When I was a girl I remember making lists for the parties I wanted to have. These lists were mostly comprised of people I would invite and food I would make. Very few of these parties actually happened. The happening of the party was almost beside the point. It was the planning I loved.
A good party plan always began with a dessert list, because the only thing I loved more than boys as a girl was dessert. (Actually, quite frankly, that hasn't changed much.) I remember combing through my mother's cook books, scratching out lists of elegant dessert possibilities to serve like English Toffee, Petit Four Cakes, Ice Cream Puffs, and Dutch Cocoa Cream Cake with Caramel Icing. I seldom included non-dessert foods in my planning , with the exception of deviled eggs, which I positively loved.
The guest list always comprised both girls and boys, because, as I have said, I was boy-crazed from a very young age. I didn't actually have a party that included both boys and girls until seventh grade, of course, and that party wasn't entirely successful. I believe there was too much dessert food, not enough spin the bottle, and a general feeling of fraudulence since I invited all of the "popular" kids in addition to my actual friends, in the hopes that the popular kids would fall in love with my winsome personality and invite me into their sacred ranks.
I no longer plan parties. I have learned that I don't like hosting, I don't like cooking (except for baking desserts), and I can no longer flirt with reckless abandon, so what's the point? (Andy would argue that I still flirt with reckless abandon, which perhaps is true, but whatever. Some habits just never die.) At any rate, I've replaced my party planning desire with other types of planning. I plan my next career move, I plan my next writing project, and best of all, I plan my next racing season. (Notice I never plan things like how I am going to systematically clean the house.) Just like my party planning, whether the career move, the project or the racing season comes together as I have planned is entirely unimportant. It's the mapping out of the future that I love. If things don't work out as planned it is almost better. When one plan fails--it's time for a new plan-- and voila! I'm right back at my favorite part of any project.
I write all this just so you know up front that I will relish the planning and re-planning and re-planning and re-planning of my next season excessively over the next--well, year. A fantastically new plan is like nature's first green, and as you know, nothing gold can stay. My approach to this problem has always been to re-plan once a plan loses its luster. With the race season, I just keep adjusting until the season is over. It works for me.
So, what follows is my very first rendition of the 2010 Racing Plan!
1. Go really fast.
Let's start again.
December 11-12, 2009: Short-course meter championship at B.U. I hope to swim such fabulous events as the 100m I.M., the 50m Fly, the 100m back, and the 500m free. The fact that my event choices may change goes without saying, except that I just said it. Goals: to not be the last person to finish in any of my chosen events.
Jan. 24th, Derry 16 Miler. I just like this hilly monster of a race. Plus, Andy claims he will run it, so I simply must do it this year because I know he will drink lots of beer with me after the race instead of going straight home. Goal: To make sure I take a dump before the race. I didn't last year. And well, that just wasn't fun.
Feb. 7th. Cape Elizabeth Winter Classic 10 Miler. It's in my hometown. I insist on participating in all hometown races. Plus it's a hilly, great race and Ange, Mike, Steve, Stacy and many other fabulous friends will likely be there and so I simply can't miss it. Goal: to go sub 1:11.
Cape Swim Meet. In February some time. I have no idea if this meet will even happen, but it did last year so I'm hoping it will happen again. Goal: To do every single event. I know that sounds daft, but really, it's what I'd like to try to do. I think you get a prize for being stupid enough to try it. If this meet doesn't happen I will compete in the Distance Festival at Bowdoin College (a swim meet) on Jan. 31.
Feb 19-21: Ange and I fly to Raleigh, North Carolina to attend a USA Level I Tri-coaching certification clinic. That is, if we get it in.
March 7th. Stu's 30K. Love this race. It's like a hilly nightmare just like Derry. Goal: don't know yet.
March 20. Short-course yard Championship Meet at Harvard U. I want to swim the 1650. I've never done it in a pool.
March 25-28: Okay. This isn't a race, but I'm flying to Tucson with Ange and Mel C for Tri camp with Jen ! (so excited.)
April. train train train. Watch all my friends run Boston and cry because I have to watch.
May 16: Harriman Half Iron in Harriman, NY. This is the smallest race ever. I think like 10 women did it last year. My goal is to win it.
June 5: Rev 3 Oly. I'll be honest here. I wouldn't do this race except it is a huge TriManiac race (that's the name our new club will have. :) I hear the course is impossible. Still, it will be so fun to watch the 1/2 Iron the next day and cheer on Ange and co.
June 27 IM CDA. Goal. To be Super Mary. To P.R., to place in my AG, to qualify for Kona. You know, small, easily achievable goals.
Okay. That's all I know right now.
In addition to developing the best race schedule ever, I have other more exciting plans in the works--like how I'm going to write a book, start a new business, get a puppy, create a Masters swim program at the pool, and other little things that I'm sure I can easily accomplish while training for IM, racing incessantly, keeping up with all of my friends, keeping up on FB and the blog--oh, and continuing to bring my three babies up in a warm, stimulating environment that smells of freshly baked cookies. Oh, and also pay attention to Andy--you know--at least sometimes. Basic upkeep translates to once every three weeks or so. Oops! Just kidding. I didn't actually just write that.