Holy crap, it's 2006.
With today being the second, I have four calendar months remaining until I dive into Galveston Bay to take part in my first half-iron event, the Gulfman. It is at this point I have to ask myself if I am ready. The answer: sort of.
My swim is still weak, but it's not due to arm strength. Granted, my shoulder still aches when trying to do chest presses and/or certain yoga poses, but my reduced swim times can be highly attributed to a lack of form & proper technique. Go figure, with my never having had any formal swim training, save the few group sessions I went to at UIW last year. While no one-on-one training was to be had, having a knowledgeable eye watching my goofs was beneficial. Guess I'll have to see if S--- will be hosting those again this year and if I can still sneak in. Providing I can make it through 1800 meters of the fluid fun that is the swim, I am fairly confident the bike & run will go well. My long distance runs are still averaging in the 7'45" range, which I feel is respectable. If I've not already said it, I'm not looking to place at Gulfman; rather, have a good time and get an idea of where I am entering the season and just how much work is ahead of me before my "A" level races later in the season. It will also (hopefully) give me a better idea of what the multisport athlete needs to do in the off season in order to be prepared for such an intense effort so early in the season.
Back to the bike.
If the past two weekends' endeavors are any indication of performance, I should be able to post an incredible bike time. Last Saturday was on similar terrain, though with a more intense wind...and I dropped everyone but a lone SPW (shameless parasitic wheelsucker). A look back at the data from my HRM shows that it was possible for me to squeak out even a bit more juice yielding a better bike time. If I'm able to score some sweet wheels for Gulfman...
Running is going swell. No significant knee worries to speak of, but I do have an appointment with my orthopedic doctor on the 10th to make for certain. That will be the determining factor on if I register for the Austin marathon, but, regardless of the outcome at the doctor's, I feel confident I can still post a respectable run time. After 85 hilly miles into the wind yesterday, I cranked out a little over four miles with good feelings in my legs. All that was lacking was a gel before I started the run. Too bad I'm out. What's worse, there's only one place in town that carries Honeystinger, and they're on the opposite side of town of where I am. Typical, but I'll be going by there on my way to run tomorrow night. Hope I've time to make a pit stop.
Speaking of tomorrow, it's the end of the Christmas holidays, and I need to return to the real world and begin working again. To complicate things, it's TAKS season. The good part is that the writing test is in late February, so my training should be impacted only minimally. Here's to hoping the weather holds...to a certain degree, no pun intended. A few more good freezes would be nice (to help curb potential bug problems in the spring & summer), but weather like yesterday's (blue skies &amp; 75°) is sure nice.
Time to wind this entry down and begin winding myself down for the night. True, it's relatively early, but I get back on schedule tomorrow, which means a 5:00 AM wakeup call in order to be in the pool by 6:00. Here's to a great 2006, year & season. Thanks for reading.//d