An Ironman with Training Wheels

After a year and a half off from racing, it was time to think about doing another tri. But since I’m still dealing with some atrophy in my left leg, the idea of doing much running didn’t appeal – even though I’m a runner.

I was just enjoying getting back into a more regular routine of training. I swear I missed my friends and the lifestyle more than the races – even though the races act as a big giant carrot to motivate me to train.

In January, I had an epiphany on the way home from my Master’s Swim workout. ‘Hey, if I can swim 3,000 yards now, maybe I can swim 2.4 miles by the summer.’ I kept that thought to myself for a couple of weeks.

Then I confessed my crazy thought-slash-pipe dream to Sharkbait. And later that week, I asked my trail patrol partner, The Governor, if he thought I could ride my bike 112 miles by the summer. (He knows I’m out of shape and I’ve never done a century in my life.) And since, I can be really insecure sometimes I got three more second opinions. I asked my swim coach, Mary, 734’s Dad, and my rehab therapist, Quinn, if they thought I could go those distances. No one hesitated – except me.

‘Should I do it? Should I do it?’ After thinking about it another day, I finally hit the ‘Submit’ button. Game on. I’m doing the Full Vineman Aquabike on July 31st. It’ll be just like doing an Ironman without the 26-mile run-walk-‘til-I-drop. It will give me a chance to really work on my triathlon weaknesses. And it will give me time to gain back all that quad muscle strength before I do some serious running and racing again. I’m going long with the goal of getting strong.