It's a new year! Starting out the year is always easy in the PA region. I have usually raced up into mid December and then took a break til the day after Christmas. The last couple years the body told me to start the break at the start of December. So I started training a few days before Christmas. I usually have a goal of 150 hours on the bike from Dec 26th til the end of March. I've been changing that up some and will probably get close to that but I'll have augmented the training with about 4 or 5 hours of running as well as several hours of xc skiing. I really like the skiing but the season can be pretty unpredictable in our parts.
My main goal is to get the body down near to race weight early before starting any specialized training. The past couple years has seen my sprint disappear. This year changes that. Since I won't have as many issues to deal with dealing with weight and I'm now climbing as well as I ever have(and that will only get better), I can focus a bit more on being able to hit that really high end at the finish of a race. I spent so many years as a crit rider so my sprint was the only area where I could shine in a race. Since I changed targets on my racing in these past two years, my speed has definitely been blunted. This ends now.
You can expect to see me in just about every discipline out there this year but the focus will be on winning, not just decent results. The UltraCross series will be one of the targets as well as the PA BAR races. I also look to do well in our local ABRA road race series as the crit series which I'd won the past two years has disappeared for the year since there is only 3 races. The main target for the year though is the Dirty Kanza 200. Despite the issues I'd had with equipment in that race, I am going back to win it. 2nd place will only piss me off.
To augment my bike racing, I've also been doing trail running races as well as a couple triathlons to give myself a bit of variety. The trail races have treated me fairly well and my goal is to do a 1:55 in a half this year which I don't think is out of the question for me. The first test will be in another week. If the weather clears up and the snow is off the course, this can be an achievable goal. From there, I have to break my bad luck in triathlons. My first one last year, I had a nightmare issue as I got to the venue late and had enough time to get my stuff on, walk into the water and have the gun go off for my wave. Then a flat on the disc wheel, I'm convinced someone might have messed with it as it held fine the night before as well as the day after. In getting all that taken care of I wasted way too much time and acted like a bike racer for the rest of the race which absolutely does not work in triathlons. I think I annoyed a few people with my whining about it as my time was still faster than most of the people there. My second tri was the Savageman Half. This again, was a tough learning experience and I arrived at the start line poorly prepared. I did race intelligently after experiencing some severe cramping in the calves halfway thru the swim. I'd held things together til the second half of the run at which point the legs were really pissed with me. The only thing that got me going again was several cokes. When in doubt, go with sugar when you're having a tough time. Probably not the best advice for others but it worked for me. My time was 45 minutes slower than I know I can do so that commits me to returning there this year.
So there you have it. Aiming the guns in several different directions shouldn't prove to be a difficult thing, right?