Often I get asked this question, either by friends or family, someone at the gym, or another runner on the road. And I reply, "none, I train for nothing, I just like doing this".
At the end of 2011, I decided to not do any events in 2012, and spend the year training on my weaknesses to get faster and stronger.
During 2011, I had a lot of events lined up, and with a busy work and school schedule, I gave up quality for quantity. Given about 3 days a week to train with only maybe 1 or 2 hours at most to spare, I focused getting in my miles, and not even thinking about my times. If I'm going to do a half ironman, I'd rather finish the whole race instead of worry about my times.
So, this year, my main focus is to shed 7% body fat so I can be lighter and faster. And in the process, get stronger arms and back muscles so I can be a better swimmer, and stronger hips and hamstrings so I run and bike faster.
I still train and workout almost everyday. I love not stressing over getting in my miles, and just focus on my core of my legs.
I don't need to have the deadline of an event looming over me to "motivate" me, it actually stresses me out more. I love working out and training just because. If I wasn't doing that, I don't know what I would do.
But...if given the opportunity, and if I feel I can perform decently, there are only 2 events in 2012 that I would want to do.
1- Nike women's full marathon in sf around Sept
2- Barb's race 70.3 half ironman around June to July (highly unlikely that this will happen.. Maybe 2013)