Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Goals You Didn't Even Know You Had

I love the tired feeling after a good hard race.  The first 1-2 nights after a race of twitchy legs and restless sleep aren't so fun but the next 4 days or so of super sound, long deep sleep and the feeling of strength coming back to your legs and arms are wonderful.  Also the feeling of not having to be anywhere.  Like the reservoir at 6:15 on a cool cloudy morning.  Or outdoor masters at the pool when it's in the mid-50's and cloudy and the pool is not particularly toasty warm.  I will get back to a training routine pretty sharpish but for now it feels good to keep things loose and easy.  As long as I keep moving in some fashion I'm good.

I had a load of experiments and other fun things planned for the off season and then an email arrived informing me that I had accomplished the completely unplanned goal of qualifying for the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii next month.  Now this made me laugh a bit because, um, Worlds?!  This was not even on my radar.  I only vaguely knew how to qualify and I knew it was hard and competitive.  It wasn't until the morning of Nationals that someone told me about the 'roll down' spots and that it was a possibility.  Still, I didn't let that thought seep into my day at Nat's. and it did not effect my race.  Because Worlds.  Yeah right.  You have to place 1st or 2nd in your age group at one of 4 Regionals across the country or at Nationals to qualify.  If people who finish ahead of you already earned a spot then the spot rolls down to you.  Or something like that.  Even a roll down spot is hard to get.  Former Ironman Pro and triathlon icon Wendy Ingraham got in to Worlds on a roll down spot. 

Anyway, Hawaii is way too far to go for a race which is another reason I've never even considered Worlds as a goal.  It's going to sound weird but Hawaii has never been on my wish list of places to go.  Long expensive plane ride, expensive hotels once you get there, hot, humid, icky sticky.  And what is there to do?  The volcanoes and whales would be cool but otherwise . . . what?  Lying on the beach in the icky sticky humidness?  Not really my thing.  And I live 50-60 minutes drive from this:


I'm not super compelled to spend zillions of dollars and the nightmare of 16 hours on a plane to go to the icky sticky.

But participating in a World Championship?  That could be interesting, not something I ever considered but now the seed is planted.  No way I would go this year but maybe next year?  Or in a couple few years if I could cut a lot more time off of my races?  Definitely something to ponder.  There's no guarantee I would qualify next year either.  It all depends on who shows up, who claims their spot, etc.  Too many factors out of my control to set it as a goal but at least I could consider it as a possibility so that if I qualify again I could be prepared to go if I wanted to.  The race looks challenging - steep climbs on the bike at least.  It looks like a race that requires a lot of physical strength and building physical strength is my main goal for the off season anyway.  If I prepare and train with Worlds in mind I should do well at my local races and Nat's. even if I don't make it to Worlds.

Now, what to do about building that strength, that is the next big question.

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