It obviously hasn't been the first thing on my mind, but I have sporadically over the last week and a half contemplated the consequences of Wendy's death for the rest of my year of training and racing. At times it seemed as though I should just abandon any notion of trying to participate at Ironman Wisconsin in mid-September; at others, I felt that it would be a much better idea to keep the possibility of racing in play so long as it seemed even vaguely feasible. The underlying constraint is that I want to be able to help Brent in absolutely every way needed, and that is definitely more important to me than the race; but the race is important to me too, for different reasons, and it's tough backing off from a big goal like that without feeling some lingering aftereffects of a more or less damaging kind.
Not long after I first knew Brent he told me about Pony-Tail Guy (click through and read that link!), and we have often talked over the last few years about what in shorthand is simply referred to as "the Pony-Tail Guy approach" - looking at the time cut-offs in long-course triathlon and working tightly to those cut-offs at a truly easy pace.
What I am currently thinking is that I will proceed on the notion that I will participate in IMWI along Pony-Tail Guy lines. I'm going to book a hotel room right now, and just cancel it later on if I find that I really am not able to train enough for completion to be feasible (I'm a slow cyclist, so that's the concern - swim and marathon-length brisk walk are less of an issue, I think). An official finish would mean a lot to me, even if it's 16 hours and 59 minutes and some seconds, and I think it's worth keeping the possibility in play as long as I can.
(And Wendy's teammate Pat Niblett is going to take me to Technosport practice on Wednesday next week, and I will also join her for Tuesday and Thursday swims at the Nepean Sportsplex - which is truly in walking distance of where we're staying, so I can definitely get there on my own, too, once things get a little less crazy here. Running should be fine as well - it is just that it is so hard to get out of the house when there has been a bereavement! Those of you who followed Wendy's blog might like to see the update I wrote at my other blog, and here is a direct link to some pictures of The Boarder in his new home.)