Two years ago, while I was training for the Ironman, I blew my knee out, completely gone.
Last season, my leg was too weak to race, so I haven't races for almost two years. I've trained and trained, but as we all know training and racing with 1000 of your "closest friends" is a completely different beast.
Sunday is my first triathlon in two years, The Fire Cracker Triathlon in St. Joe. Michigan. Oddly enough this was the last race I competed in before I blew out my knee.
There have been other opportunities, but I have always found a way around it. I'm not ready, too soon, I don't want to wake up and drive, I need to get waxed, blah, blah, blah.
But as I sat in my lazy boy back in March and looked down at my healthy knee, I started to think about "when will it be right? When will this great march towards Kona start?" and I realized, I am scared, scared out of my A*&.
I am an Ironman, I have been punched, kicked and raced in all kinds of weather, but it has been a while and when I break it down, I am terrified to do this again. The swim, the pushing my knee, the having to wear a wetsuit with my big belly bulging out. Scared.
Part of it is the mindset, I think like an Ironman " I should be running faster and farther, I am better than what I am doing." I am in fact a 41 year old man with a blown out knee. The battle for my coach Jim Dicker of Training Bible, has been helping me mentally adjust to this re-build. Sunday we see how the project goes BTW- The man is a saint for putting up with me.
If you have ever raced at Fire Cracker,
then you know that it is a quality race, on the other side of the lake,
run by one of the best organizations in the area. If, I'm going t
re-pop my tri cherry and face my fears, I couldn't think of a better
way to do it.
Believe it or not, it's not sold out! This is a great way to end the long holiday weekend, and a chance to race on the Steelhead course, without having to invest 70.3 miles of your time.
So yes, I will be racing this weekend. If you see me, be nice, say "hi," and I'll meet you at the finish line.
Here we go!