Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ironman Louisville Revisited

Today is the 2012 edition of Ironman Louisville.  For the first time in three or four years I'm not there to watch it in person.  Instead I have been following it on my iPad, with my pajamas on, in bed.  All.Day.

It's been two years since my DNF at Ironman Louisville.  The pain of not finishing is still as fresh today as it was then.  Since that time I have had two DNS at ironman, another DNF at an ironman, and haven't even run a marathon.  Ironman Louisville crushed my soul.  I used to line up at races ready to crush my competition.  Now I line up at a race scared of what lies ahead.  I absolutely dread racing anymore.

On the outside I like to say it's okay that I've gone back to running and that being "only" a runner suits me.  But I'm totally lying.  See, I don't really feel like I have anything left to accomplish in running.  I have run marathon after marathon and finished up my last marathon at Boston with a new PR.  Let's be honest, I will never qualify for the Olympic trials, so I don't really feel like there's a whole lot left for me as a marathoner.  Sure I can keep getting faster, but what's bigger than a PR at Boston?  The only thing I have left for my athletic goals is Ironman.

And it has to be Ironman Louisville.

It will be at least two years before I will toe the line again at Ironman.  I think my mind needs time to heal.  I need to live some life and know that there are things bigger than Ironman.  Then and only then will I be ready to try again.  And I will try again.


Anne said...

Have you given any thought to trails? New challenges that usually do not focus on times so much.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I agree with Anne, but I have a feeling you are too competitive to do that. But I love trail races; they really are a new challenge with a different twist!

Gretchen said...

This is probably going to come across strangely, but you are probably the reason I finished IMLou on Sunday. I found your blog about ten days ago when I saw the temperatures were going to be high and started googling "Race Report Ironman Louisville 2010." I read it, cried, really took the story to heart. When I started having every symptom you mentioned in your blog, I realized I was on the path to heat stroke. I had everything you mentioned -- no sweat, the runs, numb arms. I was also seeing dancing lights and having double vision and had stopped salivating. I immediately stopped at an aid station and sat down, hydrated, and didn't get up until I felt like I wasn't going to pass out. I walked most of miles 22 (when this happened) to the finish, and when I got to medical I also had a blood pressure reading of 90/60. IM Lou is a beast, and you can't control the heat. I won't be doing this course again - I loved the race, the volunteers, the organization, but the risk of heat stroke and dehydration is too high when you have a race in Louisville in August. This year had a 14% DNF rate, just a little below 2010. I followed the blogs of so many people preparing for this race -- they were ready -- and so many of them didn't reach the finish line. My goal now is to qualify for Boston and I've got to shave 15 minutes off my time. Your running inspires me.

Melissa C said...

I hope that we still live in KY when you come back to settle the score. I thought about you a lot on the course, especially on the bike, when you told me that if I felt like I was working too hard then I probably was. I also tried to stay super hydrated all day and eat. You will get to that finish line, I know you will. I hope I can be there when you do :)