I can’t lie, as the days go on, I’m feeling a little more let down about my marathon decision.  It’s still the right call, and I still have two half marathons in the next month so it’s not like I’m taking my toys and going home.  There was the buildup and release, but it was 6 weeks early and not full of happy “I did its”.  I’m having a little bit of negative thought rolling around in my head.  The things I need to remember are:

-I will have done 4 half marathons this season.  The first one I did this season was half marathon #4 ever.  So I more than doubled the amount of 13.1s under my belt.

-More importantly, I have maintained a double digit base long run for 6 months now, relatively injury-free (one minor injury that just needed rest).

-It didn’t take a full blown illness or injury to knock me down.  I listened to my body and mind made the right decision at this time.

-I am still awesome even though I am not marathoning in February.

However, this brings the focus to two other areas of my life:

1.  Weight loss.

This is now my biggest focus.  I’m considering this my “race” that I’m in training for as of today.  Now, this is the biggest endurance challenge I have ever taken on.  My previous training has been 5 times a week, an hour to four per day.  Now, I have at least 3 critical sessions per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and there is never a day off.  I have to learn how to manage my “pace” of consuming calories to sustain me until the end of each “session” or day.  It’s on.  If I can do nothing else but take off 20 lbs in a safe and healthy way before tri season really starts, that will be the best way to increase my pace.

Being that the marathon is off the table, I have lost any excuses.  I can do 10-12 mile EZ training runs with little to no fuel.  The scarier prospect is parties and dinners out and not having the self discipline to really keep my calories where they should be while eating the good and healthy diet I’ve come to know and love with over the last 6 months.

My nutritionist and I are a bit at odds with how many calories I should intake, especially on long run days, so I’m going to get an advanced body comp test next week (I will definitely blog about that once I get the test and the follow up) to get a more accurate count of how much I burn per day.  I love numbers, so I’m all for it.  More importantly, I can know for sure what I need to do to make the scale move.  If I am just unlucky an efficient machine and only burn 1300 a day or whatever, I just know I need to eat less.

Right now, just putting my head down, convincing myself that weight loss is better than ice cream and french fries, and keeping at it.  The absolute worst I could do doing what I’m doing is uh be the same weight and super healthy and feeling great.  So, really, no loss there even if there is no loss, right?

2. Tri season:

The biggest focus here right now is not getting too ahead of myself.  I’m really going to have to hold myself back and not go full into training mode for a while.  I have to remember that a) I have the swim already for the half iron and b) if I just maintain double digis, I have the run no problem.  It’s just about adding a few (ok 20 or so) miles to my bike, and gaining the endurance to put it all together.

In my head, I really really could justify this early stop of marathon training and call it the beginning of tri training.  However, I have to remember that mental burnout was a major part of my crash and burn this winter.  My goal is to be so hungry to be on an official training schedule and race by the time April comes around that I have at least 6 months of major give-a-shit left.

My Zliten does have his own free will that he exercises at times to my disdain, and one of his 2012 resolutions was to do 2 races a month (or 24 this year).

Twist my arm.  Ow.  Not more races.  Oh no what will ever I do having to do more races.  *worstfakepoutever*

So, I have no disillusions that I can race hard that much, so I’ll pick my battles and find some interesting races that are just for the experience to fill in the gaps.  There are a lot of cycling races that are really just timed supported rides.  Oh gee, oh no.  A timed supported ride when I am looking to ramp up my biking.  How ever will this fit in with my goals? *secondworstfakepoutever*

I’m not entirely sure I want to pack in more than the 6 triathlons I’m signed up for, but I’m definitely looking into some duathlons, swimming races, aquathons, and early season indoor triathlons.

So, it’s not so much trying to find races, but more trying to decide between which fun thing I get to do every other weekend or so.  2012 is going to be awesome!

So far, here’s what I’m signed up for:

Gorilla Run, 5k Jan 22, Austin TX (signed up)

3M Half Marathon, 13.1 – Jan 29, Austin, TX (signed up)

Austin Marathon, 26.2 – Feb 19, Austin TX

Austin 10/20 10 mile run – April 15, Austin TX

Texas Tri Series: Rookie (May 6), Pflugerville (June 17) (4 more here, I just haven’t officially plunked down the cash just in case, but I HAVE registered for the series.  In light of that, I also plunked down the cash to get my USAT license for the year.  I feel like an official athlete – Chrissie Wellington, watch out!!!)

Some potentials for the first half of the year:

Feb 25/26 Indoor Tri (Sat in SA, Sun in Austin, 1o min swim, 30 min bike, 20 min run as far as you can go)
March 3 Sombrero Beach Run 15k race (birthday weekend trip to the keys hehe, I can dream, right?)
March 11 Blue Norther Duathlon 5k run/14 mile ride/5k run
March 24 Rosedale Ride 20/40/60 mile cycle
March 31 Jailbreak adventure race 5k
March 31 Spirit Reins Ride/Brick 62 or 44 mile bike, also a supported 5k/10k run if we wanted to make it a brick after
April 22 Iron Striders Duathlon l 5k run, 25 mile bike,  5k run duathlon
April 28 Red Poppy Ride 30-100 mile bike ride
April 29 Tour De Pure (free, 8 hour supported ride around town with challenges, sounds cool)
May 19 Congress Avenue Mile one mile balls to the wall – could be fun! 🙂

I’m still doing some digging and refining, but I think after Austin 10/20, I want to chill on the run races for a while.  Maybe do something early summer as a tune up so I don’t totally lose my half marathon skillz .  However, I can’t think of a way to get to be a better cyclist than riding with other people pushing me to go faster/longer.  Although, as I dig for races, I totally reserve the right to change my mind.  I also really want to do a swim only race at least once, I’d love to be all, “what did you do ths weekend” “I ran a 5k, what did you do” “I did a 5k too, but I swam it..” heh.  My best so far is 2.2 miles in 75 mins, and one of these days, I’m going to see if I can do more (need to find a time the pool is SUPER dead and just say I’m swimming until they kick me out, heh).

Anyhoo…Ever had your body composition tested?   Any races I should check out?  Is Zliten crazy for wanting to do 24 races?  11 in 2010, 18 in 2011, this year is just going to be epic-er.  Seriously, if you hate race reports just stop reading this blog until next year…

As you can see, these are the closest to pouty pictures I have over the last few years.  I really, indeed, do have the worst fake pout ever.