Where to begin? I might as well just blurt it out: I have decided to back out of Ironman Lake Placid. I did not come to this decision lightly or easily – far from it! In fact, this was a much harder decision than it was to sign up in the first place. I feel such a sense of relief that I know it was the right one. Deep down inside, I think I came to the realization that I didn’t want to go through with it several weeks ago; I just didn’t allow myself to consider pulling the plug. I kept catching myself feeling (and even verbalizing) that I just wanted to get it over with and I knew my heart was not in it. This is no way to approach an Ironman, and I finally recognized that I no longer had the drive or desire to get to the start line – let alone the finish line. I was afraid of letting myself down, of feeling like a quitter, of facing the judgment of myself and others. With a little bit of help from good friends, I ultimately discovered that it takes a lot of courage not to pursue a commitment this big [to myself] and it is not something to be ashamed of. I also needed to allow myself to make the right decision for me, right now, regardless of what others may think or say.
The mental hurdles I faced in coming to this conclusion were exhausting to say the least and involved more than one melt down. I am so thankful for the support network I was able to rely on who helped talk me through the decision process. I was squarely on the fence for a while before I ultimately realized that if the answer is not a resounding yes, then it is an obvious no. The tremendous relief I felt just by giving myself permission to consider this option affirmed my answer. I am a little disappointed that it didn’t work out, but I am so relieved and have zero regrets.
I’ve found myself on a difficult path this year and if there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that life is too short to spend time and energy on things that are not important to me. Priorities change, plans change and this is just not going to be my Ironman year. There may come another time, or there may not. At the moment, I am ready to hang up my bike and goggles (except on a casual/fun/cross-training level) and hit the ground running – literally!
I was never able to find a groove with triathlon training and instead spent week after week trying to turn things around, coming up short and feeling like crap. I continued going through the motions even though all I wanted to do was RUN. I vocalized this to hubs and a few others, that I couldn’t wait to get back to my focus on running. Running makes feel satisfied, accomplished and most of all, happy. I’m sure IMLP would have been a very satisfying accomplishment, but it has been hanging over my head and making me miserable. I would only be going through with it at this point to earn the title of “Ironman”, which is simply not worth it to me.
So what now?
In the past couple of weeks since making the decision official, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’m excited about training again and ready for a running comeback. Tomorrow kicks off Week 1 of my newest Hubs-certified training plan for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October (which is conveniently on my Birthday this year!) and I couldn’t be happier.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” -Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul