Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sour grapes and lemonade from lemons

'Oh you aren't even ripe yet! I don't need any sour grapes.'

And so I won't be making an attempt at an Ironman distance this year. My buddy is returning to the workplace after a three year hiatus, and with it goes the opportunity for me to pile the hours on necessary to rise to the task. That sounds like a load of hooey. She pointed this out by saying, "I wasn't staying at home so you could do an Ironman". Indeed, not.

I was starting to really tire of the training as well. Working out twice a day was becoming a routine, and had come to the point where I didn't want to do much of anything. Long runs had become a chore and logistics issue, the bike a way to burn hours without joy, and swimming...well, I still like swimming. The more I read, the more it seemed I was turning a blind eye to the dark side of the Ironman, leaving athletes beaten and uninterested in riding or running for months afterwards. The statistics showing that Ironman athletes have higher divorce rates. The sign my friend jokingly posted to me on Facebook that said 'If your relationship is still working, you didn't train hard enough'. No, it isn't going to happen this year, it is clear.

Part of me is saddened, part of me is greatly relieved. I can race sprints and olympics, and even halfs. That is great fun. I wouldn't be racing an Ironman, I'd be surviving it. Not sure that sounds like fun. I know I will make it, that wasn't the question. It seems that question, however, drives most people who attempt the race, and makes them enormously happy. Surviving - at least to me - isn't an accomplishment. You can do that in myriad ways, some athletic and many not. Surviving a tenuous situation you put yourself into could easily be categorized as blatant stupidity. I don't survive athletics, I celebrate them. I race, and do so in celebration of life and health. Scratching the long race off the calendar and replacing it with either a half or a oly on the same weekend brings me joy. And isn't that the point? Isn't that a reversion to the path I should have been on?

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