I felt good about the blog I wrote a while back about How to Plan a Season / The Problem with being SMART but when it came to plan my own season it became clear that I was missing something as much to my frustration I was struggling to enact my own philosophy;

S = Suffering
W = Wild Ambition
E = Exceeding Limits
A = Achievable
(still important, just not that important)
T = Time Frame
E = Exciting
D = Daring

I found that my own season plans were not exciting, nor daring and they did not strike me as ambitious even though I wanted them to be. And that was because I had forgotten about one over arching principle - Priorities.

On reflection, prioritising races has not always been a strong point of my season planning. For example, I over race and try to do too many half ironman events in quick, or slow, succession. It never elicits the times that I know I am capable of, although it does usually deliver the end result/outcome goal that I am after - qualifying for 70.3 Pro World Champs.....mmmmm...so maybe I'm not so bad.

Anyway, this year I am having difficulty deciding on what my priorities are, which is making marrying up the many races and what they have to offer, with such uncertain priorities really quite difficult.

Some of the Priorities under consideration;

- Making Money - I can't afford to do (m)any race which doesn't have a direct financial pay off
- Racing high profile races for sponsorship interest in terms of promoting and retaining
- Racing high profile races for the Exciting, Ambitious, Daring component
- Race only when you will be competitive

It seems to me that the races that I am most likely to make money from are the ones which are slightly lower profile and thus do not satisfy my need to be stupidly ambitious and it does seem do not satisfy the desires of sponsors as much as an ass kicking at the World Championships.

The fact that I am not in a position to make lots of money from the higher profile races sits okay, it is just where I am right now and I have to be realistic. On the other hand I do really value the support that sponsors can bring and I have been fortunate to work with some brilliant sponsors in the past who have helped push me forward. I understand that retaining great sponsors is as much a part of the the job as is performing in races. But they are typically looking for athletes racing the higher profile races which I can't make pay.  It is a bit of a Catch 22 situation.

Once again, back to priorities. I am not saying these priorities are what I want to be doing, because if they were, they wouldn't be called priorities, they would be called doing whatever the hell you want.

Keeping in mind some crucial philosophies; Drop the ego, Race only when competitive, Enter only the races that pay

(i) Enter only the races that pay
(ii) Race only when competitive
(iii) Drop the ego. More sponsorship will come when you get faster, you get faster by staying in the sport by not going bankrupt, which you do by entering the races that pay.

And there is no reason that within these races I can't set some stupidly ambitious targets too :-)