Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What's Next?


So, the Death Ride Tour is over. Now what?

I thought I would feel empty after the Death Ride. I thought I would have to start looking for challenges right away, to find something to work towards. I expected to find something missing in my life after devoting so much time to one event.

After all, I do have my masochistic tendencies to satisfy.  Not to mention, an innate desire to drive my wife, Charla, completely insane with my constant self abuse through rigorous and slightly psychotic training.

Then I remembered, there are so many other things that I’d already planned on doing. Now, I just have the added confidence and experience of the Death Ride to add to them.

So, as early as this week, I have the Fort Bliss Team Aquathlon. It’s actually a duathlon (with a 5k run, 400m swim, and 5k run), but they give it a funky name to be different. It’s a team event, with three members, each completing a different event consecutively as a relay team. Since there were no real swimmers in my group I volunteered and am spending the rest of the week in the pool to get ready. And I am not a strong swimmer, so we’ll just have to see how this goes.

In July there’s the Fort Bliss Individual Aquathlon. That’ll be my preview for the sprint triathlon later on.  Plus, it’s a great way to torture myself in the pool and prove just how much I do not float.  (hint, I sink straight to the bottom when I stop kicking)

Next, the Oryx Challenge Bike Ride in September. I rode it the last two years with my cycling mentor, Alanna, and hope to really crush it this year. Not looking for an amazing time, but I want to feel stronger and less exhausted at the end of the ride.  It would also help if we could avoid the destructive headwind (in both directions) of two years ago.

Then there’s the Iron Soldier Sprint Triathlon in late September. That was my first triathlon last fall. I felt pretty strong on both the bike and the run, but my swim was the third slowest time for everyone competing. It took me over 15 minutes to clear 400m and I was 222 out of 224 swimmers. Yeah, need to work on that.

Because I’m such a masochist, I also want to do the Chili Pepper Challenge this year. It’s the day after the triathlon. But I really want that jersey when I leave El Paso, and want to say I did the whole Challenge, all 100 miles of it.

Finally, for the fall at least, I want to ride the Tour de Tolerance with Char.  That was our first major ride together two years ago, and we’ve both come a long ways since then. 

Some of my biggest challenges will be less personal and more about sharing and patience. Charla has been running for a few years now, started cycling with me and will also be joining me for some of the events. But, my big task will be helping her prepare for her first marathon.

Yeah, you heard that one right. Char is going to run a marathon.  (that’s 26.2 miles for the uninitiated, please stop asking)

She told me a while back that she wanted to do a marathon before the end of the year. We started looking around at different marathons with a list of criteria. Which would be the most fun and entertaining to make up for the suffering and pain of running 26.2 miles? It would have to have amazing scenery (sorry DukeCity/Albuquerque, I can only run along the ditch and interstate for so long). It would have to be reasonably accessible and occur within certain windows that coincided with my ability to take time off from work (sorry Marine CorpsMarathon, DC, I just can’t make it this year). It would also have to make for a great vacation, so we could also enjoy time before and after the marathon in the area.

We finally have tentatively settled on the Maui Oceanfront Marathon

Just imagine 26.2 solid miles of Hawaiian coastline while you run. And the time you spend before and after the race? Awesome.

There’s prime whale watching, trails to hike, beaches, snorkeling, various excursions in the water and the Haleakala Volcano to cycle up. Yeah, don’t think I won’t try it.

So, there you have it.  My summer pretty much tied up into one long session of pain and misery while I prepare myself and Charla for the fall.  I suppose that at least I won’t be bored.