A little late, I know.
Last year's goals were obvious - Xterra Nationals and USDAA Nationals. This year? Xterra Nationals seems the likely choice. I loved the course last year and it's the same again this year. But in my experience with races and national events it's rarely as special the second time around. But as I run and ride my bike I imagine myself grinding my way up Wheeler Canyon (the start of the bike course at Nationals) and feeling so much stronger. These images come to me without thinking about them or summoning them, I'm riding along and suddenly they're there. Deep down I suppose I'm fooling myself if I'm thinking I'm not going to nationals again. But the prospect of the 7 1/2 hour drive and hassle and expense does not thrill me. I've had this experience, maybe it's time to move onto something else. But nothing else springs to mind, just Wheeler Canyon over and over again. So for now I'm shooting for Xterra Nationals again.
I'm hoping to qualify in 3 races rather than 4 but that depends on how many people in my age group rack up points this year. Last year I could have qualified with only 2 races but I had no way to know that ahead of time and it would have been a nail biter. If things start looking iffy, I'll add in a 4th race. Or maybe say to heck with it, if I can't do it with 3 races then I stay home and go to DOCNA Champs. Because in order to fit in 4 races I either have to do Curt Gowdy, a hard, technically challenging race just 3 weeks after another race or I have to do Mountain Champs, another hard race, just a week before another race. And the big lesson of last year is that I need time for recovery between races if I want to be able to train hard over the summer. So for now, the race schedule looks like this:
June 1 (Saturday) – Xterra Lory, Fort Collins, CO, 1/2 mile swim, 12.2 mile bike, 4.8 mile run
June 29 (Saturday) – Lookout Mountain Triathlon, Golden, CO, 525 yard swim,
10 mile bike, 5k run
July 20 (Saturday): Xterra Mountain Championships, Beaver Creek,
1 mile open water swim,
15.5 mile off road bike,
5.75 mile trail run (tentative, not likely)
July 27 (Saturday): Indian Peaks
Xterra, 1000 m/1093 yards open water swim, 21 k/13 miles off road
bike, 7 k/4.35 miles trail run
August 24 (Saturday) – Xterra Buffalo Creek, CO, 1500 m/1640.4 yard swim (68-72
mile mountain bike (1 loop), 5 mile run
September 21: XTERRA Nationals, Snow
Basin Resort, near Ogden, UT, 7 hrs., 27
miles, 1500 m/1640.4 yard swim (2 laps), 17.7 mile bike (3400’
high point), 6.1 miles run (700’ climbing)
The Lookout Mountain Triathlon is on road except for the run. It's a short race, a hard training day. I mostly signed up for it because I like it, doesn't count for Xterra points. I won't taper for it but I will go hard at race pace.
Xterra Buffalo Creek is sort of a new race. I did the short course version of it many years ago then the race was no longer and now it's back under new management. I'm excited, it's a great course but a long hard climb at the end of the bike, excellent practice for nationals. I've never done the long course and it is long, a longer bike than nationals at 22 miles. But I'm excited to try a new race and I love the trails at Buffalo Creek. Can't wait to get up there and check out the course.
I may do a new off road triathlon in Fruita in October but we'll see. I might not be up for a 4 1/2 hour drive just a few weeks after nationals and it's only a sprint distance which is fun but maybe not worth all that driving, expense, etc.
Agility goals? I gots none. No big events anyway. I'm not going to Tennessee for USDAA Nationals, out of the question, and if I go to Xterra Nat's. then I'll miss DOCNA Champs again. So far the goal for agility this year is to run and have fun, try new handling moves, run faster (me), sharpen up my skills. I'll enter USDAA's Masters Challenge events (ie the international style courses) since that's the stuff I like to practice. Strum turns 8 in March and I'm not a big fan of old dogs doing agility so I'm not sure how long we have left. I think we're at that point where I'm in a 'savor every run' type mode rather than having any big sort of goal. Would be nice to pick up the advanced jumpers, snooker and pairs legs that we need to get into masters in USDAA but those are our easiest classes so I'm sure those legs will come soon enough.
The focus for me right now in my triathlon training is strength. I've been going to boot camp regularly and it's making a world of difference in my strength. It feels so good to have upper body strength and especially core strength. The plyometrics are doing worlds of wonder for my bad knee and sprinting at agility is so much easier. This month I'm going to start going to the 'hills and drills' workout which is sometimes track work/intervals/stair climbing and sometimes hill repeats. It's a bit early in the season for track workouts but it's only once a week and I want to be able to ease into it this month then put some real effort into it in the coming months. Running is starting to feel a lot more like running and less like shuffling.
Most of my more challenging goals for the year are related to my business so I'm o.k. with easing off the goals for hobbies this year, at least in agility. My trial schedule so far looks like this:
January 11-13: USDAA, FRAC, Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont (18
February 9-10: DOCNA, FRAC, Boulder
County Fairgrounds, Longmont (18 mins.)
March 8-10: USDAA, FRAT, Douglas
County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, Team (1 hour, 4
mins., 61.38 miles)
April 27-28: DOCNA, FRAT, Denver Dog
Sports, Denver (43 mins.)
May 11-12: USDAA, FRAC, Adams County Fairgrounds, Brighton (42
USDAA, ACAT, Pueblo (2 hours, 10 mins.) (probably not)
June 23-24: USDAA, DAPPR, Black
Forest (1 hour, 45 mins) (probably 1 day only)
August 9-11: USDAA, FRAC, Hansen Arena, Laramie, WY (2
hours, 5 mins.) (tentative)
August 17-18: DOCNA, FRAT, DeKovend Park, Littleton (1 hour,
Aug. 31 - Sept. 2: USDAA, FRAT, location?
(tentative, depends on location and # of rings)
Sept. 19-22 – DOCNA Champs. (probably not)
USDAA, ACAT, Fountain (1 hour, 50 mins.) (tentative)
November 8-9: DOCNA, FRAT, Jefferson
County Fairgrounds (43 mins.)
November 15-17: USDAA, FRAC, Boulder
County Fairgrounds, Longmont (18 mins.)
December 7-8: DOCNA, FRAC, Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont (18
I think it's funny that I have only 1 or 2 trials that are 2 hours or so away, 1 that's a little over an hour away and the rest are 43 mins. or less with 4 of them being only 18 minutes away. So lucky I have so many trials so close, I hate driving and staying in hotels never mind the expense. Very spoiled, I know.