Having a 2009 plan is very motivating... I put out more effort in this past Saturday's ride like I wouldn't normally have without having such clear goals for next season. It was rockin... I'd normally do something like 240-250 watts (normalized power); on this ride I did 292 watts :) Fun. Seems many on the team had a great ride that day... it's so much more enjoyable to get out and put in a hard effort on the bike when it's a bit cooler out.
Sunday's Silicon Labs Marathon Relay was another great experience. Our team of five - The Quirks (Chris, Steph and Ryland), Michelle Metzler and myself were the five members of team 'Blue Thunder' (name chosen by Ryland). Like every race this time of year, I hadn't decided how much effort I really wanted to put into it prior to the start, and then took off at full speed as soon as my leg began :) The race was comprised of five legs - 10k, 11.1k, 11.1k, 5k, 5k - I took the 2nd leg (11.1k). Average pace for me was 7:08/mi - I was very pleased. The first half of the course was quite hilly, and I held a consistent 7min pace throughout both the hilly and flat sections of the course. Ended up with 49:11 for my 11.1k leg of the race. Our overall team time was 3:36:28 (average pace of 8:15/mi). But that's not the important part of the race... :)
Ryland, Chris and Steph's son (all 8 years old of him) ran a 32:35 5k! He's 8 years old! I'm sure he beat at least half of the grown adults on the course - a rockin effort out of him - not to mention the rock star treatment he received from everyone cheering along the way!
Team 'Blue Thunder' ended up achieving 2nd in our division - we were pleasantly surprised :) Very fun event - would highly recommend giving it a shot in 2009!