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Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Half-Ironman?

I’ll be 59 next year – the top end of my age bracket. When I started this blog, my goal was to chronicle my progress/efforts to finish in the top 10 of the USAT National Age Group Championships in 2011, when I turn 60. I have been competing in the International Distance events:  Swim - .9 mile; Bike 24 miles; Run 6.25 miles; sorry all you metric purist, but I think in miles.

After talking it over with my tri coach, Craig Strong (definitely a good name for a coach), I’ve decided that this year I will try to get myself ready to compete in a Half-Ironman race. Okay, that was a really passive sentence – probably because I’m wondering if my body will hold up for the longer distances. Also because I’m recalling my son’s efforts in the Steelhead Half-Ironman last summer where he spent some of his six hours face down on the course trying to uncramp his legs.

The first step, and the easiest one, in developing my plan, is to figure out what races I might want to compete in. That would be easy, except I also want to attend a writing conference for two weeks in the summer and so I need to work around those dates or find an event close to the conference. Last year, I applied to Sewanee Writer’s Conference in Tennessee and they turned me down. I was going to punish them by not applying again, but I’ve decided to give them one more chance. I also plan to apply to Breadloaf Writer’s Conference in Middlebury, Vermont. I won’t go to both of them, and it’s possible that Sewanee could continue to make bad decisions and reject me again and even more possible that the Breadloaf folks won’t find me worthy in which case I’ll stay home and supervise Suzanne who will be in her first year of retirement and will undoubtedly need my help.

March 20, 2010     Lake Havasu Triathlon Lake Havasu, AZ     (International Distance)

Two years ago I competed here and finished the swim in twenty minutes, which is a world record. Unfortunately I apparently missed the third, fourth and fifth buoys which helped my time considerably. Last year, I swam the whole course and it took me 34 minutes and I had a decent time going until the run. The runners were well-spaced and with two miles to go I was gaining on a somewhat portly gentlemen a few hundred yards ahead of me. I caught him with a mile to go, but realized as I passed him that he wasn’t in the race and he wasn’t on the course either. I had to run an extra three miles to get back to the course. Next year I plan to run the actual course.

May 16, 2010   Tempe International     Tempe, AZ     (International Distance)

I’m going to leave my Tri bike in Arizona after Lake Havasu (at my sister’s house) and I’ll train with my other bike. Then I won’t to have the hassle and expense of shipping the bike to Arizona twice.

June 6, 2010     Keuka Lake Triathlon    Keuka Lake, NY    (International Distance)

I competed here last year and the water temp was 58 degrees. That was not pleasant, but I bought thermal socks and a thermal swim cap and it wasn’t unbearable, so I need to give it another shot. This is one of my Visit Mom and Race trips.

July 11, 2010      Musselman Triathlon      Geneva, NY        (Half-Ironman!!!!)

This will be first attempt at a Half-Ironman and my second trip home to visit Mom. She loves to have me visit because I’m so helpful around the house. That’s sort of an inside joke.

July 13 to 25th           Sewanee’s Writer’s Conference                     Somewhere in Tennessee

Last year I went to the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference. They put us up in private ski lodge houses. Really nice. Sewanee is that the University of the South and we stay in dorms. That part doesn’t thrill me.

July 31, 2010          Steelhead Half-Ironman                   Benton Harbor, MI   (Half-Ironman)

This is a qualifying race for Foster Grant 70.3 National Championships in Florida. To qualify I will have to finish Steelhead in under six hours. That’s not impossible, but it will take a lot of training. We’ll see.

August 8, 2010       Lake Dunsmore Triathlon                Salisbury, VT         (International Distance)

I probably won’t compete in this race, but if I somehow end up going to Breadloaf this race is two miles from there and two days before the conference starts, so it is a possibility. I would drive here from my Mom’s place – that’s 250 miles.

August 11th to 21st              Breadloaf Writer’s Conference                  Middlebury, VT

Probably won’t be going here.

September 19, 2010                 Syracuse Half-Ironman      Syracuse, NY     (Half-Ironman)

This would be my third trip back to New York and will qualify me for Son of the Year awards. This race is also a qualifier for the National championships.

November 13, 2010            Foster Grant 70.3 World Championship            Clearwater, FL

I like the idea of having something to aspire to that is in Florida in November.

Note:  70.3 is the distance in miles covered in miles in the Half-Ironman  (I think)

This is all subject to change.

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