The Ironman that wasn't

Today, I should be on the start line in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.


Just me...and several hundred other crazy people.



This was THE BHAG!!!! The Big Hairy Audacious Goal! What started this whole thing...even this blog! This was to be a celebration; the reward for going around the sun for 50 years!


Rewarding myself by punishing myself...see, crazy!


But, I feel let down. I let myself down. Crazy talk!


It isn't anyone's fault. It just is.


The day I found out I would not be toeing the starting line--I did nothing.


In fact, since that day, I have done little.


My friends have kept me running, hoping that our 1/2 marathon would still take place in September. I found out this week, that it is now cancelled. They are planning on running 13.1 miles that weekend. I haven't run more than 8 miles since April. I'm not feeling it.


My heart just isn't in it.


It's like I'm in mourning. I know everything will be ok. I know that next year (hopefully) I will be in Quebec, and getting ready to race on August 22, 2021.


But I will be 51...not 50.

Should that matter? An Ironman is still (to quote Joe Biden), "A big fucking deal!" It will still be the BHAG! It will still be the fulfillment of a dream. It will still be awesome!


I haven't swam since March. Now, I have relaxed in the town pool with the boys, and floated around in the ocean, but that's not swimming.


I have ridden my bike around, including one 50 mile ride. But it was just a fun ride, I wasn't training for 112 miles!


I know deep down that once my coach and I reunite this winter that the fire will flare up, and I will get back on track.


Instead, I just want to eat Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey and binge watch The Clone Wars on Disney +. That's because I've already finished The Umbrella Academy, Season 2 and Sherlock and Space Force on Netflix or Amazon Prime, among other series.


School starts in one week. So, I have to figure out where the boys will be spending 3 days a week learning on line. I'd rather head out on my bike, and not come back for several hours, but I cannot. I need to move furniture around, load up forgotten toys and books, and throw out or shred years of paper that at some point I thought was important.


I have a gazillion Compact Discs...

Let's face it...this summer has sucked.


But some good things have come from this time at home. I have spent better "quality" time with the boys. I made (!) them go for hikes with me in the woods. We road our bikes on the rails to trails. We went swimming in the town pool.


We even "ran" into a bear on one of our treks. They were not happy about that. But I kept calm, and we kept our distance, and I explained that the bear didn't want anything to do with us.


It was a little unsettling. But also really cool!


I must admit, I was really looking forward to spending a week away from Connecticut and all the stress of preparing for school. Taking a little time for myself and my family. Plus, I've heard that Mont-Tremblant is a pretty special place.

The weather today would be perfect. It is cool (high of 75), and cloudy with a slight chance of rain. No worries of sunburn, or overheating. And not windy. Delightful.


Yes, I know that I probably wouldn't fully appreciate the time there, since I would be preparing for the Ironman, but still, I signed up for it. I was going to enjoy every second of the pain of the 140.6 miles. As well as the stress of getting there, and the relief thereafter.


And when I crossed the finish line sometime after the sun went down, I knew that I was an Ironman! I could get the customary tattoo somewhere on my body, and I'd have a story to tell to my grandkids. And anyone else who was foolish enough to ask me about it.


This storybook ending will have to wait one more year.


But as I type this, I can feel a spark in my belly. There is a pilot light deep, deep down...I just need to hit the gas. Until 2021, IMMT...but don't think for one second that I'm not coming for you. I am. I just hope it's next year, and not several years down the road. I don't think I want to celebrate my 60th birthday racing an Ironman.


But maybe a 1/2 Ironman? :-)


In the meantime, I will spend my Ironman day hopefully going for a bike ride, or maybe a run. I know I will be recycling and throwing away a bunch of junk from the house and enjoying my family at the town pool (socially distancing of course). Enjoying the last few moments of a strange COVID summer, before the "new normal" begins.





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