First, a few final ramblings from Nationals....
....I discovered Fritos makes Baked Cheetos. Healthy Cheetos. Cool.
….Dinner on race night was a big ol’ mushroom, cheddar and bacon burger, preceded with fried pickles. They are sliced cross sections and fried. You dip them is some kind of special sauce. I’d never hear of them, but they’re really good. I was also pleased to see Sam Adam’s Summer Ale served.
….Tuscaloosa isn’t like anything in the northeast. It isn’t terribly attractive, and you wonder what these people do, other than go to or serve the University.
….Alabama football is everything. Saturdays must be nuts. Bear Bryant is god, and the stadium is the church.
….I introduced myself to a guy from NH in my AG who I knew I had raced against (and lost to) at Mooseman the last two years and Nationals last year. When he didn’t pass me until about mile 2 or 3 on the run, I thought I was probably doing well overall. He beat me by about 6 min on the run, last year was 1:30. Yikes. He’s a NOAD and is going to Gold Coast next month. He said, “It took getting divorced and nine tries to finally make it.” Hmmmmm....
….At the awards ceremony, they gave awards for the fastest swim, bike and run splits. The swimmers got new $600 wetsuits. The bikers got $5,000 Blue bikes. The runners? They got screwed- Fuel Belt, gel, and some other crap.
….The guy who won my (M40-44) AG was 9th overall. Go old guys!
Now it's time to move forward-
Triathlon training is hard work. But it’s also hard on the family. I’ll train hard next season, but it’s time to take a step back now. I need to spend time at the soccer field and on date nights. My family is far more important to me than the sport, and they’ve been somewhat neglected by a lack of time, attention and spirit. So I need to return back to what’s important.
I’m also mentally tired from the grind. Every workout for months and months has been planned and recorded. Every heartbeat, pedal stroke, watt, yard and mile is on the computer. I’ll keep recording workouts, but for a little while now I won’t have a structured plan. I’ll try to sleep in a bit, especially on the weekends. So far, I haven't set my alarm clock for five days straight.
For workouts this week, I have done four two-mile walks with the dog and three shorter swims. It has been liberating not to plan anything.
Finally, I’m done with racing for the season. I’ll skip Lobsterman and the Maine Marathon (I wasn’t too sure of that anyway). I have no desire to get ready for a race and then turn myself inside out on race day. I did that eight times this year. I don’t think I can “just show up and do it.” It’s called a race for a reason. You go fast. My ego would also seriously get in the way when I saw my rivals or anyone else I “should beat.”
It will be another long, cold winter soon enough. Hours on hours on the trainer in a 40 degree garage watching dumb TV, trying to work hard with no one around to push me. Finishing runs while it’s still dark. I want to get out and enjoy the good weather while we still have it. Maybe I’ll go for a hike or two. Trail running would be fun. Maybe some mountain biking.
My competitive juices can be satisfied in the pool with the noontime group. Which brings up the one exception to the above. The CELT Challenge, a local sprint, has a new category- family relay. The kids have expressed some interest. I just need to swim 425 yards (in my HS pool, always fun to go back), Nick can do the bike (maybe on my old TT bike given that he’s nearly 6 feet tall), and Leah can do the run. I could do it with her to keep her company. It would be a good challenge for both of them.
So that’s it. I’m done for the season.