Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 Race Preview

I'm pretty pumped about my 2015 race schedule.  It may be just because we have that race in Hawaii in October.  Maybe it's because I'm doing a Challenge race.  Maybe it's because I'm trying to follow the exact same formula that brought me success in 2014.  Maybe it's just because I like to race.  So without further adiue: my 2015 Race Schedule:

 02.28 Banks Trail Middle School 5K, Fort Mill, SC.  Not exactly a blockbuster start to the year.  But, hey, you need to get in shape first, and most of January and February I'm primarily swimming.  But I have to do this race, you know, to defend my "Title".  Last year I won a $50 gift card to some restaurant that I can't quite remember the name to.  Anyways, think of the children.  It's for the kids.  That, and additional subsidies for a school for which I'm already paying for through taxes and new fees everytime the kid brings home a piece of paper.  But I digress . . .

04.11 Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon, Charlotte, NC.  OK, now we're talking.  A real race with some real competition.  I really want to try and lay down a post-35 PR.  Or what I call a second kid PR.  I have to separate out my PR times because I will never be able to touch the times that I ran in college or right after college.  I'll never touch a 1:13 half again, but I would like to run faster than the 1:21 I ran last year in Rock Hill.

05.17 Challenge Knoxville Half, Knoxville, TN.  I'm kinda excited about doing this Challenge race.  I was going to do the Carolina Half near home, but it went away this year.  I'm interested to see what Challenge has to offer, being the anti-WTC, anti-Ironman racing series now.  I know this was a Rev3 race, but I'm hoping by next May that Challenge will have put their stamp on it.

I've done the Oly and Half at Rev3 South Carolina (now defunct) and the half at Rev3 Florida.  I had kinda soured on Rev3 races and didn't do one in 2014.  It was mostly because the price was the same as an Ironman 70.3 but you didn't get the same race value.  An Ironman 70.3 has similar swag, but the production and the competition is immensely better.  Plus they are talking about qualifying for an "Americas Championship" race.  The details of that are yet to be released, but if there's a chance to qualify for something then I'm in.  Of course if you have to do multiple races to qualify, then I'm out.  At least until the next season.


06.14 Ironman Eagleman 70.3, Cambridge MD.  I've always wanted to do this race.  For me it's held a little bit more buzz, or more juice as it were.  The competition here is crazy good.  Maybe that's always been because there were Kona slots on the line.  That is not the case here in 2015.  Obviously I'm not racing here for a Kona slot (see what I did there?).

I'm here for the competition, the fast course and the salt water swim.  I've never done a salt water swim race before.  In fact I've only done a serious swim in the ocean one time, at Myrtle Beach.  So since Kona is obviously in the ocean, I feel like this will be a good simulation. Plus the hot run will be a good test as well.

09.12 Finish Strong Half Iron, Pittsboro, NC.  So this race is on the sked because it is 4 weeks out from Kona.  Like I said I wanted to simulate 2014 as much as possible.  Just like last year, a low key half (Atomic Man) 4 weeks before the big one (Ironman Chattanooga).  Plus it's up near Raleigh where I have free bed to crash at with some friends.  

10.10 Ironman World Championships, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  OK.  So this is it.  What (almost) every triathlete dreams of.  Right or wrong, somewhere in the back of every triathletes head is the thought "I'd like to goto Kona someday."  I heard a stat one time that said only 3% of triathletes ever qualify for Kona. Obviously there are many others that race it as well via charity, celebrity, lottery, executive challenge, etc. 

For me, it's another goal.  I really want to represent myself well at this race.  The last world championship race I did (Vegas 70.3 in 2013) I had perhaps one of the worst races of my life.  I would like for that not to happen this time.  I'm not looking to place super high or anything.  I mean, its a non-wetsuit ocean swim, so I'll be 20 minutes behind everyone out of the water anyways.  Then factor in how I barely qualified.  So just statistically speaking, I have to be one of the slowest M40-44 qualifiers out there.  So I have that to look forward to.

That all being said, I think I can do relatively well.  It's a long day.  Wind and Heat are usually to my advantage.  Qualifying early lets me plan out my entire year based on building up to Kona.  So I think I have a decent shot to not embarrass myself.

So I've crafted my 2015 race schedule to be almost exactly like 2014.  That's mostly because I had an amazing year in 2014, right?  Hopefully it will all work out well for me again this year. (And kudos to me for writing this blog entry and only using the word "Kona" 9 times including this one.)