Saturday, October 24, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

Talked with the man in charge yesterday (, and we've decided to tackle an Ironman this coming season. I'm excited and anxious at the same time. I'm not intimidated by the distance (I actually think this will be my strongest distance as I've discovered the longer the day the stronger I get), but I'm worried about the financial burden it will cause me. Furthermore, I'm concerned about which event I will choose.

To get to where I want to-long term, I'm going to have to do an M-dot race-there's no question about that. The only problem is that there are none all that are close to me, not to mention none that are any less that half a grand. Couple that with expenses I'll incur around the race (lodging, food, travel, etc.) and I'll be spending quite a pretty penny. This will have a great influence on the rest of my race schedule, and may prohibit me doing some other triathlon-related stuff I want to do (like going to a Spain training camp in Also, and I didn't mention this in my convo with my coach, I feel like I still have more to prove at the half iron distance. This past season saw a lot of improvement in my overall times, but I think that I really only dedicated myself to triathlon fully for about 5 weeks out of the whole year. The rest of the time I was overwhelmed with relationship woes, social life, and other extraneous factors that have since been managed and are out of my life. Needless to say, I've decided to devote myself fully to this sport. Along with work, everything that I do in the next year will be devoted entirely to triathlon and reaching my goals. Relationships, financial decisions, etc., will be made with triathlon in mind. It may sound selfish-and it certainly is-but I WILL NOT regret not doing more to get myself to where I want to be later on down the road. There will be no other time in my life where I have the freedom I do now, and I don't intend on wasting it.

So with that said, this race decision weighs heavy on my mind. I woke up at 3am this morning and stared at the ceiling for 3 hours, consumed with thoughts of what I should do. There are so many pros and cons, not to mention the fact that I'm under pressure to make a decision quickly as these damn M-dot races tend to sell out rather quickly. I expect this to be a very exciting time in my life and I want more than anything to do it in an efficient manner. Whatever the outcome, I just want to be happy knowing that I did everything I possibly could to get there. Win or lose, I just want to leave it all out on the table.

The decisions in life that mean the most are the hardest to make. I guess it's simply because they mean so much. If you've got any suggestions, please feel free to comment. I'm really stuck between several different emotions regarding this, and it may help to see other's points of view. I appreciate it.


  1. "I just want to be happy knowing that I did everything I possibly could to get there"...
    Can you do this? Can you follow through and give it everything? That comes down to being as honest as possible with yourself. The answer is right in front of you but you have to let go of your ego and see the truth no matter what it is.

    Lake Placid was my favorite Ironman. I raced it twice and it's one of the most beautiful. Arizona is late in the year and an easy course. Consider the weather in terms of when you have to train for it. Arizona will leave you training in to November. Lake Placid is July so you would be training through the Spring. Wisconsin is a tough course but a fun course. LP and Wisco favor a strong cyclist.

  2. Lucho-
    Thanks for the advice. It means a lot and I really appreciate it.
    I have no doubt that I can dedicate myself to the level I want to. This was a big sole-searching year and I've discovered a lot about myself. One of the most important things I did was to simplify my life to the point where I can honestly do this with minimal distraction. I could even pick up and move if I had to with no restrictions-I'm that free! :) It's gonna be incredibly demanding, but I know I can do it.
    I'm beginning to lean toward IM Arizona. The thought was originally to do IM Louisville, but I think Arizona will be a better fit for me. The summers here are incredibly good for training, and I think my motivation will be higher toward the end of the year than it will be in the spring.
    Thanks again, you're insight really, really means a ton!

  3. If you do Arizona in November- maybe the best single bit of advice I could give you would be for you to take ~2 weeks almost completely off around 24 weeks prior to the race. Just do light cross training that is not swim, bike or run. Holding intense focus for too long of a period tends to lead to mediocre training when it really counts, which is the 10 weeks prior to an Ironman. If you can come in to that last 10 weeks really primed and mentally fresh then you will make your biggest gains. And also the more aerobically (base) fit heading in the better too. Arizona was my last Ironman. Very fast bike, moderately challenging run. Don't neglect your downhill running, the eccentric contractions caused by downhills is compounded by the bike. AZ has a lot of rollers. Ironman is the best... I loved that distance more than anything! Embrace the challenges of the training! Finding your limits is like finding religion.

  4. Dave - simple answer...Rev3 Full Rev in Ohio with the rest of the CREW. all the cool kids are doing it.

  5. Lucho-
    Yeah I think Ironman will be very good for me. It seems like it's all about that aerobic engine. I'm definately a sustained effort kind of guy. I'm not super fast, but I don't slow down much. Taking two weeks off seems like very wise idea. I certainly want to be as fresh as possible going into my first IM. I had a bit of a mental burn out this season (as you may remember) and I backed off a bit (at your suggestion I believe!) and it worked wonders. Thanks again for all the help! Believe it or not it's making my decision much easier!

    Am I not cool anymore if I don't do it? I recall Phil and I doing Rev3 this past year before it was "the cool thing to do"! haha, we'll see. Ohio vs AZ??? The only cool part about Ohio is that the race takes place in Sandusky, home of Callahan Automobile Parts! Big Tom Callahan!

  6. great post dave. yer def not alone on these things. if this IM stuff is any indicator with life you *got* it... it's long, tuff, throws some random shit your way that ya just have to roll with or smile at, ya gots the ups and downs. (which one am i talking about again? ;) anyway, as long as you can navigate and roll with it as best ya can, yer good.

    if yer looking for pro, yer prolly right on with mdot as opposed to rev tho (even tho all the cool kids *are* doing it ;). just keep chatting people up like ya are, let them tell ya what they learned. you've got what ya need to sort thru it. i know i'm a fan of the pike (and we've def not seen your best half - ha!). keep having fun man.


  7. Philthy :)-
    Thanks man. I really appreciate all the input I've been getting with this dilemma. It really helps when you guys that have been there before share your experience with me. It's a big decision and luckily I've got a couple options-not many, but at least a couple. We'll see what happens.

    And I'm certain my halfs will be VERY fast this year. If putting my mind to training the last 4-5 weeks of this season before the Montauk race was any indication of what I can do with a little concentrated effort, it should be interesting to see what I can do with a WHOLE SEASON of concentrated effort! (i.e. actually doing the workouts I'm suppossed to rather than cutting them short!)
    Thanks again man!