Saturday, December 21, 2013

Decisions... or "Do you believe in coincidences?"

My planned post for today was about the problem I am having with deciding on which races I want to do in 2014. I have so many wonderful options, but there is the problem of limited time and money. That's nothing new and nothing unique to me! I don't know any runner/triathlete who is able to do every race/activity they want to do all the time!

These have been my main options, in order of their appearance in my mind:

1. Sprint tri in the spring, Olympic distance tri in the fall
2. Olympic distance in the spring and fall
3. Olympic distance in the spring and metric century bike ride with my uncle in the fall

About 2 weeks ago, things started changing. I went to an informational meeting of a local triathlon club. We had to go around and tell about ourselves and our plans for 2014, and then they talked about triathlon for the first timer. When one of the head guys (whose name I can't remember) started talking about himself he mentioned that he is signed up for the Augusta Half Ironman in 2014. And then he added the strangest comment, "Ms. Cooper is doing that, too - she just doesn't know it yet." I was like, "This dude is nutso!"

But then my 40 mile ride on the trainer was the next day and I found myself wondering what the exact distances are for a half ironman. I chalked it up to the a delirium induced by a 3 hour trainer ride. I actually almost blogged about it because it was so funny, but I never had time.

Then this morning, I was at the trail for a 40 mile ride and it was raining. As I was getting my stuff pulled together, a man/woman couple came in off their bikes and said they were calling it a day and they were off to run instead. I laughed that I had no choice because I ran yesterday. The man asked how many miles I was planning and I said 40. He then asked me what I am training for. I told him I'm laying down my base for the 2014 tri season. He asked which race and I told him I wasn't sure, but I am looking at a couple of Olympic distances. He said, "Already riding 40 miles? You should do Augusta Half Ironman!"

So for the 2nd time in as many weeks, some stranger is telling me I should do Augusta? And since he tells me about this right before I head out on a 3 hour ride, my mind is rolling it over in my head like crazy the entire time. In fact, I even changed up my fueling schedule because there is only one fuel stop in a HIM. (And I don't even know if that's true! @@)

Being the logic-minded person that I am, my mind also takes me through the pros and cons. The first and biggest con is that the Augusta HIM is the same day as the metric century ride I want to do with my uncle. In a normal year, they would have been a week apart, but this coming year the ride date conflicted with Rosh Hashana so they moved it back a week. Not a big deal, until the idea of Augusta was implanted into my subconscious.

The next biggest con is the money, but since it would be about the same amount of money I would pay for transportation to the bike ride, that's not a complete deal breaker. I would need to get a hotel in Augusta, I think, but my mom only lives about an hour away so I could avoid that expense if I needed to.

As for pros... that is a bit trickier. While a HIM wasn't on my immediate radar, I had been thinking that it would be neat to do in 2015 when my son graduates. He will be my first homeschool graduate and I was thinking that could be my graduation present to myself. But then, 2015 is going to be a huge year for $$ because of that graduation and my daughters turn 13 and 16. Since I'm apparently already trained up with a good base, it might be more practical to do it this year.

Another reason a HIM wasn't on my immediate radar was the time necessary to train and could I do the kind of mileage required to complete it. According to folks who know these things, my base is good and I'd still have 9 months to train. And we are already taking off June and July from school next year so I'd be able to get in some really intensive training without having to worry about school. 

I really don't believe in coincidences. I say that all the time. So two different people (complete strangers) bringing up the same race has me really, really intrigued. Oh, what to do!?!?!

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