For as long as I can remember, people have referred to me as being an “old soul.” I’m pretty sure people say this because I’m good at pretending like I’m more mature than I am, and I think that it’s usually intended to be a compliment; but at the same time, it kind of makes me sound geriatric. Nonetheless, I have kind of always wished that I was born about 10 years earlier. I think that it would have been fun to be an 80s kid, and I am confident that I would have been a really cool high-schooler in the 90s. I’m sad that I missed out on the overalls fad, and still resent the fact that I was not alive when the majority of my favorite songs and movies came out (think “Like a Prayer,” “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Come on Eileen,” as well as every John Hughes movie ever made). Plus, maybe if I were 31 years old, I wouldn’t get made fun of as much for my 11pm bedtime.
However, an opportunity recently came along which made me thankful that I was born when I was. This week, my friend Keri sent me information about an agency that is giving travel and training grants to children up to age 21 who are pursuing athletics at the Paralympic, national, and international levels. I was elated to find out that despite my old woman tendencies, I was still technically a “child,” and that there may be potential funding available for me this season. I am submitting the grant this week, and will be requesting funds to cover my flight, hotel, and registration fee for Paratri Nationals in Austin. In applying for the grant, I had to put together a line item budget for all of the funds that I was requesting. While I was doing this, I thought it would make sense to just make a budget for the entire season. This process was a little depressing, as it made me realize that I will probably end up living in a box one day if I keep up this lifestyle. But the good thing that did come out of my budgeting is an official race schedule for 2012.
I spent the last couple months going back and forth about which races I’ll be doing (no Melissa, I will not be doing Shamrock Shuffle). I was considering the idea of doing longer distances this season, but ultimately decided against it. Because both Nationals and Worlds are sprint races (.5 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) I am solely focusing on short course races. Three of my triathlons will be sprints, and one will be an Olympic, which is double the distances of a sprint. In addition to triathlons, I’ll be doing a few 5Ks with the Chicago Blade Runners, a group of amputee runners. I will also be competing in different track events at the Great Lakes Regional Games in June, and will be doing my first 10K in August. My “fun race” of the season is Warrior Dash, a 3.3 mile run featuring 12 different obstacles, including a mud pit. Warrior Dash is more than a race—it’s a weekend-long celebration, and many of the runners that do the race end up camping out for the weekend. Running through mud, sleeping in tents, and drinking beer are all things that I thoroughly enjoy, and any event that combines all three is something that I definitely want to be a part of!
The obsessive planner in me is relieved to finally have my schedule set in stone. There are still certain events (a century ride, a Ragnar relay, a half marathon) that didn’t make the list, but unfortunately, there just aren’t enough weekends in the summer, nor dollars in the bank to do it all. But all things considered, I’m happy with all of the races that I chose, and I have a feeling that it’s gong to be a pretty fantastic summer. Feel free to check out the final version of my race calendar under the “2012 Race Calendar” tab.
Until next week…