I, without meaning to, sandbagged the last bit of Ironman Lake Placid.
Yes, SANDBAGGED it!
Now, A) I was sick and could barely run, B) My legs were shot and could barely run, but C) I mentally didn't want it to end.
Let me repeat this:
I mentally did not want it to end.
While! I wanted it to end so badly because A) I was sick and could barely run, and B) My legs were shot and I could barely run.
Am I confusing you yet? I will simplify it a bit further for you:
I built that race, more specifically the Ironman distance, as this holy of all holy things, that once completed, a HUGE life goal was done for. I could never accomplish it for the first time ever again.
(disclaimer - while completing it was a big deal for me personally, it is NOT the end all of things for me. That race does not define me nor does the distance)
Basically I was finding more joy in having the goal of competing in an Ironman and training for an Ironman than actually completing the race. I am more interested in the process rather than the result. Just getting to the start line was my satisfaction. Finishing it was merely a formality. I thank my coach for prepping me properly for that!
But why didn't this ever happen with other races leading up to Lake Placid? Because those races were merely stepping stones to completing my first Ironman.
Call me a headcase if you want, but holy shit I am glad I am recognizing this now. I am looking at other parts of my life and it totally makes sense. Take for example my apartment. There is always something in my apartment that is cluttered and needs to be cleaned. I could totally spend one single day and actually finish it off. Instead I have slowly been plugging away at it for 5.5 years. Why am I stringing it along for so long? Because what the fuck am I going to do once it is finally cleaned, decluttered, and organized? It's become this sick sick game of dangling a carrot in front of me.
Am I afraid of running out of goals?
I am a VERY goal oriented person. Without one in front of me I go flat, get bored, and start to get VERY antsy. This is true with life, triathlon, and work. For some reason my brain is hard wired in such a way that once one major major thing in my life is done and over with, it either can't be repeated or bested without this HUGE sense of dread.
I recall one summer in Provence where I did this AMAZING 4 hour ride through the countryside where I was seeing mountains, abbeys, lavender fields, and these crazy looking fountains and streams all in ONE ride! I went into this funk later that day because to top that would require something...dare I say...epic? (I did climb Mt Ventoux that summer, so I DID in fact top it. Literally! 6K feet anyone?)
I think I decided I took in too much at once and just overwhelmed myself. Its kind of like devouring an amazing steak in 3-4 bites rather than savoring its flavor.
I guess this is why I am happy that I waited until my 4th season to finally tackle the Ironman distance. My curve of exposure to the sport didn't spike so quickly that the falloff of interest was just as fast.
Now that I have "been there done that" with all distances of this sport (again, any tri longer than an Ironman is OUT of the question!) I guess its refocusing on my goals. GET FASTER!... and this is probably why I am happy I made that bet with myself to PR every distance I enter this season. Its another goal built upon other goals.
Moving forward - I don't see Mont Tremblant as this big huge deal in comparison to Placid. Yes, its my triathlon season ender and A+++ race of the year, but all I want do is better my Placid time. I think doing that will give me a greater satisfaction (and motivation) than finishing Placid.
Am I crazy? Weeeelllllll, depends on how you view me ;)
I also can't get Lake Placid out of my head. Maybe I am just looking forward to my coach's training camp in June. 2013 anyone?