This season was definitely a roller coaster of both performance and emotion. I had some of my best races and some of my worst. I overcame several obstacles, checked off a few boxes and learned a lot more about what I need to do in order to accomplish what I would like in this sport.
The season started out with a great new coach (Cliff English) and race after only about 4 weeks of training. If I could run a 1:13 half at this point, I was very optimistic about what the rest of the season had in store.
However, things didn't go as planned. I struggled with balance, fatigue and motivation...I had a number of terrible races, even though I visited some great parts of the country.
After IMCDA, a switch flipped and I found myself in a familiar part of the year that I lived for... my IMWI build. I nailed a few local races, put out a few 280w 5hr efforts, as well as a 270w effort for 6hrs. I was running 75min sets at 5:00-5:20 per mile and felt as though I was ready for a win at IMWI.
When race day rolled around, I didn't have the IMWI I was capable of, but did run under 3hrs for the first time and felt as though I had my first "good" race in 2years.
I ended the season down at IMFL and would have probably finished with the 824-828, had I made a better shoe choice on the day. But that's racing. A few weeks later, I tried again at IMAZ, but it wasn't meant to be. No energy on race day left me with the sour taste of a DNF to end the season. Sickness showed up on Monday, which explained my lack of energy.
It was clear, that I now needed a big break.
"The Off-Season & Igniting That Fire"
Well, it's finally here and I am fully embracing it. I have done nothing in the last week and don't intend to for a while longer than I had first planned, the body is still asking for it, so I will give it more.
I am going about things the right way this next month. Starting with time off, followed by a bike fit and doing a good bit of strength work to even out my leg length discrepancy and muscle imbalances, this should pay huge dividends down the road.
Then the planning begins.
In the past, when it has come to choosing races and a direction, it's been a lot about what others thought I should be doing and less about what I am passionate about. While it's always important to please sponsors, if we're not doing what we are MOST excited to be doing, we won't perform at our best. So 2013 is going to be a year of big changes. I haven't solidified a race schedule yet, but you can expect a few things.
- I will only be doing what really ignites a fire inside of me.
- There is a possibility of only 1 Ironman (Wisconsin)
- I will be doing a LOT more racing at the shorter distances.
- There will be a focus on quality over quantity. A much less total volume approach.
So that's where things sit right now. Next year will be my 12th year in the sport and will be a new chapter for me. I am excited and motivated, but right now I need to put that on hold to make sure that I get rid of every ounce of fatigue that I incurred over the last 11 months.