Above is the white board that I write my goals on every year, and the reasons for the goals, and the reasons why I race and train.
I am just going to come out and say it, this was the best year I have ever had racing.
I had a lot of fun, and it was the fastest I have ever been. I went under 2.5 hours in two Olympic distance races, which was one of my goals for 2014. My goal was to do on Olympic distance under 2.5 hours, and I did two cleanly under 2.5 hours.
I wanted to go under 48 minutes on a 10K off the bike, I went 47:56 at USAT AG Nationals.
I wanted to be faster at 40, than I was in my 30s, which I did.
I wanted to do a back-to-back race weekend. I did :Lake Minnetonka and Manitou Sprint in the same weekend, and went much faster than I thought. Even at Manitou sprint with a pedal I could not get into and a broken spoke at Manitou..
There were some goals I missed.
One, I have been trying for years now, was to average 23.5MPH, or greater, for 10+ miles, either in a triathlon, duathlon, or TT. I was unable to do this. Even though I had one of my fastest years on the bike, in triathlons, that I have ever had.
I did not run an open 10K this year. I wanted to run a 46:30 or faster for an open 10K. I picked 46:30 because I ran a 46:36 10K (Victory Road Races) in 2008. I think I had a pretty good chance to do it this year. Just didn't get an open 10k in.
I wanted to run a 5K, or 3 mile, under 21:30, either off the bike or open. I did not run any open 5k races, and off the bike I ran a 22:32 3 mile and a 22:23 5K. So, I was about a minute off. As an aside, these two runs were at Lake Minnetonka and Manitou Sprint, so they were back-to-back races on the same weekend. That has to count for something.
I will write about my goals for 2015, in another post. I still have some thinking to do. I will put some thoughts here.
I am registered to do St. Anthony's again. I would like to go under 2.5 hours. I am currently 4:40 away from that. Since I did go under 2.5 hours in two Olympic distance races earlier in the year, I think I can do it here. Part of it will be getting the swim in the 27-28 minute range, getting faster in transition, and running faster there. I am going to need to go under 50 minutes. It will be difficult to go that fast, that early in the year.
I am thinking about running an open half-marathon. My goal would be to go under 2 hours. Basically 9 min/mi or faster The reason of running an open half-marathon is because I would like to do a half ironman again. I feel I can do better than my last two attempts, which were in 2010 and were terrible. At least the run in both was terrible. I would like to beat out my 2008 time at Longhorn 70.3, which was 5:46 and some change. I think, and would like to set a goal of going under 5.5 hours. Hitting that goal will require me to go under 9 min/mi.
I am going to keep my 10 mile, 23.5MPH, bike goal. I will keep that goal as long as I am doing this. I will keep working towards that goal.
To that end. I keep thinking about how long I will continue doing this. By "this" I mean, doing triathlons, duathlons, and TTs at my current pace. I would like to keep doing 10-12 races (mostly triathlons with a 1-3 duathlons sprinkled in) every year until I cannot do it anymore. Lucky me, I have a wife who is understanding, and spending weekends in the summer racing doesn't cause relationship issues. I imagine as I get older, I might have to drop the number of races. See what life brings.
Every year, before I start racing, I think about is it worth the time and effort. Then I start racing, and there is such a feeling of accomplishment that I get, that I cannot compare to anything. Even when I don't race as well as I would have liked. Sometimes I get sick of trying to workout to maintain a level of fitness that allows me to do this. Especially in MN winters, but I realize, when I race, that the training is worth it. I might not be the fastest person out there. I am not the fastest person, by far. That is not important. What is important is that I am challenging myself, both mentally, a lot of it is mental, physically, and emotionally.
The challenge and the feeling of accomplishment keep me coming back for more.