It has been just under five months since the woeful cancelation of IRONMAN Lake Tahoe, which sent me into a motivational tailspin from which I'm still struggling to recover. There was a hidden goal to last year's multi-Ironman escapades: I wanted to burn myself out so I could "retire" sans regret. Well, I have good news and bad news.
The good news: I succeeded! Burnout achieved. Only a few small shreds of desire to race and train at that level remain.
The bad news: Because Ironman Lake Tahoe '14 was a non-starter, I'm registered for Ironman Lake Tahoe '15. That means I've gotta use those little shreds as kindling to get the fire started for Season Six. (Too soon to use a fire metaphor in loose reference to IMLT? Perhaps.)
My off-season's been very relaxed. I made it a point to ignore both my bike and my running shoes for most of October and November, and it felt good. Dangerously good.
I replaced all of that running and riding with a whole lot of extra swimming, which is quick, predictable and blessedly low-impact. I'm not swimming a lot, but I am swimming often. It's great to be in the water with such regularity.
Kristine and I spent the beginning of the year dealing with and recovering from a terrifyingly bad case of viral meningitis (hers, not mine). I started running again, slowly at first before getting carried away as I usually do. It only took a few weeks to trigger injury (left hip) this time. Thus, I've shelved the running shoes again and haven't picked them up for four or five weeks.
I'm starting to carefully re-ignite my appetite for cycling and long rides. (Again with the fire pun?) Part of me dreads the thought of spending my Saturdays and Sundays in the saddle, so I need to moderate my progress. I'm going to try to maintain an upper bound on the duration of any riding I do, at least for the next 4-6 weeks while I (re-)build a small fitness base. Three hours sounds like a long enough ride, doesn't it? I'll save long rides of five hours or more for July and August.
"I'll get serious in February," I told myself through December and January. Now it's February, and I'm pointing toward March. I think I'll push it out to April soon enough. That's okay; September's a long way away. I've done this before and I'll do it again.
Bring it on.