"The greater danger for most of us isn't that our aim is too high and miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo
The day after IMLP many of my friends were signing up for the 2013 version of the race. More than a few went up to Lake Placid to volunteer to get to the front of the registration line. Others were taking the chance that they would be online as it opened to the people not onsite. In years past the registration has been sold out quickly. I seem to recall one year where it was closed out before anyone online got a shot to register. Other years where it was open for only a few minutes. Promptly at noon I got my first text from Mr26point2 (who completed his second ironman the day before) to sign up. I checked it out , found it open, but didn't sign up.
Later that afternoon I continued getting calls and texts to sign up from friends who were "in." I got texts organizing groups to training for the race. Other groups were already scheduling when to go up for camps. All seemed amazed that it was still open. I went to the site a few more times and even started filling out the registration but I did not sign up.
My wife asked me if I needed an Ironman to get back on track. I said I think I did. She said that I needed to get back on track and while Ironman is intrusive, even though she thinks I may think it not, we'll figure it out together.
Back to registering for Placid. I thought about it but my brain did kick in a little. Placid is the wrong race for me. When I first considered attempting an Ironman I realized that the climbing for that race really doesn't match my body composition. It is relatively close to my 'burg. I've been there. I know the logistics. While I've ridden the bike course at Placid a few times, I found my weight and the hills don't mix well. (of course one the texts that I got said that I wouldn't have as much of a weight problem if I trained but that is a different, though related, problem).
Then I thought: What about IMNYNJ? Again, not an optimal course for my athletic abilities (or lack there of). It is much more convenient with the course less than a 60 minute drive from my house without traffic. It is a new race. There are a bunch of friends that are volunteer captains already and I'm sure they would not turn down my help. Rev3 Cedar Point is another option but if I do another Ironman I want it to be an official Ironman race. No offense to the Rev3 folks but I feel there is a difference in the atmosphere with a branded IM race. There are other races, some earlier and some later. IMAZ seems an ideal venue for me. While I haven't ridden the course in real life I often pop it in the Computrainer. But 2013 IMAZ is the week of my 20th wedding anniversary. A racecation for me is not the best way for both of us to celebrate. Also, would I even be ready?
The short answer is no. I can't do 2013 since I'm expecting to spend a lot of weekend time with my daughter checking out colleges. If I shoot for 2013, there will be conflict with road trips and I don't want that for either me nor her. Can I train and still look at colleges? Yes but the training focus will need to be on shorter races and losing weight. I need to do that anyway so that takes racing Ironman in 2013 off the board.
But IMAZ in 2014? That could work. I have the blessing from my wife and everything. My daughter should already be in college (a frightening thought in itself).
This raised a different question in my mind: What do I want to get out of Ironman? I've already proved to myself that I can finish. Although I walked most of the "run" at 2011IMFL, there was never any doubt in my mind from the beginning of the run that I was going to finish before the cutoff. That was my goal and I met it. I realized my goal in almost every endurance race I've attempted was to simply finish.
This time I want more than just to simply finish. I want to race well. What is racing well? I'm not talking Kona or anything like that but a 75 minute swim (I did 85 in IMFL), sub 7 bike (7:14@IMFL), sub 6 run (a blister ridden train wreck at IMFL but it really didn't matter to me since I knew I had it), add on 20 minutes for transition (27 in FL) and you get 14:35. Round it and say sub 14:30. Be happy with sub 15:00. HBAG#1. Book it.
What do I need to do that? I need to lose weight. A lot of weight. I raced IMFL at about 270 lbs. Two years ago I weighed 245 and I seem to recall a little lower (but not in the 230s). Since then my weight has steadily increased to now where I'm over 300lbs. The start of the weight gain seems to align with my second bike accident where I broke my left wrist and got stitches in my right hand. It stopped my training cold and while I think that I got the training part back for Ironman, I never got the eating part back.
My definition per BMI of not obese is 234 (I'm 6'2"). I want to race IMAZ at less than 230. HBAG#2.
It is great to want something but I can't just want Ironman. I have to need Ironman. I've coached many athletes during the iron "decision" and ask all "why do they want to do this?" I know there will be times during training that I won't like myself. There will be times where I don't like what I'm doing. There will be times where I'll be so tired that I can't think straight. There will be times where I won't be a pleasant person to be around. I will doubt why I'm doing it. I need to have a need to keep me focused.
I need to be the person I can become not the person I am now. Even though there is so much good in my life now, I need more. This quest will get me there.