Did you know that months are approximately thirty days or about four weeks long? Did you know that October is next week (I wrote this last week)? Well, these bits of information are known to me, but evidently slipped through the cracks of the intersection of not paying attention and distraction. Maybe they got swept away by the river of denial during one of the many pop up thunderstorms we have been having. In either case, it dawned on me that the half ironman triathlon I have been training for all summer was four weeks away. Wait, what???
Last Wednesday, when I was swimming alone in my community pool, comforted by the police officer parked in the parking lot where I could see his truck because there could be a bad guy jump in the water and try and drown me and then what am I supposed to do because I kind of drown a little every time I swim but if the officer is there and sees it he can save me, I really thought through whether or not I should do the triathlon. I mean, I know for 100% fact I CAN do the race. Of course I can complete it. But what are the risks? Well, I’m not positive I can fit into my wet suite, but that’s another subject. I have biked more this training cycle than I did for my endurance trifecta, so the bike is good. But the run. Oy… the run.
If you have read my blog at all the past year, Covid has really done a number on my mental health. Part of my mental health is related to running. I’ve always been a runner and when I can’t run, it has a negative effect on me. I was injured so many times for so many different reasons after my JFK 50, one being running 50 miles and probably causing a small stress fracture or something that may not be that but sure felt like it. I have literally just started feeling like a runner again. Running during the summer doesn’t count either because running in the summer here in coastal South Carolina is more like land swimming, and see above for how swimming and I get along. I just started incorporating some faster splits and what came with it is the good kind of adrenaline. Not the kind where you’re being chased by a rabid dog, but the feeling that you enjoy the effort, you enjoy the uncomfortableness that came with it, and you want more. I don’t particularly care for the pace I see when I’m running “faster”, but I also know that it will take time to get my speed back and I need to take as much time as I need to in order to build speed slowly without injury.
With all the stuff with Covid, vaccines, masks, and the fact that Wilmington could pull the permits for the race without any real warning, I decided to defer the race until 2022. It’s rare Ironman allows this anymore, like extremely very rare, but I was lucky enough to find the deferral option link from a vault buried in a volcano in Papua New Guinea. Whew.
So I deferred. Immediately, I emailed Coach Sami and let her know, and I felt some relief. I also felt a little disappointment because I was looking forward to a nice long workout and seeing lots of friends and family while in Wilmington. I was disappointed in myself for not taking the training plan more seriously, and I wondered why this time it was so different. My life is very different now, but still, I am a hard working athlete who sees a goal and does what it takes to accomplish said goal. Well, not so fast, Red Rocket, I did not take my training seriously. I missed long bikes. I missed several of them. I didn’t start swimming until two weeks ago. Yes, I’ve been in the pool three times. So what gives? Well, it’s simple. It simply wasn’t my priority. Will that change in the future? Will I have a different outlook next year? Yes. I already know this year has been really rough followed by months of adjustment and a new lifestyle. I’m feeling more and more back to myself, thankfully.
So what’s next for me? Well, I already made plans with someone to swim this week. I am planning on some other running races so I have something to look forward to as I marathon train. The best thing about half ironman training is that it has left me with an extremely good base with which to begin marathon training. I’m nervous. I’m excited. I will take it day by day. As sad as I am to say goodbye to the 2021 IMNC 70.3, I needed to put all the uncertainty behind me and concentrate on what I know now. 2022 will be an even better year in which to train, that I know for sure.