Two weeks (actually 15 days, to be more exact) after completing Ironman Texas for the second time I am wrapping up my initial recovery period and will be moving on to a period of active recovery and training. Since IMTX I've done just three workouts--one each of a relatively light swim, bike and run. I have resisted the urge to do more and almost had to force myself at times to be cognizant of the need to rest my body after nearly 6 months of IM training, including a 39.3 mile Goofy Challenge, a 50 mile trail run, my first sub 6 hour half Ironman and a 4:06 PR marathon. I still have more plans for the rest of the year and need to be careful about easing back into training the right way.
My goals for the rest of the year include several more triathlons over the summer--2 sprint distances that I've done during previous years, and perhaps an Olympic distance triathlon. I also want to make a solid effort this fall at setting a new marathon PR. Currently my two main options for this target marathon are the Marine Corps Marathon (October 28) and the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon (November 11). It would be really nice to do the MCM, but it has greater logistical hurdles (and the trip to D.C. would be several times more expensive than a trip to San Antonio).
My goal for that marathon is to push my PR to the best time that I can get. My 4:06 marathon in March was something I would not have believed possible until recent months. Given that I did this while I was in IM training, it is reasonable to expect that I can run under 4 hours, or even better, under more ideal circumstances.
However, my personal growth in my training has led to personal growth in my expectations. I have come to realize that the greatest limits upon me are those that I have placed upon myself. I'd like to try to become more aggressive in my goals and in my results. I fear that setting some goals could become too self-fulfilling, meaning that I could work towards and accomplish a goal that is less aggressive than that which I might otherwise be capable of achieving. Maybe 4:06 will be the best that I could do on a marathon course, but what if I am for 4:00 and hit 3:58, or aim for 3:50 and hit 3:45, .....when I might otherwise have been able to succeed with a time that seems so unreasonable that I would never try to make it a goal.
At this point I'm going to try to accept one thing about my race goals: I will resolve to race at my maximum effort and not be bound by any preconceived notion of a time goal. I will train and race by one philosophy and expectation--NO LIMITS!!