You can’t fake your way through Ironman training. If you try, things will get ugly and the outcome won’t be what you want…
I’m paraphrasing my coach here. Over the course of several email conversations about my training, or lack thereof, I was left with the choice. I could do Ironman, but it would be hard to do much else, or I could recognize that maybe 2013 wasn’t going to be *my* year for Ironman and try to move on.
Life was really different when I signed up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene. I lived in a town I didn’t like, with a pool that I loved. I was in a dying relationship with a guy who worked a lot and was home very little. I had a job that paid better than I make now with a schedule I basically set myself. My life was mostly: Work, Train, Sleep, Repeat. Training was my escape, the thing I used to fill up lonely evenings so that I didn’t think about how fish-out-of-water I was feeling about my life. Most evenings and many weekends it didn’t matter if I had hours of training on the schedule, because I didn’t have anyone around to notice I was off riding, running, or swimming. And I didn’t care that I was spending hours off riding, running, or swimming, there was no one I was missing at home either.
Then life changed. The dying relationship ran its course, I moved, I changed jobs, and then changed jobs again. I’m trying to make friends and am dating a nice guy. Trying to do more than just work, train, sleep, repeat. I like my job, but I make less money and can’t make my schedule quite like I use to. I haven’t yet found a pool I love (and my lack of swim motivation isn’t helping, or vice versa). I was half-heartedly working my way through the beginnings of Ironman training staying up late and getting up early (read: being exhausted All. The. Time.), missing workouts or only doing portions of them.
So I talked to my friends and family… my coach. I did some crying and then some soul-searching, mind-clearing trail runs and finally had to admit to myself…
2013 is not the year of Ironman for me.
I’m still training. I’ve got Wildflower Long Course on the horizon. Maybe Barb’s Race and another later season 70.3 like the Folsom LongCourse or Big Kahuna. I’m getting better about getting quality sleep and not indulging in all the foods. I’ve gained about 6lbs since my lightest, post-breakup weight, but I’m working on it.
Not doing Ironman was a tough decision for me and come June 23rd I will no doubt have mixed feelings on not toeing that start line. But Ironman isn’t going anywhere. This isn’t my ONE CHANCE TO BECOME AN IRONMAN. I can’t think of this as a failure, but more as a change of direction. I’ll race more this year than I ever have before, which will make me a stronger, smarter racer. And when the time comes to commit to Ironman, I’ll be that much more ready.
Smile. Sweat. Enjoy.
P.S. I have not yet officially withdrawn from IMCdA, and secretly wish I could get my shit together and pull it off, but the reality is that it is HIGHLY unlikely. My training hasn't been there and the finances to get there and stay there are slim. *Sigh*