TIME TO STEP UP.
That's what I figured when I signed up for Steelhead. It wasn't exactly an impulsive decision. I had said at Steelhead this year (August) that I wanted to do the race next year, so it was more of a follow through for me. Had I not had to sign up this early, though, to be sure of getting in, I can tell you I would have procrastinated until the last minute to decide.
In a way, I'm relieved to have the decision over--I know what I have to do and can now move forward to being prepared. There are a few drawbacks here though, and the first is not having made a decision on a bike. I keep waiting for the insurance company to come through with some sort of payment, which I would then turn around and put on a new bike, but that hasn't happened, and quite truthfully, I'm not confident I will ever see anything from this accident except pain and suffering and residual pain and suffering.
Residual pain is most likely the reason for my shoulder flareup this weekend. Just from doing what I would normally do (and really not even half of what I would normally be doing). That is another issue I will be dealing with this next year. The more I do and push myself to accomplish, the more likely I will have pain like I had this weekend. So I realy don't know what way to go with this--push myself and see how far I can take it or pace myself and hope I make it (and it even rhymed!).
Steelhead is August 4, 2007. That gives me 8 full months to get ready for this race. I do hope to be able to do a few other tris before that, so really I will train for those as a buildup to Steelhead. Right now I figure if my brain can perceive it, I can achieve it, and I can see myself doing at least that distance. Naturally, I can't make any predictions on finishing time right now, and I don't even want to get hung up on numbers until I actually get a bike, start riding, and see how the other races go.
We all know there are so many variables in a triathlon, and the longer the distance, the more variables there will be. Aside from the training, my main concerns will be managing pain and figuring out a nutritional plan that will work for me. I already know what products out there don't work for me on shorter races, so I won't even try to incorporate them into a longer race. I want to be able to come up with a plan suitable for me, that is also compatible with what they offer on the course. I haven't been very successful in this aspect in the past, so I will really be concentrating on this part of my training.
People are always amazed at all the things I do, especially after the accident, but I am amazed at the fact that I actually sat and did NOTHING for two whole months. Sometimes I feel like it was a forced rest, not necessarily appreciated, but I do feel I rested. Had it been under better circumstances, I would probably be feeling on top of the world, and I can definitely see where a break after a long training season can be beneficial and really not hurt you that much. If I can get back to where I am after a couple of months off, admittedly while recovering, I would hope next year I can wisely take at least a month off. If I am really going to eventually do a full IM distance, I think a long rest will be beneficial, mentally and physically.
So, now my focus is going to be on getting that bike. I have an idea of what I would like to get, now I just have to decide where I want to buy it. Bikesport in Detroit is where Don just went to buy his bike, but he has time to drive over there, get fitted, etc. I have to be practical in the fact that I don't really have time to drive 2.5 hours to a bike shop for a fitting. I have to wonder what the comparison is to the bike shops here in GR. Can they do a similar fit for me here, saving me the time and drive? I think I'm going to have to at least do some research there. And then I keep getting these e-mails from a place in Tucson that will pay airfare and hotel to come down and buy a bike from them. Um, yeah, I would love that! But the bikes they offer in that deal are about twice what I can afford right now. Decisions, decisions, something I have a hard time doing quickly. This is just what I needed to get me moving.