First, I would to thank everyone for their positive thoughts and words of support yesterday regarding my decision to back out of my September half-Ironman. Many of you wondered how I managed to balance training, work and a social life – and the honest answer is I was barely hanging onto them. The decision to dial back the training should have a positive impact on the all aspects of my life because I won’t be as tired, distracted or conflicted.
It wasn’t an easy decision to bail on the half-Iron race, but I woke up today and felt a huge sense of relief. Now I can focus on simply having fun for the remainder of the season – and that is what it should be about, right? The moment your hobby starts to feel as though it’s a chore, you know it’s time to re-evaluate.
I think triathletes (and other endurance sports enthusiasts) are hard-wired for only 2 speeds: balls-to-the-wall or a complete-dead-stop ususally induced from going balls-to-the-wall for a long period of time. Our aggressive and competitive personalities don’t allow us to find a happy medium between the two because we’re always striving to outdo ourselves and the people around us. And you know it’s true. There’s an undercurrent of rivalry between teammates no matter how many times we say, “I’m only out there to test MY abilities.” We’re never satisfied with our splits; we compare our results to others; and we always ask “what if?”
Again, I’m not hanging up my goggles or packing away my bike. I remain committed to the sport I love so much. So what’s left for me this year? In two words: A BUNCH.
I still have the General Smallwood Sprint on July 8, Maryland Swim for Life on July 14 (1 mile open water swim), Luray International Triathlon on August 18 (relay – swim & run) and the Army 10 Miler on October 21. Other races I’m considering include Savageman Olympic in September and Waterman’s Olympic in October. Both races are considered “A” races by my tri team, and I would like to end my season with at least one of those events. I’m also considering a fall half-marathon – maybe Richmond.
On the training front, I want to focus my time on my two favorite legs: swim and run. Maybe that’s not the smartest thing to do considering how terrible I am on the bike, but I want to focus on the things that make me happy – not what frustrates me to the point of aggravation. I want to be fast in the pool and in open water, and I want to continue improving my run times while finding a solution to my nagging glute and hip injury. I’m not a professional athlete, and I’m not going to Kona anytime soon, so I have the luxury of focusing on what makes me happy.
Onward and upward, folks! There’s a long tri season ahead of us, and I’m ready to conquer it in my own way.