New Year, New Dragons

I love the idea of a gorgeous, fresh, shiny, New Year; of a chance to start all over again.  The seasons, the earth, and many of our plans and hopes are renewed.  And I also love New Year's Resolutions (although, as I've mentioned, I like to make them around my birthday, since that's when my literal life-renewal takes place.)  I have carried many of my Resolutions with me from year to year, hoping to finally conquer them when the calendar resets.

As I was planning my training schedule for the year, I assumed (naturally) that the toughest decision would be which crit to do.  I've been dying to try my hand at cycle races for a few months now, and criterium races are this fascinating combination of technical, exhilarating and terrifying: speed, corners, accelerations, and crowds.  Oh, my.


Then my 2012 training planning was interrupted when I learned that Florida Half Ironman changed locations.  This seemingly tiny detail instantly jumped ahead of my venture into the terrixciting world of the crit. 

I have made it very clear that I don't care for Disney races for a myriad of reasons: they're almost exclusively parking lots and highways, there aren't local supporters or flavor, Disney doesn't let you into the parks after the race, and they're usually overcrowded and overpriced.  Give me a little local city race any day.  So I'm glad to hear that Haines City will now host the race.  The bike course will be more challenging, but the run and swim at Florida 70.3's old location were some of the worst.  Plus, now people will stop referring to it as "The Disney Half Ironman."  Many native Floridians (we DO exist!) spend a lot of time and energy trying to get people from other parts of the country understand that Mickey Mouse is not the only (OR most important) resident of the state.

But this change will cause something that has never occurred in my entire training history:I will finally leave a course unconquered. 

Yay, no more "Disney Half Ironman"
Since I started racing in 2006, I've had a handful of DNS races and fewer DNFs; but I NEVER allow a course to beat me, so I've returned to every single course that has DNF'd me and whip its ass, even if it takes me a few years to get back. Well, this was going to be my year for Florida 70.3  In 2008, thanks to nutrition mysteries, inexperience, and too much stress in other parts of my life, I was too slow to finish the run course before the cutoff, despite ending the swim and bike in plenty of time.  Now with the course moved, the chance to truly finish it is gone for good.  Yes, it will be the same race in name and cost and sponsorship, but it won't be the dragon I've been longing to slay for almost 4 years.

And then it occurred to me that training has taught me yet another interesting life lesson: not all unfinished business can be finished.  In fact, sometimes it shouldn't.  Sometimes it should be cleared out to make room.  As the New Year's saying goes - out with the old, in with the new.

So instead of recycling all my unfinished goals from year to year, I've decided I'm going to make a conscious effort to revise and replace the ones that are getting in the way of forward motion.

Forward toward new goals, new dreams, new plans, new schemes and - yes, of course - new dragons.

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