Thursday, July 24, 2014

Change in Plans

It's been 11 days since my bike accident and washing my hair still makes me want to cry.  In other words, no real improvement with the shoulder. There will be moments where I think I can lift it a bit more, but then I do something like try to roll over in bed, and want to scream in pain. 

Right after the accident it seemed temporary.  So I wouldn't be able to swim for a bit, but I could run one-armed, and bike on the trainer.  Except running, while going ok right now, hasn't really been solid this year.  And biking on the trainer doesn't get me all the hours I need.  If I had been nailing my training up to this point, things would be different.  But this whole year has been a one step forward, two steps back in terms of injury and training.  I haven't been training with the respect I believe Ironman deserves.  

Time to face the music...  there will be no IM Chattanooga this year.  Mike Reilly won't call my name.  I won't get to take part in the inaugural event.  I won't get to experience every thing about an Ironman weekend that makes it epic and magical and unable to put into words.  I won't be going to Madison next weekend for a big training block, and I won't be driving the 9+ hrs each way down to Chattanooga to train on the course in mid-August.  I won't be putting in 14+ hr training weeks and giving my Saturdays away to to the bike.  I won't be asked about my training by my friends and co-workers.  And in a way, it feels like I just won't be anything special. 

But here's the good news.  Ironman isn't going anywhere.  As long as races can fill up in minutes with folks paying $700, Ironman will be there waiting for me when I'm ready.  And while there are all these things I won't be doing, there is so much that I will be.  I will be able to go on vacation with my family.  I will be able to give my body the rehab it deserves.  I will be able to hang out with my friend all weekend before she moves away.  I will be able to do things I want to in the moment, without the guilt of skipping a workout.  I will be able to have a life. 

While it wasn't an easy decision, I'm pretty confident it is the right one.  I am also pretty confident I would still be able to pull of the training necessary to finish.  But I know I can finish, that wasn't the point of Ironman #2.  I want to do better.  And that wasn't so certain.  And trying for it wasn't so fun.  One of my favorite things about Endurance Nation is that the coaches frequently point out that this is all a game.  If it isn't fun, don't do it.  If other things need to take precedence (job, family, recovering from injury, etc), they should.  While I'm now way behind on TdF, I did watch Cavendish, then Froome, then Contador, all have early exits due to crashes.  Unlike me, their sport is their life and their livelihood.  And yet, they still have to face that this isn't their year.  It is heartbreaking and really puts my challenges, if I can even call them that, into perspective. 

As for where to go from here, I'm not quite sure.  My first "Plan B" was going to be a fall marathon.  But the EN coaches knocked some sense into me, or at least reminded me that as a PT, I should realize how dumb an idea it is to have a huge running goal when I am just coming back from a hip injury.  Perhaps a half would be a better plan.  However, even though logically the marathon is dumb, having another "big goal" is making this whole no Ironman thing a bit easier to swallow.  On the other hand, I know my marathon time would be disappointing.  My last open marathon was a 3:32.  I weighted 20 lbs less than I do now and was an "athlete" in all ways.  I'm not that girl at the moment, and while a marathon might push me in that direction, I might self-destruct in the process or have my confidence destroyed.

While I don't know my immediate plans, I really want to do things "right" in 2015.  As almost everything I write seems to come back to, it's been a couple years since I trained how I want to.  Part of my lack of motivation has been due to being out of shape, as that creates a cycle where workouts suck, you feel bad about yourself, you skip workouts because you dread them, and so forth.  I think this bit of unstructured time might help recharge the batteries.  I've already signed up for the Blue Ridge Parkway bike camp next spring.  I'm also toying with a winter training camp, either in Tucson or Florida.  As for races, it seems IMWI makes the most sense location-wise, but Mont Tremblant is really appealing to me.  Lake Placid also has an allure, if I could get in.  IM CDA?  Two in one year?  Hmm... 

At the moment, being bored has never felt better.

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