Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thoughts on goals

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.)


Danielle in Iowa in Ireland said...

I think the Pony Tail Guy method sounds fabulous, considering the situation. And sometimes having something big like this to focus on can help getting through rough times.

Spokane Al said...

Bob Dylan once sang, "Either I'm too sensitive or else I'm getting soft."

That said, when I see your phrase "Wendy's death" I am still stunned. Stunned at her passing and stunned at how a person I never met or talked with has touched me.

Whatever your decision, I am confident it will be the right one for you.

Take care.

Lily on the Road said...

at least by making the hotel reservations you are one more step in the direction of "doing".

Training through loss is sometimes hard, but sometimes it just makes more sense of it all. Best Wishes in whatever your decision will be.