What words do you use to describe yourself?
I am a Catholic wife, mother, daughter and friend. I am an endurance triathlete and hobbyist photographer. I am passionate in all aspects of life - family and friends, work and hobbies.
And now, I am having a bit of an identity crisis.
For the first time since April 2008 I do not have a big, fat hairy goal to chase or a big race on the calendar .... and I am lost.
I promised myself during peak IMTX training that I would take a year away from the IM distance, focusing on shorter races with at least a 70.3 next year to keep me honest. This would also allow me to pursue other goals, like an ultra trail race and/or bucket list races like Escape from Alcatraz, Goofy's Challenge or the Nike Women's Marathon, to name a few.
Sounds reasonable, right?
Let me take a step back though …
You may be wondering why I would want to take a year away from the distance in the first place. This is easy to answer.
Training for an Ironman is selfish. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I do think that we should all do things for ourselves that are inherently selfish – but we also need to recognize it. Selfish is not a “bad” word but it is an opportunity cost.
No matter how time efficient you are, if you respect the iron distance, you have to train long on the bike and that means a long ride (or really a long brick) every weekend leading up to the race.
I trained for IMTX from January to May – so let’s call it 5 months training. During that time, there were at least 2 months where my long brick took me until well into the afternoon.
With two boys ages 4.5 and 7, I feel like the opportunity cost is too great to give up that much of my weekend to training. I am lucky in that my family 100% supports this passion of mine and has encouraged me to sign up for another iron distance race, but my own guilt is holding me back.
I think that my struggle, well part of it anyway, is that all of races I am considering are in 2012 and I need a goal NOW (any ideas on getting into the San Francisco Nike Women’s marathon this year?). Another issue I am facing is that I have come to identify myself as an endurance triathlete, so how do I see myself if I am not currently training for an Ironman?
I also know that next May when everyone locally is gearing up for IMTX again, I am going to be jealous instead of relieved that it is not me out there training and racing.
This is the crux of my struggle – what I want to do versus what I think it best for this period of my life for my family. I don’t want to look back and regret that I missed this time with my boys.
Yet another problem with taking a year off the IM distance is that the necessity of signing up for most races a year in advance means that I may be looking at taking two years away from the distance. Thank God for races like Rev3 Cedar Point and Red Man that allow you to sign up much closer to the race, but I digress.
On a whim, I signed up for a local Sprint Triathlon on August 7 and I have been trying to add speed to my workouts as a new type of challenge, but that still leaves 5 months on the 2011 calendar.
I am not sure what I am asking necessarily, but I needed to share my struggle.
Any suggestions on making the transition from long course to short course? Any races I should be considering? What should I focus on this Summer and Fall before picking a goal for 2012?
Thanks for reading!