Friday, August 19, 2011

The Redemption Race

This entire racing year has been kind of a roller coaster ride for me. At the beginning of the season, I was on top of the world. Since the world is mainly spherical, Western NY is obviously the top (as are all other locations on the planet according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity). Having done several running races, I proved that I am a God and you should surrender to my every whim my winter running program was a success, I couldn't have been happier. But, at the same time, my bike training had regressed. I did not attack the trainer as well as I could have (because, seriously, it's my basement). This was compounded by a crappy, cold, wet spring. Then, just as triathlon season got started, I had a knee injury. Already behind on the bike and falling behind on the run, racing speeds were down. Endurance was down. I was down. Then, my A-race hit and I had a less than stellar performance (which was not surprising). Yet, in my first race back from the downer, I put up unprecedented speeds. I can't figure this season out.

Here's the thing: The more I think about my IMLP performance, especially in the run, the less happy I get with the performance. This hinges on a silly belief that I should be getting faster as I gain experience. In each of my IM finishes in the past, I had bettered my previous PR by about 30 minutes. Because of that history, that's the expectation I have set myself. I am confident that I have not peaked in the 140.6 distance. I am also confident that I am a big, fat loser my 'poor' performance was a symptom of many things, some in my control and some out. None of that changes the results of what I feel was a sub-par race.

It kinda sucks how these sort of negative emotions/ self-talk continue to spiral. At first it started as a simple concern. Then it evolved to definite unease. Now, I'm a disgruntled postal worker with a gun. I'm not losing sleep. I'm not going to have race rage. But, I am doing what everyone else in my situation is doing... Carefully calculating out how I'm going to get back at that race next year. Damn you IMLP, I will have my revenge.

The problem is that next year is so far away. I need something more immediate.

It may have been racer remorse. It may have been the ego talking. It may have been that I was drunk off of some nice wine purchased at one of the wine festivals that I frequent. What ever the reason, the deed has been done. I have registered for the Syracuse 70.3.

Officially, the race is called the "Ironman Syracuse 70.3." When it comes to the word Ironman, I'm a bit of an idealist. Ironman is a distance of 140.6. Half-Ironman is a distance of 70.3. The World Triathlon Corporation, who kinda holds the rights to the brand of 'Ironman' has decided to abuse the Iron as much as possible. (Aside: To the best of my knowledge, Marvel Comics actually has the official trademark on the word. End Aside.) I can't really agree with this practice. At least in my mind, this is a half Iron, no matter what the WTC calls it.

HIM Syracuse takes place on September 18th and has now become my new A-race. I am structuring my training around a strong finish for a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. I am also doing significantly more speed work. I do not wish to ignore the short season.

HIM Syracuse has many opportunities to give me.  I am looking at Syracuse as my long distance redemption for the race I wanted but never happened. I am looking as Syracuse as an opportunity to end the season on a high. I am looking at Syracuse to start my 2012 season. HIM Syracuse, you will be my whipping post. (Okay, maybe I have a little bit of race rage.)

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