I have started this post at least 5 different times and have as of yet to decide on the format of it. As is typical in the tri/running world, many folks will post a race report breaking down the minutae of their race. As I have run through this race practically minute by minute, I can come up with nothing that is not a self indulgent Ironman recap that reaks of excuses and what ifs. While this is, to be fair, a portion of reality, it is boring as hell, and I won't bore you with it. Instead, I'll give you a glimpse into what life is like in my mind (disclaimer:this also may be boring as hell). I got into triathlon nearly 10 years ago while rehabbing a brutal shoulder injury. Since that time, I have competed in a ton of races, and at times let triathlon rule my life. I had previously signed up to compete in IMAZ in 2005, but had to drop out as a newborn son and 2 restaurants were nearly killing me. Then in 2008 there was the week before raceday debacle of 2008. I was ready to get IM over with, and this is the crux of this post. Unlike many of the triathletes in the world, Ironman holds no mystique to me. I don't think it is the end all be all of all races and I think this was part of my downfall on Nov 6th.
I spent 3-4 good years worrying about "how good" I should be. I have had decent finishes in some races, but never have felt that I have fired on all cylinders. I either haven't had the time, trained improperly, or a combination of all of both. In addition, I didn't race if I didn't feel like I could race to the best of my ability as this just made me mad. In 2007, I did a little swim on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that changed this attitude a little. I no longer had a whole lot to prove to anyone as I did something that maybe one other person I know was both capable AND willing to do. This swim put a lot of things in perspective for me and I quit worrying (as much) about how well I would do at races. I still wanted to compete, push and race hard, it just made me realize that I am a slightly above avg athlete and that no one cares if you get 10th @ Meatpie Triathlon. To 99% of the world I live in I am a dipshit running around in a speedo.
In long distance races, anything over 5 hours or so, I think that mistakes are amplified exponentially. This is in a nutshell what went wrong for me at IMFL. A little mistake here, another there. In the end the reality in my mind is that I probably made the correct choice in not walking 10+ miles in 50 degree weather just to finish, but the other truth is that in my mind, I keep hearing-YOU QUIT...I am not a quitter and this will bug me for awhile. I am on to trying to get my back healthy and to complete the Mountain Mist 50k in January and am cooking some other items up as well, thanks for reading and sorry if this post is a little disjointed.