Well as promised I said by the end of this month I would make my decision on whether or not I was going to be doing just Arizona, or trying to double up with Ironman New Zealand well I made my decision after some good long thought. I looked at what I'll have available and decided to go for it. I figure if I try to save my income tax refund/ excess loan proceeds ( after books also if everything goes right I'll be able to graduate in May.) they will most likely be spent on other things. In either case all that out of the way, New Zealand in March will require lots of cold weather training once again (yea! followed by a long groan.)Well I'm looking at the weather forecasts and trying to strategically plan my remaining vacation week in November, I don't want to burn it on a week with sucky weather which is great for run focus,but is awful for trying to tackle my weakness (Cycling) likewise if I'm planning on cycling a lot I want to do it when I will not have to worry about my feet freaking freezing off, or little things such as finals.
After learning the lay of the land in Taupo last year ( it's hilly, not Auckland, Sandstone Hill, hilly, not Alpe Du Huze hilly, not Nutmegman "gentle rollers", hilly, but it does have it's moments ie a nice little ring climb a 5k in..also you descend rather gradually out to the turn around and then start climbing rather gradually back toward town.) So my plan is to take advantage of the "good" weather as long as possible and ride my Middlebury, Washington, Morris, Bethlehem Route as much as possible. The climbing will only help me.
My training strategey is a little more formulaic this year than it was last year,but it is also still flexible enough to bend with the demands of a New England Winter. Swimming is my strength but it will still be the backbone of my regiment mainly because it fits the easiest into my sechdule, the same with running. Cycling tends to be my weakness because of the time commitment, also limited hours of daylight also tend to a problem, especially when those hours are occupied by work and classes. That's why my vacation week is vital...I need to plan it right so I can cram a huge cycling block in I'm talking at least a 300 mile week. I want to take it before Thanksgiving to avoid the holiday traffic issues..but I might take it in Early December or even over winter break, just to kick start my build/ Please Bobby stop the pain phase. In either case it will be a most evil block of insane mileage.
Running not much I can really say. I was happy at how prepared I was last year, I'm hoping, that this week I can start building toward 20+miler #1 on Thanksgiving weekend. I figure a short run of at least 6 miles,my average run being between 12-17 miles and at least 4 runs of 20miles+mixed in onmy short and average distance runs will be speed workouts at the track (as long as the weather holds.) and fartlek,not to mention more hills.
Swimming Well last year my only disappointment I was I stood too far to the outside and ended up stranded close to the shoreline for most of the race. This year I'm thinking of going into the belly of the beast even if it means I'm getting Greco-Roman wrestled. Also Stef's back on as master's coach so that means my dominatrix of the lanelines will have my ass back in shape for hopefully a sub 50min. swim. Also I might take more advantage of HEAT's master's program, because swimming with my drafting partner ( Ken.) tends to make me work a little harder.
With Shannon Barnett an age group up, and not really sure how the global economy is effecting the rest of the field, I might have a shot at qualifying for Kona. I know what's coming.."The Aussies and Kiwis eat bigger chunks than you in their breakfast cereal." " if you're going to globetrott, shouldn't it be to a race with an easier field like Malaysia." " You're absolutely fucking nuts..." "Where the fuck are you going to get the money to go to Kona if you qualify ,Mr. Wizard, huh where you gonna get it?" " Dude take a cold shower and wait until next November..( which will lead to the "Californians ( holla) and Canadians eat people like you for breakfast. Do something "easier" like Lake Placid." rant). I know where all the objections are going to come from,but this realistically might be the last time I can do somethinglike this while I'm young, single, and free. So to paraphrase Martin Luther " This is where I stand, may God help me."
The die is cast, I might regret it in ten years, I might be greatful for it, McCain might get elected and this might be my opportunity to defect...in either case I'm doing it for better,for worse.