So, what will the 2011 season be looking like for me??? It's going to look rather long...
Originally, it was a very, very long shot that I could get in to IM Wisconsin (IMoo, all my race buds and those IM racers out there call it). You need to be a volunteer, and then stay the night after the race. They open slots for volunteers first here in Wisconsin-you pay right away the Monday after IM, and you are guaranteed to race the next year.
Well, I didn't volunteer this year, but still had a chance back a few months ago, actually. The active.com servers were all jacked up when IMoo registration originally opened. The servers actually crashed, and everyone had to wait a few weeks to attempt to register again. IMoo is a very popular race, it seems, and it sells out in minutes every year.
So my race buds Bob and Kim, they were sitting at home on 3 computers that re-reg day, and were both able to get entries into IMoo. I was unfortunately at work, and over lunch, I attempted to get on to register, when it opened at noon that fateful day. The server was running slow (as usual), and I had to click, re click, close that window, open this new one, click click click, resend-finally! I got through and entered all my info, next screen, answer the IM questions, next, enter credit card info. Click to submit. Nothing. Wait, here is a new screen. Uh oh, it says "Sorry, you will need to resubmit your entry". I try to resend, and see ALL the regular entries had sold out. In like 8 minutes. Sorry, try again next year, you fool.
Another race bud, John, was also not able to get his entry accepted in time. So he registered for IM Racine 70.3 shortly after. And, I'm still racing this one too-now, more for training and distance than just finishing it. We were bummed, we had hoped our little race team could all do IMoo one time together, especially seeing Bob and I will be racing the 40+ (really the 40-45 yoa) cat this year. If I enter road racing crits, I can now race as a Master! Holy crap, I'm getting OLD!
Well, back to how I was able to get into IMoo. My race bud Kim emailed me last month, telling me that IM WI was going to accept applications from service members (police, fire, military) for a few slots at 2011 IMoo, as the race happens to fall on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
So, long story made a bit shorter. I submit my application, telling them how miserable of a swimmer I am, but how I've been a good boy and how I'm working hard on pulling my old butt through the water a bit better, and how I will train really, really hard, and will forego those cold beers and ice cream treats with the kiddies at Dairy Queen (well, most of the time I will...). And I tell them my races and rides I've done to date, some work history and why I want to race IMoo on 9/11/11.
A committee from Madison Police Department WI (where the race is actually held) reviewed all the applications, and I was one of the lucky ones! (not sure of the exact # of selections made, I saw 25 other names for sure who were also picked). I still had to pay the race entry fee-it would've been super nice for WTC to kick in the entry fees, hey? Maybe in the next life, Jack (thanks, Midnight Run).
But, I clicked and clicked some more last night, albeit there was no rush this time, as I had a password and special entry site, and here we go!
So my wallet is a little (OK-ALOT) lighter this morning. But, I'm OK with that. I was tossing around ideas for the rest of the race season, which will mainly be triathlon (I've got to finish one, eventually, right?)
Here is my early, very preliminary race calendar for 2011:
1) Wisconsin Marathon (running the 1/2 only)-Sat May 7th.
2) Elkhart Lake Sprint TRI-June 11th OR
High Cliff State Park Sprint-June 18th (TBD at this early time, I might race both if I can).
3) Pleasant Prairie Olympic Tri-Sun June 26th.
4) IM Racine 70.3-Sun July 17th.
5) Chicago Tri-Sun Aug 28th.
(probably the Sprint distance, if I go to Chi town-I know, I know, it's only 2 weeks before IM).
6) IM Wisconsin-Sun Sept 11th.
So there it is. The big one. The big cahoona. The big deal. I've already downloaded a pdf of an IM training plan from beginnertriathlete.com, where I am registered but rarely go. Now, I might go there a little bit more. The training starts about 20 weeks out from race day, and is really nothing earth shattering or hugely different than what I did this year. Oh, except the sheer volume. It starts at about 8 hours a week, and shoots up to 15-20 hours, then the taper. That will be a big adjustment again, training 6 days a week, 3 swims per week. I'm still training now, but I'm doing mostly weights, Crossfit, core strength and running/no bike, with a swim tossed in once every few weeks or so, just for fun.
And yes, our race group is doing several open water swims next year. We are road tripping to Madison and swimming in Lake Monona, where the IM course is set. We will also ride the entire IM WI bike course once or twice, as it is fairly hilly. I'm lucky to have friends who swim better (much, much better) than I do. My bud Bob did the IM Louisville swim in about 1hr 2x ish. He's also done IM Kansas 70.3 twice, and he did the swims in about 40 min there. Plus, he's done Redman Long Tri, and finished. I plan on making the swim my "best friend", and I will actually enjoy the swims this year. It will be done, with a little help from my friends (Thanks, Joe. Thanks John, Ringo, Paul and George too. But I got to tell ya, I like Joe's version better).
So, there you go. My motivation and goals are in place, the bar has been set very high. But, it is going to be a very cool, very memorable journey, which is much of the joy in getting to the destination!
Friday, Oct 19th:
OH, one more thing as I edit this post from yesterday. I noticed this was my 100th post! Happy 100th! Woo Hoo! Again, I'm not superstitious or anything, but hey, when it comes to IM, I will take all the good karma, good luck, good wishes, good numbers, whatever-that I can get!