My Last Stand for 2014

Posted: August 12, 2014 in In Transition
Tags: ,

So if swimming 10k for Strong Kids and running the Around the Bay 30k on literally no sleep after rolling my truck into a ditch during ‘Ice-ageddon’ back in March wasn’t enough, I’ve officially signed up for my next (and last) tough guy challenge for the season: back to back triathlons.

Okay, so I might be a little nuts.

However, this challenge is something I’ve been eager to do for the past few years now (since I saw a white-bearded old guy doing just that at the Musselman weekend in 2010) to truly test my over all “Iron fitness” and mental fortitude.  The plan this year has been to once again reacquire the mental toughness that I’ve seemingly lost a bit over the last year while getting over injuries and regular competition in lieu of more fun opportunities and charity events (hey, sometimes you just have to have a little fun) last year, so this challenge seemed to be appropriately timed as next year will mark my return to long course Ironman competition.

So, what the hell, time to get my crazy on!  What’s the worst that can happen?

Wait, let’s not go there…

I am then committing to compete in the ‘IncredoublemanTriathlon’ this September in beautiful Sackets Harbor, NY.  This event features two days of triathlons and aquabikes with the first and only back to back half distance races in the world; except I’m not quite that crazy…yet.  No, I figure I’ll try the short and fast followed by the long and slow.  My goal then will be to complete both a sprint distance (Saturday) as well as a half iron distance (Sunday) triathlon over the course of this one weekend.

The course promises to be both scenic and challenging.  In fact, Kelly and I rode through this area last year on our ‘Tour du Lac’ trip (click HERE  to read the series) so I already know how pretty the area is.  The swim is in Sackets Harbor and the bike course will be all within Jefferson County on roads with little vehicular traffic.  Oh, there will also be some rolling hills just to keep things interesting.  But if I can survive what was thrown at me in Gravenhurst, this shouldn’t pose to be much of a problem.  Fingers crossed anyway.  The run will be around the village of Sackets Harbor proper and promises to be nearly pancake flat (thank Christ!).  Sounds like fun, right?

Well, as much fun as covering a total of 142.9 kilometers in 48 hours can be anyway.

What I’m really looking forward to is the opportunity to honor my parents who have both passed away this year.  Yes, it’s been a real shitty year – it’s true.  Yet, through it all I’ve somehow managed to maintain my weekly training regimen as best I could; if anything, as a means of coping with the stress and sadness.  But in many regards, I haven’t really dealt with any of it.  This has become increasingly clear during some of my longer runs where I have been rather surprised to discover a whole range of emotions bubbling to the surface.  Like, way more than ever before.  Truthfully, I’m realizing now that I’ve just bottled much of this sadness deep inside in my (probably misguided) attempt to maintain the status quo with my family, be that pillar of strength I feel I need to be, as well as simply keeping on with keeping on but, now, I feel like a volcano ready to go off.  So I’m hoping this challenge will provide me that opportunity to release it all in a positive and familiar way – out on the race course, in whatever form that might take – and arrive at the finish line purged.

Once again – fingers crossed.

I expect there will be a significant amount of tears at some point, so I apologize now in advance for those race photos.

To help mark the occasion I am going to have my family and a few close friends at hand to help me celebrate the occasion and provide the support I know I’m going to need.  So I won’t be alone throughout this endeavor, on or off the course.

I’m definitely nervous – okay, scared shitless – but I’m also excited to see how my body and mind will respond to this challenge.  I’ve definitely come a long way in my training over the past few years and I’m curious to see what transpires.  From there, I’ll take a few weeks off to relax (finally!) before launching myself headlong into full blown Ironman training again in anticipation for next years’ ultimate challenge.  But that’s an entirely different post.

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