I had a very front-loaded season this year- Ironman in April, half-ironman in June. That's one way to get your racing done early.
Coming into the half, I'd been struggling with injuries, and after doing Eagleman I'd started to wonder if I was going to have to take some time off.In a way, I already was- I was only able to run once a week each of the two weeks before the race and continued that for a week longer. That meant a lot of time on the bike, because June is when I have to take a lot of time off to use up the 4 weeks of vacation I get, so I take a lot of days off and half days and it's hard not to want to use that time to get into shape.
But for what ?
On Tuesday, we went down to Philadelphia to see the guys at Elite Bicycles about a bike for Margit. After running Branford (and running just a little bit slowly, to be honest) Sunday, I'd come to the conclusion that babying the legs wasn't helping. I did a run/bike/run Monday, and run hard, and decided to do about an hour running while Dave was working on Margit's bike fit. About 4:30, I headed out into the swampy 95 degree heat to run along the Schuylkill for an hour. While it didn't feel great, it did feel OK. Margit got a great fit, they adjusted her Lightspeed and she decided to get a T-Class with some really sweet wheels.
On the way out, we met up with a woman from Dave's group who we'd seen in Lake Placid before and knew us. She asked how the season was going and, with no more planned races this year, I said that my season was basically over. 'That must be really hard for you,' she replied and although I said what I think were the right things, the truth was, it is pretty hard. I ran into this once before, in 2004. I did Ironman Florida in November and was then basically without a plan until Lake Placid in 2006.
The funny thing was I had my first good half in 2005, placing third in my age group at Firmman. It was also the first time I was trained for that distance.
But the truth is that it is hard to not have a race goal. I've been pushing to try and map something out but so far, nothing has really stuck. After Fairfield today (Sunday), Chris Schulten asked me when (not if) my next Ironman was. I told him I didn't have one planned and he remembered I'd gone through this before, and I guess that there are two kinds of Ironman participants, those that do races now and again and those that kind of go from race to race, and I think I more fall into the later category.
The strange thing is that after getting to my 'off-season', I've run two road races in two weeks, after running one in the first five and a half-months of the year.