So on Friday I emailed WTC to withdraw and get my big 'ol "refund" of $150. I'm not sure you can really even call it a refund if it is less than 25% of the original entry fee, but I digress. Since then the relief I initially felt has already faded and it has crossed my mind a million times that maybe that was a mistake- maybe I can still be ready. So many times in the past 24 hrs have I thought of emailing them back- "WAIT! Nevermind! I will still do it!" But then I try to lift my arm and that reminds me. Not this year. Or I try to run a bit to catch a bus, and I still have some pain in my thigh (is that the same as the hip? Who knows...). Yes, Ironman on September 28 would be dumb.
But when you take a dream away, you need something to fill the void. Once I was talked out of the fall marathon, I started looking towards next season. The logical choice would be Ironman Wisconsin. It is closest, allowing training on the course. While it has hills for sure, they are none of the long climbs I am so unaccustomed to. The race is at the end of the summer, giving me ample training time once winter ends in May or whatever it may be next year.
I'm not sure if it's that more than a year seems so long to wait, or I just want to reach out beyond IMWI, or I feel a need to make up for Chattanooga. Likely, all of the above. Ironman Coeur d'Alene has always appealed to me for some reason, even with the water temperatures advertised as 55-65 degrees. Actually, as I melt in my apartment right now, that sounds quite nice. Yet, IMWI still makes too much sense to pass up... So then I lost myself in pure stupidity... could I do them both?
I did the dumb thing of posting that question on the EN boards. Sort of like asking a group of alcoholics at the bar if you should have another drink. Only one person voted nay, with reasons of losing the support you have of friends/family/coworkers once the first is done. I mapped out the training and it seems doable. I am so so close to sending some more money to WTC and signing up for CdA.
The cons are definitely there. First, it is a lot of money. Not just the $1300 I would pay in race fees alone, but the travel, hotel, etc. There's the fact that this will include two ironman builds, meaning more 4+ hour rides and totally lost weekends than I want to think about right now. There is the energy it will take from work, and next summer may be crazy with the final push before the dissertation. There's all the stuff you miss with so much training, and the guilt you feel if you do prioritize work or family or friends above a big workout. Specific to IMCdA is the fact that big training volume will start at the end of March, which will likely mean lots of long trainer rides. There's also that scary cold water. And then there is that very important fact that I've been missing the motivation to train for one race a year, how the heck will I avoid burnout with two?
As ironic as it may be, I think the last point might just be the secret to making this a success. Something appeals to me to see in one year, how hard can I push myself and how much can I achieve. I would not be doing this half-ass as I have been, but full steam ahead. Do I have the discipline to do this? It will obviously not be fun 100% of the time or maybe even 50%. I will miss out of other things in the process. But what could I accomplish if I do this right? Nothing sums it up like this-
“To accomplish something extraordinary, one must have an extraordinary dream. A goal so high, a journey so demanding, that it’s achievement to most seems impossible. Ironman inspires us to re-imagine our limits, to set sights higher, to go farther than we ever have before. Ironman is a statement of excellence, passion, commitment; it is a test of physical toughness and mental strength. Ironman is about persevering, enduring, and being a part of something larger than ourselves.
It shows the heights that can be achieved when we push beyond our boundaries and go the distance to earn the title IRONMAN.”
I am longing for that feeling of knowing I committed myself to something big, and pushed as hard as I could, and see what happens.
So right now, here is the plan:
Next two weeks- get out of funk, bike, run, do something. Every day. Oh, and eat like an athlete!
Starting 8/11- Half Marathon using Hal Higdon's Intermediate Plan. Chose the Intermediate as the mileage will allow me to more slowly (smartly) build up my running legs again. I may extend a few of the early runs a bit, but we'll see. I also like that it isn't totally demanding so I can put in a couple bike rides a week as well.
November 1- Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon
November- Start EN "Outseason" Plan- really committing to it this year!
January 25- F3 Half Marathon
March 30- Start 12 week Race Prep Phase for IMCdA
April 30-March 3- Blue Ridge Parkway Training Camp- build confidence for CdA long climbs!
May 24- Rev3 Knoxville 70.3
June 28- IM Couer d'Alene
mid-late July- Half Ironman TBD
early August- IMWI Training Camp
September 13- IM Wisconsin
Totally doable, right?