After a craptastic winter here in Chicago, you would think March would roar in and bring some sunshine and warmer temps to the cold Midwest. Well, guess again. We are still under snow, ice and sun? What is that? Yes, this is our reality.
All of us riding and living out in the frozen tundra have not been outside on our bikes since the fall. We got 60” of snow this winter. And, um, I don’t ski – this is the land of the Cubs, the Bears and Lake Michigan – not hills. So, what do I do all winter? I ride my computrainer in the basement. For hours upon hours.
Yes, I ride miles after miles on the trainer. Jealous? Oh, wait…to make you feel even more jealous, I swim in an ice cold, dark pool 3-4 x/week staring at a black line. Yep. Good times. Makes you want to be a triathlete, eh?
All kidding aside…it is time to buck up and get ready for the 2011 season. I am rocking and ready to GO. I raced a few Triathlons and TTs in 2010, but focused on the marathon. It was fun and I needed a break from the multisport lifestyle. I have been racing Triathlons since 1995. So, it was time. Years and years of training 12-20 hours/week in 3 sports + strength with a trainer + all the nutrition issues + recovery issues. I grew tired. So, I rested and only ran. Piece of cake. The simplicity of just one sport was freeing. I could be a better mom – and I could work more…both of which I accomplished.
But, I am not a true runner. I am built like a swimmer and I missed the pool. And, after awhile (it took much longer) I missed my bike. I fell out of love with my bike. It is easy to do here. See, we don’t have woods or trails to the extent that most of you do. In fact, we get tickets from cops if we ride 2 abreast. And, the drivers here…well, they hate us and throw bottles and coffee at us. I felt like I was always taking my life into my own hands when I stepped outside. Couple that with our weather and I am a mom to 9 year old twins and it was not worth it for me. Even if I did increase our life insurance (not kidding).
But, I missed the lifestyle. I LOVE TRIATHLON. I actually coach full time so I truly never left the sport – my mind was always on it – but my body sure did thank me.
2011 is going to be a HUGE year for me. First, I turned the BIG 4-0 in January. I have been celebrating that ever since. Even heading off to Phoenix this weekend for a SPA weekend with my girlfriends. I threw myself a little pity party when I had to get glasses to see the computer clearer. I cried when someone asked me how old I was at a swim meet and I said, “40.” (thinking: that’s fricking old). But, other than that, I feel AWESOME.
In Triathlon we race in Age Brackets – so, I move up and race 40-44, which is also considered a Master. SHIT. Well…that is why this year is going to be big – it is a time to celebrate having the chance to keep doing what I love and continually pushing myself above what I ever thought I’d do.
On the agenda for 2011 are some fun things….I am going to do a series of Time Trials….this girl does NOT do CRITS for all you roadies out there – no thank you. But, a series of TTs, run races including ½ marathons, several ½ Ironmans, tons of normal triathlons and then ending the year in November in Tempe, Arizona at Ironman Arizona!! So, at least 2-3 races per month starting with a ½ Marathon in 3 weeks!
And, guess what? I will be racing this year on a HOT new bike……PINK. I am so excited. I feel super fast in PINK. And, hot in pink.
For updates on my racing and training, visit my blog and website at www.jenharrison.com