Today begins the planning phase for the 2021 racing season.
This phase may occur immediately upon finishing your last race of the year. In some cases even before. But, usually sometime in the fall.
Typically during this time, triathletes (and runners, cyclists, and other "racers") sit down at the kitchen table with the 3 C's (their computers, calendars and credit cards), and figure out which races they will sign up for.
There was a time when (at least with Ironman races), the day after the race registration began. I heard stories that on Monday morning, people would stand in line, some just hours after finishing their Ironman, to sign up for next year. The race could sell out within a few hours. Since then (and with the internet's help), Ironman has instituted a phased system, where the earlier you register, the less money you pay, but still there are only so many slots per tier. You don't have to stand in line anymore, since registration is all done online, and opens later in the year. But some for some races, registration for next year still opens shortly after raceday.
This off-season, it's kinda easy, as most races were cancelled, and gave automatic deferrals. However, you still needed to sign back up once the registration website was open.
I re-signed back up for Ironman Mont Tremblant 2021 earlier this fall.
So, here I am, on a Monday morning while the kids are in school, and my husband is downstairs on a zoom call. I am patiently waiting for an email that will give me the link to sign up for the Patriot Half, which I was supposed to race in June of 2020, but instead I will toe the line in 2021. The email gives me information on how to process my credit, since the race was cancelled due to COVID.
I hit refresh every 10 minutes or so, because I don't want to miss out. The race typically sells out quickly, and I can see that registration is open. People are signing up already!
Where is my freaking email???
The Patriot Half is an awesome race. It has been awarded the Triathlon Choice Awards "best small race" 3 times. The half Ironman distance race (70.3 miles) has a lovely 1.2 mile swim in a lovely lake in Southeastern Massachusettes, followed by 56 miles on the bike through a fairly flat and fast 2 loop course. Lastly is a 13.1 mile run. The volunteers are great. The race organizers are very responsive, and it is a fun race. Plus, its close to home.
This will be my third time racing here. The first time in 2016 was a DNF (did not finish), as I could not even start the run. I'm not sure what happened, but I had started to have a pain in my side (sometimes known as a "stitch") that progressively got worse as I rode my bike. I know I got kicked in that side during the swim start but it didn't hurt. By the time I tried to start the run, I could barely walk without a pretty significant amount of pain. Eventually it subsided, but for about a week, I could feel it.
In 2019, it was redemption time! Even though I had spent the majority of time running that year, I went into the race confident that I would finish it. And I did. It was not a great race, my swim time was slower than usual, but my bike time faster that the previous race. All I cared about was crossing the finish line. And I did!
In 2020, Patriot was to be a "warm up" race...a longer distance race to prepare my body for the Ironman just 2 months later. There were other races I could choose from. I could've gone back to Michigan and raced Steelhead 70.3 again. This race, put on by the Ironman group is located in Benton Harbor. The swim is in Lake Michigan, a beautiful bike through the flat farmlands, then a nice run, before ending back on the beach! It was my first ever 70.3, and even though I had screwed up my IT Band a month before, I had a great race, and loved every second of it.
Plus, it would be a good excuse to go back to Michigan and visit the family and friends.
I could've picked a different race altogether like Ironman 70.3 CT, or one of the other regional 70.3 races (there are quite a few). But I liked Patriot. It was fairly flat, it was small (800 total), and it was less expensive than others.
So, now I sit and wait. I work on the shopping list, because as soon as this email comes in, I'm signing up, then headed to the grocery store. I look over what I'm going to make for dinners for the week.
I scroll through Facebook.
Oh...I know, I can message the race organizers. I can make sure I haven't missed the email! Nice.
Wow. that was fast, quick response The email is going out in about an hour.
So, I continue to wait.
In the meantime, I eat a leftover candy bar from Halloween.
I fold some laundry.
I work on getting my bike trainer set up in the basement (and clearing out a bunch of stuff)
It's been an hour and a half...I can't stand it!
Please send me an email, so I can finish my calendar for 2021.
Ahhhh, there it is...
Thank you. Now I can relax.
Well at least for a few weeks. Training will start soon, Covid, or no Covid.
2021 is starting to look good. Let's hope Covid decides to take a hike.