Sunday, December 23, 2007

2008

The maniacal goals-for-2008 post...

It may sound mildly excessive, but it all fits together. I have a vision!

Seriously, though, the overriding goal for 2008 is to have a happy and healthy year of training, some enjoyable racing and to take better care of myself, particularly vis-a-vis sleep and rest more generally. This is more important than any of the specific things below, though there are a number of things on the list that I will be disappointed if I can't bring about...

In September 2005 I quit smoking for good and started exercising and losing weight. 2006 was the year I fell in love with running. 2007 was the year I fell in love with swimming, just head-over-heels in love too (I am hoping this sport is not as much of a heartbreaker as running, certainly it is less injury-producing, also I fully hope to be a faster swimmer when I am sixty years old than I am now...).

2008 is going to be the year of triathlon!

Running goals: do the NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix; do my first marathon in Philadelphia in November; continue to build mileage and start working more on speed, but not at expense of continued running health. I'd love it if in 2008 I could race a 4-mile race below 32:00, a 10K below 50:00, a half-marathon below 1:50 and the marathon sub-4:00. (If things go really well with training, I'm hoping to have a 3:56 marathon goal, which leaves a bit of wiggle room to stay sub-4:00. Too soon to know, though, whether this is in any sense realistic.) My goal over the next few years is to reach 8:00 race pace at the half-marathon distance, but I don't know that it's realistic to expect that to happen in 2008.

Swimming goals: continue to work on all four strokes; build speed on freestyle and get as much open-water swim experience as I can (I was cheered up the other day by an e-mail in which the Manhattan Island Foundation announced their swim series for 2008, I'll definitely do a few of these); start working seriously on flip turns and bilateral breathing, two things I have been putting off dealing with properly. Find a really good structure of weekly workouts (there are two different masters' swim groups I want to check out in January, I'm hoping one of them might suit).

Cycling goals: well, I have quite a few ideas (hmmm, it would be exciting if I turned out to have an unexpected talent for bike-riding, only I think I will have to settle for what I have in the other two sports, which is to say only a very modest talent but an excellent work ethic which makes up for many shortcomings on the athletic front, wish I had realized that sooner), but really everything can be summed up as "fall in love with the bike the way you have with running and swimming." I need to become a confident and road-worthy cyclist, that's the long and short of it. I think this means finding a good group to ride with, learning cycling the roadie way (paceline riding, etc.) and really taking it seriously, but we will see how it goes...

Triathlon: my goal race is the New York City Triathlon (Olympic distance) on July 20. (The day before my birthday, that's nice!) The cycling is currently a total unknown quantity, but it's a notoriously fast swim and I would think it's entirely possible I could do it in just about sub-3:00--however I will try not to exercise myself too much about times. I'll definitely do a couple shorter ones first to get some practice, but I hate to give up lovely training days for the sake of shortish races, I've got a lot of writing that needs to get done next summer and I'd also just like to keep things open and flexible (it is not enjoyable, I find, to lock oneself in on an excessive number of racing commitments), so I won't go crazy with the practice races (here's a fairly complete list of some more or less local options).

(After that's over, I'll switch to a run focus, but I'll keep on swimming a ton and doing some bike-riding also, I do not think it will be a problem--I'm going to do marathon training with Coach Mindy who takes a fairly low-mileage approach with cross-training built in.)

I've got to get back on the yoga thing (I've got a yoga date with training partner L. for Jan. 2), and obviously I'll keep up the strength training and core work. It would be good if I could get mildly more adventurous, this is related to the bike-riding goals, but perhaps I am just not very adventurous! But if interesting new opportunities come my way, I must not turn them down because of some inflexible plan I've locked myself in on. I will make every effort to keep an open mind...

Best wishes to everyone reading here for good health and training and racing success, whatever that means to you and your loved ones (an expression I can never take quite seriously but which seems more apt than any other), in 2008!

4 comments:

Spokane Al said...

It sounds like your 2008 is very well planned out. I will be looking forward to reading your stories as it unfolds.

Wendy said...

Indeed, you do have a vision! (I particularly like the primary goal.)

Dying Water Buffalo said...

I like your plan, I like your goals, and I like your title, "The Year of Triathlon."

So happy to have met you and be following your journey :)

Dorothy W. said...

Your plans sound great -- I hope you do fall in love with cycling!