I've had a week away from reality to think and believe it or not, I'm debating retiring from the sport of triathlon... Hear me out...
There are three primary reasons.
1) Drive - The truth is I am lacking the desire to do the workouts. I enjoy the sport, but it can't be accomplished without proper training, and I always promised myself that when it "stopped being fun", I'd give it up. Have I done it all? Well, I am an Ironman, and no one can take that away from me, but sure I could do more. Varying distances, varying courses, and the ever present desire to PR, but...yeah, I may feel like I've done all that I want to do at this point.
2) Time - They say time is money, and that is quite true for me in a commission based career. If I leave work early to get that bike workout in before dark, or I'm late to the office because my swim workout ran long, I'm potentially losing money; taking food off my own table! (and this sport is not cheap) It potentially hurts me, and my family. The Ironman experience last year took a toll on my family. They sacrificed a lot for me to do it, and I owe it to them to "be there" this year, and every year going forward. The kids deserve their father and my wife deserves her husband.
3) Injuries - It's well documented that I have been dealing with back and hamstring injuries for over a year. I pushed through them last year to realize the Ironman dream, but at 39 (and holding) it's time to get smart about the longevity of my knees. I will likely remain over 200 pounds for most of my adult life, and at 6'2" I am just not the ideal size of someone that can do this for a lifetime and expect to avoid injuries to my lower body. Big picture: I would rather have the ability to walk 9 holes in my seventies with my grandson than to PR my next race.
The argument exists that the third point relates more directly to running, and this weighs heavily on my mind too. Should I give that up too? I could, but that scares me! What scares me the most? Gaining the weight back. I've packed on a good 25 pounds since Ironman Louisville. That scares me. But my wife has taught me much about the magic of "portion control"
This week I was declined entry into the NYC Marathon for the third straight year. I am currently registered for the Indianapolis Marathon on 10/18 and want desperately to go under 5 hours at this race. If successful, I may very well call it a career on the marathon distance as well.
In the meantime my plan is to continue my Muncie 70.3 training through the month of April and race the Flying Pig half marathon on May 4. I am withdrawing from the RnR Nashville Half to save the legs for the Flying Pig, and after that race I will make the decision about the triathlon season giving consideration to all 3 of the above factors.
And now you know...