Training for Ironman Arizona has hit a snag. My foot is still hurting. Three specialists have concluded that they don’t know what is up.
So now I’m 4 months out from race day. That is a lot of time.
A lot of time to think.
A lot of time to train.
I’m doing a PT routine everyday. I’m not running on it (perhaps a mile if it is in a crossfit workout). I’m tired of stretching it. I’m tired of not going out and having fun, feels like a babysitting mission.
The good part? I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been.
The bad part?
Well, lets backup and look at motive.
I’ve run into a lot of Ironman athletes in this journey. I lump them into:
- questioners. (can I finish / this is a challenge)
- trauma response. (friend died of cancer / they were overweight / raising money)
- something is wrong. (addicted to working out and tri’s are the socially accepted way to workout all the time and nothing is wrong)
I’m in the questioners group. Or, at least, when I signed up. Three weeks ago I did an Olympic distance triathlon. I finished strong (even with the bum foot) and felt like doing some more work that night. Out on the bike, then the next morning, a crossfit workout.
A humble confidence.
Then a total lack of motivation.
I didn’t get why, at all. I took off on a spur of the moment road trip driving 7 hours to Moab to visit with my friend Steph Davis. She knew exactly what I was feeling. I knew I could finish, the question was gone.
Steph is a pro rock climber. She is amazing in many ways (writer, blogger, BASE jumper, climber) and has helped me out over the years. Early in her career she would ‘red point’ climbs (do a climb of multiple rope lengths without falling). To do this takes a couple of tries, and inevitably she would fall on the last pitch of a climb (one that she knew she could do). Her motivation was lost, but in climbing (with sponsors) it is important to have a resume of climbs.
She would go back and do it with that motivation.
I don’t have this. It would be a pure pride move.
And with travel looming, I don’t know if I can handle that.
Friday night I had dinner with a few Ironman finishers. Their big story to me was that IM wasn’t about the race, it was about the journey to the race.
Of course you are going to have some low points. Injuries. Setbacks.
If I leave now, perhaps it is a cheapening of the journey.
If I stay, perhaps it is an unnecessary turn against my gut feeling to move on to travel.
Here is to a less bumpy August.