Maybe this is biting off more than I can chew but what the heck. I certainly can't pass up USDAA Nationals with it only 43 minutes from my house. And it looks like Xterra Nationals will be back in Utah next year and the course looked so nice this year, this is hard to pass up again. I'm surprised it's back for a third year, it'll almost certainly move the following year so 2012 is my chance. Strummer will be 7 in March so I'm cutting back on his training time anyway. The trials are the main thing that will interfere with triathlon training and not even so much the trials as the recovery from them. We have 6 local trials left that don't require an overnight stay (1 hour or less away) and another 3 that are just over or under 2 hours. If we can't qualify in 6-9 trials we probably don't belong at Nationals anyway no matter how close it is. Regionals is in New Mexico, about a 7 1/2 hour drive and I figure it would cost around $500 between hotels, gas and entry fees so I probably won't go. That one trial would pay for all my triathlon entries for the summer.
Qualifying for Xterra Nationals will be challenging. I'll need to make huge improvements to my run and modest improvements to my bike. Swim is o.k. but I'd like to improve anyway. You qualify by earning points in races according to your placement and you can count points from up to 4 races. We only have 3 races in CO so I'll have to go out of state for one of them and I'm considering the Wild Horse Creek Xterra in Montana. A fellow Coloradoan did it last year and has pictures of the course on her blog and it looks so beautiful. We could make a trip of it, take the dogs and come home through Yellowstone and maybe see the Tetons as well. Been a long time since we traveled anywhere outside of Colorado aside from trips home to Chicago. The only trouble with this is that I'll have only 2 weeks to recovery between 3 of my races and 3 weeks of recovery before the 4th. I could maybe have pulled this off in my 30's but I'll be nearly 48 and I'm not sure how well my body will tolerate all that racing so close together and I certainly won't be able to train very hard in between. So for now the race plans are tentative and I'll see what sort of shape I'm in closer to summer.
Now I have to figure out the really hard part-how I'm going to pay for all of this.