Friday, September 18, 2015

Well, I'm doing another Ironman

Alright, the jig is up. After months of rehabbing the most debilitating injury of my triathlon career and frequently broadcasting my retirement from triathlon, I'll be donning my wetsuit on Sunday for one more rodeo.

Am I prepared? Not even close! Injury-wise, I feel good, but my preparation hasn't been anywhere near as robust as for previous races. I managed to get some long rides done, but I was just focused on saddle time. I've been running well, but never longer than eight miles. I'll be fine through the swim, but I won't have the fitness to "compete" on the ride or the run.

Am I excited? Yes? I think so. When it comes to an Ironman, it's hard to separate excitement from anxiety. But I'm pretty sure there's some excitement in there. As strange as this might sound, I'm looking forward to taking my time and doing my best to enjoy this one.

What's my strategy? I'm not going to get hung up on racing this one. I might push the swim, just because I can. But the ride... I sold my time-trial bike earlier this year, so I'm riding my road bike. I didn't bother with aero wheels or aerobars either, so there's really no incentive for me to go nuts on the bike. I plan on walking a significant portion of the run and hopefully making some friends along the way. The point's just to go out and have a good time!

Why are you doing this again? Good question. On the surface, it's because I paid for it! I was upset when last year's race was cancelled. But digging a little deeper, this Ironman is no different than any other: I just want to prove to myself that I can do it. It's been a year, I've been hurt, I've changed my routine, sold my bike and all sorts of other excuses... I think I just want to prove to myself one last time that I can finish.

Is this really your last race? No, not really. I'm retired from really trying to be competitive at these races. I'm also retired, at least for the foreseeable future, from Ironman-distance races. I've always been intrigued by shorter races (70.3's and Olympic-distance races). So I imagine there are a few of those in my future — but none of them are on the schedule now!