This question was the theme of many questions last weekend. My wife and I discussed this for literally hours prior to watching 2010 IMLP, during IMLP and on the drive home.
In order to for me to toe the starting line of an Ironman race, I need to be physically able to do the training necessary for success. My latest injury finally made me see reality - I'm not ready and I've been avoiding the obvious for some time now. My left hand doesn't work right, my knee still hurts more often than not, my hip hurts from time to time, and while I've lost a lot of weight from the beginning of this journey, I've haven't been successful on optimizing my body composition. I'm nowhere near where I need to be in order to be successful to start train for this distance.
But can I be ready to train? That's the second question that I need to answer.
The first question is how to define what is "ready to train." I believe that my size is my greatest limiter. I feel that if I was significantly lighter I would have fewer or less severe injuries. I realize that face planting off a bike or getting hit by a car doesn't have any correlation to my weight but I believe that my hip and knee issues are at least magnified due to my weight. Sad, but true. My size is a big contributor to my effectiveness (or lack there of) on the bike and run. If I was lighter, I should be faster. The biggest component of being ready, though, is that I need to be injury free. I've been dinged up in some manner for almost a year now. Something hurts, and it isn't always the same something, almost all the time. I need to heal.
I may never get to the point where I am "ready to train" for an Ironman and that's OK. But let's take a leap of faith and hope that I can get to the point when I could be ready to train. Once I get to that point, I need actually to do the work to prepare. Many people think that doing an Ironman is a very personal quest and on one level it is. Another level, though, makes me not necessarily agree with this statement since the impact on my family is hard to predict. I'd be wrong to say it would have no impact, it will. That bothers me some.
Watching IMLP was inspiring and I'd love to be able to race the 2011 version of that race. My family will support me as best they can in this quest but I need to be physically and mentally ready to keep up my end of the bargain. So I've decided on a checkpoint approach. If my body has healed and my body composition is looking good (aka weight under 230) by November 1, I'm going to sign up via a community slot if available. If there are no community slots left, another race. Perhaps IMFL or IMAZ.
If my body composition isn't where it needs to be, I guess Ironman wasn't that important to me.
Since I'm going to focus on healing , I won't race anymore this season unless it is a fun, low pressure event. Syracuse70.3 was in jeopardy since I can't train for it. Ditto for NYC26.2 in November. Taking them off the agenda will help me focus on what is important. Healing and body composition.
Let the off season begin.
Let the body get right sized.
Let the healing begin.
Only then I'll be able to determine if I am ready or not or if it is important to me or not.
PS: I made a hotel room reservation for Placid next year just in case. One's gotta hope.