Missing Chattanooga

ironman-chattanooga-logoThis is the weekend … a whole year of training and suffering is down to one day. The weather is clear, the water beautiful, the wind is calm … and at the end of 17 hours I will hear those words … :John Harris – YOU are an IRONMAN.

Or so it was to be …

As you all know, the plans that began last October with such promise and excitement was reduced, by March, to injuries and a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. Plans gone. Even the second idea of changing to a 70.3 quickly went away due to .. well … life issues. All gone.

Am I upset?

To be honest I thought I would be more upset than I am. I know Sunday I will be tracking my local Tampa people with a combined sense of awe and jealousy, but I am not upset. I have come to grips with what happened, and I know there was really no way to have a successful experience in Tennessee, so I made the right decision. I know that.

I KNOW THAT.

I keep trying to convince myself …

As I sit here on Saturday, after enduring a very disappointing workout at Orange Theory which followed yet another weight gain day, I am fighting depression. I am seeing all of the pictures of the people from Tampa up at the race and I am envious, but at the same time very excited to see how they all do. The four that I mainly follow; KC, Mary, Beth, and Stacey will all, I have no doubt, do very, very well. I  would have liked to have provided them more support on the training side than I was able to do, but I am there in spirit, whether they need it or not, and I will race vicariously through them tomorrow morning.

The question keeps coming up in the podcast about next year, and Jennifer and I have discussed it, about the possibility of giving it another try in 2015. I am not sure, to be honest, whether I will be ready, or if I really even have the right motivation and mindset to give it a try. I can tell you honestly that right now the answer is no. I am not prepared physically or mentally for that challenge. My current plan is to race the Central Florida Triathlon Series (4 races) in Clermont and the Crystal River Series (3 races). I would also like to do HITS in March and St. Anthony’s in April. But that is all I am looking at currently.

Also, “Ironman” has lost a bit of its luster for me. Not the distance, but more the brand. I find myself being drawn more to the smaller race venues, like DRC Sports and Sommer Sports, and even REV3 (now owned by Challenge Family). There are just some business decisions Ironman has made recently that bother me, and I know some find that silly, but if I do a race I would like to believe in that race, so when a company takes on “Little Debbie”, or chocolate milk as a sponsor, I have a hard time supporting them. I know some are not bothered by such things, and I understand it’s a business and they need sponsorship’s in order to fund the races, but there should be a line in the sand. How can I write about the dangers and unhealthiness of sugar and then race at an event sponsored by the very thing I write against? It’s the same issue I have with Chik-Fil-A.  I support a businesses right to operate under their own guidelines, but if they are in direct opposition to what I believe in then I cannot, in good conscience, support them. I don’t begrudge anyone else wanting to buy into the corporate hype, but it’s just not who I am or what I want to represent.

So, I sit here on Sunday, preparing to watch my Dolphins lose again, and tracking the Ironman race on my computer and laptop. As I type this everyone has gotten through the swim and are doing very well at this point. I will join them one day, maybe not as an Ironman, but as a 140.6 mile finisher.

One day …

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