|The story of the season:
This season did not go as planned. After an encouraging age-group season in 2002, I tried for a little more in 2003. I got a pro license, printed up some outfits, put logos on my bike, and hit the roads as soon as the snow melted. I made sure not to train over-ambitiously, and I stretched my calves and iced my knees dilligently. I would have been happy to go just a few seconds faster than I did in 2002, but instead I got hurt, slumped, and never recovered. Having a pro license makes it really embarassing when you get your butt kicked...
- achilles tendinitis (April) -- On vacation in Mexico I got sick and stressed out and ran without stretching enough. This is a hard injury to heal without taking many weeks off. Running in the water got really really boring.
- smashed hand from bike crash (late May)
- sick for 2 weeks (June)
I'm listing the setbacks before the high notes because that's what comes to mind first. I worked at running as much as I could, but it never came together. No amount of running in the pool seemed to get me in shape. By September I realized that I just wasn't going to get in shape before the end of the season, and I called it quits.
- Since I couldn't run I focused on the bike and it paid off. I usually managed the fastest bike split.
- One triathlon win that I earned by going like mad on the bike and then hanging on for the run.
- I had my best ever Martha's Vineyard 20-miler in Feb(before the big setbacks). The extra quad strength from triathlon helped on snow and ice.
- Sponsorships: The support of my sponsors made this attempt at a hard pro season possible. I owe them some results, and I hope they can wait until next year.
Perhaps I should not have trusted my old legs to stay healthy through a hard season of training and racing. Perhaps an injury-free 2002 was just a fluke. Maybe rearranging one's life around competitive racing carries a high risk of failure and frustration, and I shouldn't be too surprised. The real question is 'what can I learn from this and apply to 2004.' Perhaps I'm going to have to demote myself to a regular triathlon guy, but maybe that's not so bad.