How do you top an Ironmother? If you're me, you don't even try. No desire to go 140.6 miles anytime soon.
But that doesn't mean that I'm leaving that badass feeling behind in 2013. No siree. If nothing else, Ironmother taught me how alive and grateful I feel when I dive deep into things that aren't a gimme, when I'm not sure how much it'll take to reach the finish line—or even if I'll get there. Despite the thunderclouds under my eyes and a few injury speedbumps, I was secretly kind of thriving as I was striving. (And if that's not the worst sentence ever written, it's right up there.)
So how do you top Ironmother? If you're me, you spend time trolling race sites and then get all theme-y. These are the two themes I settled on for 2014:
1. Races that intimidate me for one reason or another.
2. Local races because Sarah and I are on the road, on average, once a month this year. If I'm going to enter races that already have me quaking in my Sauconys, I want a home-bed advantage.
Big Race #1: Ironman 70.3 Boulder. June 15.
Careful readers will know I am loath to race in Boulder, where intense doesn't begin to describe the racing scene—or at least the scene as seen through Dimity lenses. It's time for me to get over myself and just race my own race in the land of crazy endurance athletes. When I pulled out a strong 70.3 last spring, I was all amped, thinking maybe I could concentrate on speed this year and try to qualify for the National Championships. I realize this will not happen in Boulder—a certain number of age-group slots are allotted per race, and I believe in myself but come on: it's Boulder!—but that doesn't mean I can't have my own PR.
That's my goal: a solid 70.3 PR.
Big Race #2: Pikes Peak Ascent, August 16.
Stats: 13.1 miles, about 7,800 feet of climbing. Did I mention I'm not the swiftest—or most enthusiastic—climber? Yep, intimidation: nice to see you around these oxygen-deprived parts. Even so, this race—and getting to the top of the Purple Mountain Majesty—has been swirling around my subconscious ever since we moved to Colorado. 2014 is the year. I attempted to climb the Peak once with some friends, but one came from sea-level and was slayed by the altitude, so we turned around about halfway up. I was contemplating doing the full marathon, but my husband gently reminded me running 13.1 miles downhill on my injury-prone back, legs, and feet probably isn't the best idea.
My goal: to embrace the "Coloradoness" of this unique race—and to get in. Entries, I've heard, go quickly in mid-March, especially when I'm aiming for the easier for Wave 2, which requires a 2:25 half-marathon. (Wave 1 has a qualifying time of 1:40 for a half-marathon; bet there will be a lot of Boulder-ites in that one.)
Other items potentially on my list: a sprint or Olympic triathlon before the 70.3, but those are hard to come by, timing-wise, since the water is still pretty chilly around here in late May; and possibly the Triple Crown, a package of races that includes the Pikes Peak Ascent, the Garden of the Gods 10-Miler (another race that slightly intimidates me: crazy hills + the ghost of races past, when I was swifter) and a 15K trail race that is good prep for the Ascent. And I hope I get to pace a good pal in the Leadville 100 again.
I'm also in for Tinker Bell Half-Marathon and the Princess Half-Marathon, and possibly the inaugural Napa Valley ZOOMA Half-Marathon; Sarah and I will definitely be at the latter, but we haven't played rock/paper/scissors to see who will run and who will woman the AMR booth.
Wow. A little weary right now from transferring that from my head to the universe. But I'll be racing fewer miles this year than I did in one day last year, which is reassuring. I can't promise that I've got this, but I can promise that I'm going to give it everything I've got.
Do you have your race calendar planned for this year? What's on it?