it was a little earlier in the year, but the closest race we could find is Kansas 5150. Since my training is going well, I figured I'd sign up for the Amateur Elite wave. And, I might switch my Hy-Vee 5150 entry from Age Group to Age Group Elite. More about that in a sec...
My A++++ race for the year is USAT Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, WI. Last year I shocked myself by coming in 5th in my age group. The race is a qualifying race for the World Championships the following year. I expect 2014 to be more competitive with World's being in Chicago in 2015.
|Age Group Nationals Podium|
I'm on the fence about racing the Pigman Olympic. I didn't have the best experience on the bike leg last year, so I may volunteer and sherpa for Wes.
My last race for 2014 will be the Hy-vee 5150 Championships. Last year I won my age group, which was a nice surprise, and was 12th overall. I'm currently registered (placed high enough last year, so it's a free registration) for the Age Group waves. So far training this winter has gone very well, and if I place high enough at the Kansas 5150 race I can register as Age Group Elite. They only places to top 5, so it's still a long shot to get on the podium. The waves take off earlier in the morning, so a little cooler temps and less congestion on the bike leg. Might be worth it even if I miss getting an award. I'm hoping I can wait until the last minute to decide which wave I want to race in. Jami, I do take bribes ;)
|Hy-Vee Age Group 35-39 Podium|
Throughout the year, I'll also do a few random time trial bike races, and some running races with my mini-me. She's moving up to the 10k distance this year. Our first race this year will be the Lucky Run 10k next weekend. I wish I loved running that much when I was 10 years old! She's also a triathlete. With all the extra training she has put in the winter, I can't wait to see how she does.
|Me and my mini-me|
It's a pretty busy schedule, but I like it that way. We'll camp for about half the races, which makes for a nice relaxing weekend with a little race thrown in the middle. And, I'm very thankful to have Zoot Sports, We Run, ProActive Health Products, Core Fitness, and Geoff's Bike and Ski along for the ride. Now, bring on the nice weather!