January is a weird month. It's like the moment before you put pen to paper on a test. It's a month where life doesn't seem to be experienced, but rather anticipated. January 2013 is even more that way for me than usual. On December 7th I interviewed for the Physician Assistant program at University of Nebraska Medical Center here in Omaha. I apparently didn't make it into the "don't let that person think for even a moment that we don't want them" group. I'm more in the "well, let's see who comes to our other interviews before we give this person a slot" group.
That decision will certainly make a difference as to what I'm doing in August - and might change what I'm doing as early as March (depending on whether I decide to apply again next year). It's stressful to say the least. I've made a lot of sacrifices over the last few years to try to be a PA. Of course I understand that it doesn't matter how hard I've worked if they find 50 people who they think will fit better with their program.
Yesterday I finally sat down and planned my next nine months of training. The funny thing is that my training even seems to have an added level of uncertainty to it this year. My "A" race is in September and I won't even know if I've qualified for the race until early June. Last year I decided that I wanted to shoot for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2013. I qualified last year from Kansas 70.3, but it is the same weekend as Wisconsin - so I couldn't do it.
I assume that I'm going to be faster - on the swim alone I could drop 10 minutes. I have a new bike (see below) which is a story unto itself. And I think that with some more quality workouts I can even do a little better on my run.
However, there might be more competition this year. At least one other 70.3 IM event in this area of the country has been cancelled - which means there might be more people trying to qualify at Kansas. So, I could be it's possible that in mid-June I might be scrambling to find an early-mid September 70.3 worth doing.
I already had been planning on doing the Omaha Triathlon this year - but it will be even more intriguing than I had thought. It's going to be a Midwest regional championship for USAT age-groupers. That means that anybody from Iowa, Minnesota, ND, SD, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, or Wisconsin who wants to make it to Nationals has to get in the top 33% of their age-group in this race. Nationals are in Milwaukee - which is only 8 hours from Omaha - which would be my "B" race. Which, yes, means that I have to qualify for both my "A" and "B" races.
As for my training plan - it's going to be similar to last year - five 4-week periods (13-20 hours per week) with two weeks "easy" at the end. That makes 22 weeks - which will start April 8th and end September 9th. Until April I'll be training 8-11 hours per week - mostly easy pace. I'll fill out the year with a few other road races that will mostly be workouts. Of course my schedule is up in the air as well - I'm applying for several jobs - some of which are 12 hour shifts at hospitals. Obviously that could alter my training quite a bit.
Here is my planned race schedule:
"No Frills" Race Series - 5 milers on 2/9 & 2/23 - Tempo pace workouts.
"No Frills" Race Series - 5 miler on 3/9 & 10 miler on 3/23 - Probably Tempo workouts.
Begin 22 week plan
4/28 Drake Relays 10k - Tempo/VO2 workout
5/5 Lincoln Half-Marathon - Intensity will depend on how I'm feeling
5/19 Papillion Half-Marathon - Tempo workout
Memorial Day TBD
6/9 Kansas 70.3
6/16 Papillion duathlon?
7/4 4th of July Race?
7/14 Papillion Mayor's Triathlon?
7/21 Omaha Triathlon
7/27 Bix 7 as workout?
8/10 USAT Age-group Nationals Milwaukee, WI?
9/8 70.3 World Championships Las Vegas, NV?
Lot's of question marks - but I guess that's what January (especially 2013) is about.