So we just returned from a week in the Caribbean – Turks & Caicos is a wonderful island, and the wife and kids and I had a wonderful experience at Beaches T&C. It’s all inclusive and a terrific place for families with kids. It’s also a safe island which made some long morning runs possible. They also have a roped-off swim area where end to end distance was exactly a quarter mile. It made for some excellent OWS sessions.
On Friday after our unpacking and laundry efforts were underway, I headed up to the TriRock Philly Race Expo. I was excited and felt ready to take on my first Olympic Distance race. I’ve been working hard and felt prepared for the distance and the intensity needed. I was super hyped for this bigger event.
I also had a chance to meet up with an old friend of mine Derek Fitzgerald. Derek is a cancer survivor, as well as a heart transplant recipient. He has been to hell and back, and found endurance training as an outlet. Derek and I are from very similar backgrounds, and we both were active in the drum and bugle corps activity (I blogged about it here) and a big part of our personality makeup is the ability to push through barriers. Our competitive nature lends itself well to triathlon and endurance training, and while neither of us are threatening any podiums any time soon, we believe that our physical best days are in front of us. I’ve been in touch with Derek more in the last couple of years and he’s been answering my questions as I throw them at him. By the way, Derek has a fantastic story and you can read more on his blog here.
So Saturday I went for a short swim in the pool just to shake out the nerves and blow off some steam. I had a quick emergency issue with my bike that my shop helped me with, but I loaded up my bike, packed my gear and transition bag and went to sleep on time.
Then I woke up around 12:15am yacking my brains out. I have no idea how or why. I’m assuming it was a viral bug and NOT nerves since I was excited but pretty chill and confident over the whole thing. I was laid low for a couple of hours in which every gram of carbs and ounce of hydration left my body.
Then the tough decision had to be made.
- Tough out the race in hot humid conditions, testing myself at a new longer distance and risk a terrible race experience and possibly set myself up for physical setbacks and extreme dehydration?
- Play it safe knowing that the odds were against me and that the two real prizes of the season were to be the NJ State Triathlon (July), a shot at USAT Age-Group Nationals (maybe a remote shot) and my Half Iron race in September?
I chose #2. There is too much riding on the next couple weeks of training to get ready for the 70.3 distance. Beyond that there are two additional things that have been added to the bucket list:
- Philly Marathon in November
- Ironman 140.6 race TBD in 2014. Considering either Lake Placid (relatively nearby and able to practice the course ahead of time, but hilly as f&*k) or Arizona (early November so more time to train, modest hill elevation but its in the freakin desert for cryin out loud).
So in the end, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m re-hydrated and well-fed and looking forward to cranking up the training this week. It’s time to focus on the long goal and relaxing on the short-term in favor of the big prize.