Well, the first thing is running the Grandfather Mountain Marathon next week but we'll talk about that later.
The problem is that there are too many things I want to do but there are not enough years to get around to them all and my body can't handle everything I wish I could do. Despite having run for 32 years now and participating in Triathlons off and on for 7 now I still have a burning desire to set goals,train for them and have my little adventures.
So when is the next Ironman? I don't know. I won't say never ( tried that already) but there are no plans in the near future. After thinking I wanted to do one for almost 29 years I just finally got around to it. It took me about 19 years before I ever did my first triathlon and another 10 before the Ironman. It was a remarkable experience but my true love is running and right now I am ready to get back to some serious training now that I am finally able to run pain-free after nearly 1.5 years.
Ironman events are very expensive for one thing but the main reason I'm not planning another anytime soon is the huge amount of time it takes to properly train in all three disciplines. Looking back over my training it is surprising to me that I was able to do it anyway. I took the entire month of December off to let my hamstrings heal completely so I was starting over with 6 months to go. I had not ridden my bike since last September until March of this year and only rode a total of 600 miles this year prior to the race. Certainly not the way to properly prepare for the event. The swimming had gone well and was sufficient but my running was still well below my normal mileage for the past several years so my general lack of training makes it even more special that I was able to become an Ironman. I do have a Half-Ironman coming up in September and maybe a couple of shorter tri's before then so I am not dropping from triathlon completely but now the focus will be on getting my running mileage back up and also find some speed in my legs again.
So, as soon as GMM is done my next major goal is to return to Boston Marathon qualifying shape. I am a long way from being there but since I am focused on that and not doing any ultras for a while yet I am confident that I will be able to achieve that goal within a year and hopefully by this Fall. Karla and I have already been going back to the track now for about 6 weeks for the first time since Feb of 2006. These have all been cruise intervals at tempo pace so far but after we recover from the marathon next week we'll be prepared to start doing some faster stuff. And although I was focused primarily on the Ironman in the Spring we did get in quite a few good long runs so we don't have to build up to them from scratch.
I look forward to the training and running in more shorter road races as I build up to my qualifying attempt. I really miss the ultramarathons and my many friends on the trails and look forward to my return there but first I want to see how much faster I can run and how close to my pr's I can get. No way I can run the short pr's but I truly believe that at 53 I can set pr's from the half-marathon to the 100 miler over the next couple of years. A man has to dream but I like to think my dreams are within reach.