Unlike Michelle who is a bit nuts, I don't like running outside when the temperature is below freezing and there is ice/snow on the ground. Actually, I don't like to run very much. However, I do like to compete.
I will do a few 5K's this year but they will be secondary to my real races. I have two triathlons planned for this summer. The first one will be the Lake Geode Challenge. It is an Olympic distance race (1500 meters swim - about 0.9 miles, 40k bike - about 25 miles, 10k run - 6.2 miles). Last year I did the Okoboji Triathlon which was a near-Olympic distance race so this year I thought I would jump in with both feet and really challenge myself. I did the Okoboji race in 2 hours and 9 minutes on a 97 degree day. My goal for Lake Geode is to be under three hours and hopefully do so with the temperature under 90.
I've done a lot of cross training all winter but now it is time to start stepping it up and get back in the water and actually hit the pavement. My other triathlon is the Crossroads Triathlon. I have done this one twice already and really enjoy the race. It is a sprint distance race which is a 500 meter swim, a 15 mile bike ride, and a 5k. My goal for that race is to break 1 hour and 25 minutes. That will be 5 minutes faster than my best time. There are two things (besides overall fitness and weight management) that I need to work on. First, and this will be particularly true for Lake Geode, will be race management. Since cycling is the strongest part of my race, I tend to push too hard in the bike portion and leave nothing left for the run. I am very competitive on the bike and am always trying to catch the rider in front of me - even during training rides. If I can find the fine line between too hard and just right, I will be much more successful. The second thing I really need to work on is my transitions. I am pretty slow and could potentially save a couple of minutes by speeding up the time between each event.
The last race I am really looking forward to is the Flying Pigs Duathlon in Washington, Iowa. We did it as a team last year and took 2nd in the team category. It is a fun race and gives me the opportunity to really focus on going as fast as I can on my bike without having to worry about running.