Sunday, June 9, 2013

Jumping to 70.3

I've completely lost my mind.  I have decided to make the jump to a half Iron distance triathlon, which is 70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running.  The exact break down is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, then a half marathon of 13.1 miles of running.

I always knew that this was in my "plan", however it was much further down the road, like in a few years, kind of thing.  I actually was starting to think about it more and more for next year, starting with IM St. George or Boise, the 70.3 distance.  I was torn between which one of those though, being they are only a month apart, but there are varying factors or pros and cons for each.  St. George is close(r) to home, I love the area, but it is also a very difficult course.  Some have called it the most difficult course in North America.    Maybe not a great choice for a first stab at that distance?

Then there is Boise.  I have heard it is a great course, pretty, flat, and a good one for first timers.  However, they also have the huge factor of weather.  Last year they had an ice storm and the course was shortened to just over 29 miles.  I would be ticked if I had trained and spent months anticipating a 70.3, and then only get to do the shortened version!

With school getting out on Friday (for those of you readers that don't know, I am a teacher), I started looking over my training plan for the summer.  My main goal races are LOTOJA (a 206 mile bike relay) and the St. George Marathon on October 6.  I have a heavy training plan with tons of biking and running.  I already consider myself a good swimmer, but I will still have 3 swims a week.  Anyhow, as I looked at the break down of the training, it dawned on me that this is very much what the half Ironman training programs look like that I have looked at in the past.  Tons of biking above and beyond the race distance, lots of intense running in marathon prep, and a good amount of swimming as well.  Hmmmmmm....if I am already training like I'm doing one, maybe I should do one, right?

I thought I would do an Ironman brand race for my first. However, I have heard tons of great things from people in my triathlon circles about the Utah Half on August 24.  It is down in Provo, and I have heard from tons of people it is a great one.  They only offer that distance at this race, no sprints or oly folks.  They cap it at 500 racers, and it is very well done.  Racetri is the company that organizes it, and I loved the Icebreaker tri I raced with them in March.  They also do the Rock Cliff one I am doing on June 29.  I figured it would be a great starting point for me.  Great course, close to home, a good reputation, and the date fits well into my training/racing schedule that I already have laid out for the season.  I also ran it by Ken, and as always, he is supportive.  Of course he thinks I am nuts, but he is supportive as always :)

I have always prided myself on having a plan, and I have tentatively planned out my race goals for the next 4 seasons.  This was not in that plan for another year or two at least.  But, I also like to change things up, and as my race schedule/times page on this blog says, things are always tentative.  I am so excited about this!  It is going to mean tough, but doable training, and with my summer off, I can totally hack this.  This race is actually the weekend before we go back to school, so perfect timing!

Now I have to nail other things down, I have struggled and am experimenting with different nutrition issues on the bike and will need to definitely nail those down.  Believe me, I am open to any and all suggestions!  I am going to experiment on my long LOTOJA training rides each week.

What's next?  I'm super excited that we leave to go on vacation to Big Bear this week, and I am doing the Big Bear Sprint Triathlon next Saturday!  My first out of state race!

Happy Training/racing!

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