Originally for 2010 I had signed up for Ironman St. George, excited to race on a course familiar to me after running the marathon there several times. I signed up when I wasn't even back to work after my crash, before I had taken a single pedal stroke on my bike again. After Ironman Arizona in November, I told myself to wait until January 1st to make any decisions. As the new year approached, it became clearer and clearer that I did not want to do this race. My knee injury that bothered me during the marathon at Ironman Arizona was not healing quickly and I did not want to spend another several months playing the "Does it hurt too much to run?" game. I needed a break.
I feel fortunate that I was able to do so many events during the second half of 2009: Death Ride, Barb's Race, Folsom Olympic, 3 road races, Lotoja, and Ironman Arizona. As I wrote before, the Triabetes events in Tempe were amazing and made the struggle getting there 100% worth it. But I feel like I need and want to take a step back from the super endurance events (Ironman and double centuries!) and focus on healing my body and giving my mind a break.
As soon as I made the decision, I was so relieved and happy. After 4 Ironman races in 3 years, I was really caught up in the energy and thrill of the sport; and doing the last two with Triabetes has been a gift. But I have to say, not having that big pressure is exactly what I need right now.
"Taking a break" to me means taking the pressure off any one huge event. I am still training, focusing mostly on cycling this year. I will also continue to swim, because I have really been enjoying it and also because it really helps my upper back and left arm stay loose. And there will be events that I will target; still, I am allowing myself to take things at a slower pace and to appreciate incremental steps of progress.