Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Looking ahead to 2015

I didn't publish a year-end recap this year (although it's one of the things on my to-do list), but I wanted to put together some aspirations and goals for this year.  I'd like to be able to dust this off at the end of the year, and see how I tracked to my goals.

If there's one thing that endurance sports has taught me it's the life throws you curveballs.  I think that I have done a really good job responding to the ups and downs of life, and keeping my fitness a priority, even when I had to go through long periods of inactivity.  Needless to say, dealing with a health issue as I pushed towards my first 70.3 was tough to deal with - but I made it to race day, and saw the race through to completion.

So, back to this year.  We're rounding the corner on January, and I feel that my base of fitness is really strong (stronger than it has been in previous years).  I have a few races on the calendar just to get me outside during the winter months:  NYRR Manhattan Half (Half Marathon), and NYRR Washington Heights 5k.  The Washington Heights 5k will be a great opportunity to test myself on some killer hills, and give my kids an opportunity to run some kiddie races (which they love to do).  The other challenge on my list is the Empire State Building Run-Up, which I plan to do in full firefighting turnout gear.  I'm wondering how I'll feel about that decision by the time I have climbed all 86 flights of stairs.

Once February draws to a close, I will start my ramp-up to my first triathlon of the season:  Challenge Atlantic City.  This race is a 70.3, and racing that distance so early in the season is new for me.  I'm told that it is a flat, fast course - but despite that, I'm not hanging my expectations on a PR.  I'm going to use it as a test of my base fitness, and an evaluation of my baseline as we move into racing season.

From there, I have about a month to put the finishing touches on my training in preparation for the iconic New York City Triathlon.  With the super-fast swim in the Hudson and my new skills on the bike (and my new bike), I'm hoping for a PR at this race.

Once I clear that race, training moves into high gear for my end-of-season goal race, Challenge Maine.  This is another 70.3, and the place where I first did battle with a race of this distance (read my race recap here - it's a good read).  My conditions the first time were less than ideal (I was dealing with heart issues at the time), and I'm looking forward to a strong showing there (and hopefully another PR at the 70.3 distance).

Before I head to Maine, I have one last stop scheduled: Challenge Pocono.  This is the second year that the race is being held, and I heard great things from everyone that raced it last year.  This is an Olympic Distance race, and I plan to use it as one final tune-up before Maine.

I'm really excited about the season I have planned, and look forward to getting out and training and racing with the many wonderful people I have met on this journey.  Most of all, I am looking forward to getting back under the guidance of Coach Baker, who really helped me unlock my potential next year.

Thanks for reading (for those that made it this far), and I hope that everyone makes the best of what they have for a wonderful year ahead!

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