Thanks, everyone, for your very helpful advice and perspectives on my training and event plans. Your comments have given me lots of food for thought. Don't you hate it when you give a lot of personal feedback on a blog and then never hear what happens? I try not to do that and leave my loyal readers hanging!!! This is the current update, subject to revision, naturally!
Last week I entered the St. Michaels Historic Century on September 10th (although I may opt to ride the metric century of 62 miles), and the full 100 miler at the Seagull Century on October 8th. That's in addition to the 2 or 3 marathons that I'll be doing between October 1st and November 6th.
I don't have any triathlons on the "confirmed" list at all right now. I'm still thinking. I have done very little swimming since Eagleman, either, so I'll need to get up to speed in the water first before I take on any more triathlons immediately.
I think the long rides and the marathons in the fall should tell the tale for me and will help me decide whether I should attempt a full ironman-distance triathlon in 2006, or instead continue next year just doing shorter triathlons and other running and cycling events. If I can't get myself within striking distance of some of my running and cycling performance benchmarks this fall, it seems prudent to postpone entering a full ironman-distance triathlon until I get a little faster and thereby closer to knowing with confidence that I can actually finish an ironman by the cutoff times. I don't worry at all about my mental toughness, or endurance - I'm confident in those, I've only DNFd two (running) races, and those only after 12 miles when I was actually getting injured. My total concern is my speed (or lack thereof).
A friend of mine on the other side of the world is helping me work out a triathlon training plan for the next four months, when we will have the 2006 Florida Ironman drop-dead entry date. Stay tuned and we'll see what he comes up with, and what kind of progress I make. Then again, there are several good prospects for non-m-dot ironman-distance triathlons out there that I could tackle in the fall of 2006 without having the expense and long-term advance commitment of IMFL06. But they wouldn't be as fun as doing IMFL06 with my fellow tri-bloggers, it's true. Ahhh, trade-offs.