Not long ago, I wrote about my racing dilemma this upcoming season. As I am already registered for a few upcoming races, I was contemplating whether or not I should race them in a diminished capacity. By that, I mean do I do the swim and the bike legs of my upcoming triathlons and then withdraw from the race (as I most likely won't be able to do the run with any mojo what-so-ever)?
A couple people commented on that post, and I was encouraged a bit by what was said. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do - and it would allow me to get out and do something while trying to build my fitness back up.
I've been getting in some good swims workouts in lately, and the even better news is that I've been getting in some good training rides. Outdoors. Yep, I've officially turned the corner and am no longer resigned to spinning away on the bike trainer inside. Paired with the fact that I can get around sans crutches now, my ankle is strong enough that I can go out and ride confidently. Granted, I'm tragically building up my mileage and fitness at this point. This compared to last year when I was already racing and would have had at least one 1/2 marathon under my belt and would be gearing up for a triathlon in just a few weeks. Anyway, I digress.
I was still on the fence about this short term racing plan. Was waffling back and forth on the pros and cons of it all. Then my wife returned home from a work trip that took her to Arizona. She was in Tuscon during the USAT Duathlon National Championships and, on the flight home, was the seat-mate of a sponsored elite athlete that had raced that weekend. They apparently talked about racing and triathlons a bit, and my racing and current situation came up. I was pleased to hear that the response from an elite athlete was that I should absolutely do the swim and bike legs of my upcoming races. That I shouldn't feel any apprehension about not doing the run. I've paid the entry fee, and people are responsible for their own race. I can't take, nor should I take, ownership or responsibility of the race strategy of another athlete.
With that pleasing input tipping the weights solidly in my direction, I'm re-targeting the Mossman Sprint Triathlon and the Park City Olympic Triathlon in July and August. These will help me get my fitness up and potentially be able to do something constructive at the Toughman Half Iron Triathlon in September. Do I think that I will be able to run 13.1 miles by September? Ehhh, most likely not with any sort of intensity at all. And to be honest, it might not be the smartest thing to do - but who can say!? Regardless, if I'm able to get out and swim and ride competitively it will be a big mental boost.
With that said, I've been scouring the internet for fall triathlon in the north-east. Not many to choose from once September wraps up. I'd like to think that I could squeak out a sprint or Olympic distance race come October. If anyone has any good suggestions, please speak up.