Yesterday, I had an epiphany while riding my bike out to Montauk.
I do not enjoy biking enough to ride 56 miles. (After I’ve swam 1.2 and before running 13.1.)
I originally signed up for this Half-Ironman because I wanted a new challenge. I had run four marathons, and I had beat my sub-4 goal that I’d been trying for. I’d done some triathlons, and finally really enjoyed one. Its distance was closer to Olympic than a typical sprint, so I didn’t think I’d feel that challenged training for an Olympic.
I was freaking terrified, and I did a lot of waffling back and forth. Finally, I said I’d committed and started training.
I traveled to the Hamptons and Savannah in July, and the Hamptons again this weekend. Each weekend, I should have done at least a 2-hour workout, but I only did that the first weekend in the Hamptons. In Savannah, I just straight up made every excuse in the world, and only went on an hour-long bike ride with Ashley and did maybe 20 minutes of open water swimming in the bay.
After my bike freakout, I decided my goal was to enjoy the NYC Tri, focus on that, and make any decisions about the HIM then.
I have to give a big shoutout to both my coach and Victoria for putting up with my triathlon crazies. Cause there were a lot of them. I doubted whether I could finish. I doubted whether I could finish without getting swept.
Finally, after one last great email from Victoria last week, I realized I really could do it. I threw myself back into my workouts (which was easy, since I had a slightly easier week after doing NYC.)
I headed out to the Hamptons Thursday night, and brought my bike. Instead, my friend Heather and I went on a 3-mile run Friday and one on Saturday. Should I have been running more? (Or biking more? Or swimming more?) Yes. Did I care? Honestly, no, not really.
Around 2pm yesterday, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer and needed to get on the bike. I had 2.5 hours on my plan, and the plan was to go out to Montauk and back. I took off, and I started getting into my head, as I tend to do on the bike. (Uh, and life.)
Just why was I doing this? I didn’t want to ride 2.5 hours yesterday afternoon because I’d rather be at the beach with my friends, yes, but I didn’t want to ride 2.5 hours or 3 hours or more next weekend, and more the weekend after that.
Once I finally realized I could do it, it actually freed up the space for me to realize I didn’t really want to do it. Not right now, or maybe not ever. (Unclear.)
I enjoyed learning more about biking and swimming leading up to the NYC Tri, but I don’t feel comfortable enough (or that I could become comfortable enough) riding 56 miles on the bike in the next 6 weeks.
I absolutely see more triathlons in my future (in fact, I’m thinking of looking at some shorter ones this year before the season’s up), but I think I need to really learn more and get more comfortable at shorter distances IF I want to do a longer distance.
I do believe I could have finished it, but it’s just not my priority right now.
Immediately I started thinking, “what’s my next goal?” When I told Heather this, she asked if I always had to have some sort of athletic goal.
Yup. I feel a lot more grounded and centered when I have some goal I’m reaching towards…
Unless it’s just not the goal for me right now.
I don’t know if I have another goal right now, or if I want one or need one.
Work, my friends and dating are my priorities right now. The idea of training for a long race now is as mentally exhausting as it is physically exhausting. I could certainly fit in the training if I want to, but I just don’t want to right now.
So, I emailed the lovely Ironman PR people this morning, thanked them for everything, and told them I’d be withdrawing, and they were very kind about it.
What I want to know from you: what else do you want to know about what I learned about triathlon training along the way? I also plan on doing a gear roundup of my favorite products soon, so let me know if you have any gear questions, too!