2012 Season Starts in T-6 Weeks

 

A while ago my schedule for 2012 looked pretty stacked.  I had both Ironman Lanzarote and Challenge Roth planned for the year, but plans change.  I remember leaving Kona in 2010, hoping that I'd have the opportunity to race there again in the future.  There was always the question in my mind was qualifying a fluke?  Qualifying for the second time at Ironman South Africa last year proved (at least to myself) that it wasn't - I deserved to be there.  Leaving Kona a year later in 2011, I promised myself that I'd do everything possible to get back there, and to have achieved that goal is an amazing feeling that can't truly be expressed in a blog post.  I love racing and I love racing long, but there is no doubt that racing another Ironman distance event in the next 8 months would impact my training heading towards October.  I didn't want to race another Ironman, but I wanted the next best thing, and there was one event that fitted the bill perfectly...
In 6 weeks time I'll be racing the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon (long course).  The event is a unique distance: 3k swim - 200k bike - 20k run.  The swim and bike distances aren't a far cry from an Ironman race, but the run is significantly shorter.  Not having to put myself through a full marathon will allow much faster recovery post race, allowing a return to regular training much more quickly than post Ironman.  As a side note, this race will be the fifth different continent I'll have competed on.  Without even realising it, triathlon has already taken me places I never thought I'd go, and hopefully there's much more to come.  The other big race of the summer will be Ironman 70.3 UK, which is an event I've done twice before in 2007 and 2009.  This is one of my favourite races, with arguably one of the most challenging courses on the circuit.  It's a course that suits me well, with some serious climbing on the bike and run.  Where I'll be based during the spring and summer will impact which other races will be scheduled. 
It's also worth mentioning that for regular users of Extreme Endurance, their new drink Xecute is now available in the EU.  It's been out in the US for some time and people are already starting to give some very positive feedback.  Once I've had the chance to test the product for a reasonable period of time, I'll post a review with some thoughts.