Monday, January 30, 2017

What does 2017 have in store?

I don't even know where to start. I think I'll just let January go down as the worst month of my life (if you would like to pretend this is hyperbole, go ahead. It's not.) and leave it at that. Yes. Worse than the month my dad died, as awful as it is to compare. But true.

I don't know if I'll ever post all of the things that happened, but I know there are a few people sitting out there who know and you're probably nodding along, and you understand why I'm saying that.

That's part of why I haven't posted almost all month. Because of all this stuff going on.

But anyways.

To that post. Something slightly more positive. The post I've been saying I'll post about races and goals for the year, because what better to distract me than preparing for race season? Here you go.

2017 'Goals'
I use the word 'goals' loosely, because really I'm not trying to break any records. Not even my own - although it will be awesome if that happens by accident.

I can tell you the races I've signed up for, and I'll be honest, there aren't a ton of them. Because of the whole house-buying thing I have to be really careful about money right now, and I can't go tossing it all at races.

I'm looking at you, Half-Ironman.

I won't lie - that was going to be my A goal this year. Steelhead 70.3. But nearly $300 to register, not including any lodging, travel, or time-off expenses? Well, that's probably not going to happen. I have a while to make up my mind, but let's be realistic. Planning for a half IM would cost just as much as having a house inspected and appraised, and I can't be throwing money like that around right now.

Does it suck to realize that? Yes. But I'd rather get a mortgage with a good rate than have someone asking me what I'm dropping that money on when I'm trying to buy a house!

I also want a new bike before attempting a half, so there's that to factor in.

The good news? Races will always be there, so I'll come back to this one at some point.

2017 Races
All that said, I have registered for a few races. Here goes;

The Lincoln Presidential Half (April 1)
Again, no real goal. I'm running this with my friend Steffi (from 2016's Shamrock Shuffle and the Hot Chocolate 15k). It will be her first half, and she'll probably school me at it since I've spent the last few weeks sucking at training.

BUT...the fun things about this race??

  1. We get to stay with Mama and Papa Bender since they live near Springfield.
  2. Race with a friend, and my stalwart Sherpa (that'd be Anthony!) accompanying us.
    1. We run through all the hot Lincoln spots in Springfield!
    2. 13.1 miles of fun, educational sites
    3. You can wear top hats.
    4. Either Jennie will come to spectate or I get to guest blog! So for the first time ever I promise course pictures!
    5. The medal is a giant penny. If that doesn't sell you on it I don't know what will.
    6. Oh yeah, it's affordable. I registered today and it was $50.
I can't wait. I am quite excited. Here's to my second half!

Ragnar Chicago! (June 9-10)
This is a big one. I'm preparing for this to be the most fun race of the season because people who do Ragnars always say it is.

If you don't know (and I don't expect you to if you're not a race-nut like yours truly), a Ragnar relay is a 200 mile, 12 person relay race from point A to point B. Ragnar Chicago starts in Madison, WI and we will run in relay fashion to Chicago over two days. Each person runs three legs during that time, and each leg is between three and twelve miles long, totaling 11 to 22 miles per runner for the two days.

You run during the day. You run at night. You run in whatever weather you're blessed or cursed with, through hills and bluffs and flats. You just run your leg, and pass off the snap bracelet at exchange points. When you're not running, you're driving/riding between exchange points, supporting your team and other runners.

For me and my team, we initially came together through the Hogwarts Running Club Midwest chapter. About half of us are die hard Potter fans, and we recruited the other half of our runners elsewhere (though we still love them just as much). #TheTeamThatShallNotBeNamed is getting ready to crush Ragnar, and we're all stoked.

That said...organizing a Ragnar is another beast to tackle. I'm technically Captain of my team, but I have to say I have some amazing ladies who have helped me while my life got flip-turned-upside-down last month. I owe them everything, and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

So...that's all happening.

Lake Zurich Triathlon, Olympic distance (July 9)
I registered to LZT shortly after it opened, and I'll start training soon-ish.

To whine for a second: For the first time in months I actually want to swim and I can't. Why? Because swimming is solitary. You can disappear in the water and be alone and no one is going to bother you. But as soon as I want to do it I can't. Yay.

Anyways...I don't know if I'll change my training plan from last year (last year's had so.much.swimming). I'll probably switch it up, tbh. That's a decision for a later date though.

I do have a goal with this (even though I'm not in a goal setting mood) and I'm going to put it here: I'd like to beat my Chicago Triathlon time. My official time for Chicago was 3:21:21. How will I do that?

  1. Admittedly transition was HUGE for Chicago, but I spent 17:26 in transition. That's so.long. Transition for LZ is way smaller (and doesn't include a half mile run to it), so I'm hoping I can bring all that down and firm up my transition times to scrape a good 10 minutes off that time.
  2. Run more. I feel like the run for Chicago was such a weak spot for me because of the heat and GI issues. It will still be super hot for LZ in the middle of July, but I'm hoping all of the running I'll be doing for the half and Ragnar will even the playing field for it a bit more.
  3. Steady bike. Just like last year for Chicago I'll do my bike workouts and aim to excel like I did last year.
A three pronged approach. What could go wrong? (I'm saying that super sarcastically. Everything could go wrong. I have learned from January that life likes to suck like that.)

The Chicago Marathon (October 8)
The list is short and this is the last thing on it but... The Chicago Marathon is happening again this year. For me, I mean. It'd be happening with or without me.

The 40th anniversary is on it's way, and I'm running for #TeamRMHC again. I'm not-so-secretly hoping that there's a giant medal and huge crowd. I can't wait.

Also, though not all about goals, it'd be cool to cut 20 minutes from my time and come in under 5 hours. Just throwing it out there. Guess it's time to up the speed work I do.

Stay tuned to this space for more on that, because I hope to make a bigger deal out of fundraising this year than I did last year. So yeah. Watch out.

So there you go.
2017 races and goals, out there for all of you.

I'm not on my game today so I'm sorry if all of this seems lackluster. The lust will come back, I promise...I just need some time. Thanks for understanding

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