July 6, 2010:
It has taken me almost 3 months to make a decision on whether to re-attempt the New Orleans Half-Ironman distance triathlon. I have ridden the roller coaster of emotions since my performance last April, and wasn't sure if I had it in me to try this again. It truly was the hardest day, mentally and physically, of my life.
I have contemplated other 70.3 races in place of a return to New Orleans, and thought that I had come to a decision a few days ago, favoring a calmer body of water and a change in scenery. The problem with that is that by choosing another race, it allows me an out. It keeps me from facing my fear, which is really a return to New Orleans, the lake, and failure. I don't think I will feel successful until I accomplish what I originally set out to do, which was to officially finish the 70.3 New Orleans' race.
I'm not going to lie. It scares the $^% out of me. I don't want to set myself up, especially in front of the internet world, with another play-by-play that ends in disappointment. I don't know if I can handle that. I think that would be really humiliating. I am afraid of failure and I am afraid of the swim. I'm not sure that will ever change. But if I can get through the swim, and not quit at the rest of the race, then I can move on to other goals.
I have some advantages this time that I didn't have before: I have experience - I know just how hard that race was and am better prepared for it mentally than I was in April; the water was awful that day, and I truly don't think it could be much worse... so there will either be better conditions, or the same - and I did survive those awful waves, even if it was ugly; I have an awesome training partner now that I will have throughout my training, not just at the end; AND I still have the best coach in the world who will prepare me better than anyone can; I have a base level of fitness that I didn't have last year, so I can build on that to be stronger, faster, and mentally tougher; and more than anything - I have motivation to finish right this time.
So, as much as it takes the breath out of me to publicly say it:
"I commit to racing and "officially" completing the New Orleans 70.3 Half-Ironman, April 17, 2011."
Let the training begin...