I can't believe that 2010 is quickly coming to an end, and that I have completed my first triathlon season racing as an "elite". To be honest with you, when I applied for my Elite Card at the end of last season, I didn't think I would actually get it, or that I was ready to necessarily race at that level. But with some prompting and encouragement, I decided that I would just submit my application, because my goal was to one day race at that level. Sometimes it's a good thing to be forced out of your comfort zone, and for me, I think it was the best decision that I could have made. Don't get me wrong, I definitely had some moments where I felt completely out of my element or that I didn't belong. For example, when I went to Caledon one weekend in April to get my draft legal certification on the bike, I was the oldest athlete there by 8 or 9 years! These athletes had mostly come up through the Kids of Steel program or were all going to be racing as Jr. Elites. I, on the other hand, had to re-learn how to ride a bike just three years earlier at the age of 22. Some of the kids there thought that I was one of the coaches leading the clinics! In fact, I was the ONLY one there who did not yet have a road bike...everyone else was sporting baby-sized Pinarellos!
I recognize that I definitely have had a later start than most who pursue racing elite triathlon, but I certainly don't think that it is too late for me or that I have reached my full potential by any means. So, after giving it a lot of thought, I decided that I really want to focus on my triathlon goals for at least the next year or two before I decide what I should do next with my life. I would love to qualify for a World Cup race one day, but I certainly have my work cut out for me. But hey, dreams are supposed to be chased, right?
I contemplated starting medical school in Australia in January 2011, but decided that the cons outweight the pros at this moment in time. Starting a PhD in the fall also seemed like an onerous task, because let's be honest, that truly is a labour of love and your heart and head have to be in it 100%. So, the path that I have chosen for myself for the near future is to work (hopefully flexible hours) as a clinical research associate at Mt. Sinai Hospital, and to train like a full-time athlete! Some people believe that extraordinary talent equates to practising for 10,000 hours, and although I'm not sure that statement is completely accurate, I do know that I am a few thousand hours behind in training hours relative to other Pro triathletes. I do know what it's like to log a lot of hours as a former elite gymnast and as a competitive swimmer, but not as a triathlete. From what I can tell so far, it is not going to be an easy task, but I'm up for the challenge.
I'm not sure what races I'll do next year, because I'm waiting for the ITU to come out with their 2011 race schedules. However, the Lifetime Fitness Series as well as the new 5150 series look like they have tons of races that I'll be interested in doing. The only race that I have signed up for so far is the NYC half marathon in March for an early season shock to the system, and because it's going to be an awesome ROAD TRIP with friends!