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Triathlon doors and windows

Sometimes it's just not in the cards. That goes for knowing how hard to push during workouts. And how to fit your sport into daily life.

My plan had been to celebrate turning 35 next season with an Ironman. Specifically, Ironman Wisconsin. But at some point this summer it just became crystal clear that it's not going to happen. Financially, it's not in the cards to spend the money for a weekend away volunteering to secure my spot. Where you pay for your next year's registration immediately, mind you. Cole is starting school and needs supplies. We're trying to take our weekend away without the kids in October. It's just the absolute worst time for a variety of reasons.

I still can't bring myself to cancel the hotel reservation and e-mail my coordinator that I won't be able to make it. But I'm nearly there.

Because when I step back to the bigger picture, I realize I've never had to learn the harsh lessons of being injured during training. At least not in a decade or so. But that's the kind of lesson I'm supposed to be learning from endurance sports. Yes to perseverance. And accomplishing difficult goals. But this sport is also about delayed gratification. Overcoming obstacles. Knowing when to back off and when to push forward.

So I'm trying to look on the bright side. When door closes, a window opens.

This has become the perfect time to think hard about what I want to do next year. Do I really want to put all my eggs in one basket? Maybe I should split my season a few ways? Will I feel let down if I don't complete that 140.6 for my birthday milestone?

One of my growing favorite scenarios is I race a half-Iron like the Ironman 70.3 Racine where I could avoid a hotel stay. Drive up for check in. Drive home. Drive up for the start on race morning. Lake Michigan swim. Then follow it up with finally doing my hometown marathon in Columbus in late October. Could stay with family, kids see them, I get to visit friends possibly if I can convince some of the runners I know to make it a reunion. The weeks of training workout pretty well so I could take a short break after the tri and get in a pretty nice, full marathon plan.

Or do I still want to do an Ironman? Ironman Louisville is always open well into summer for registration...because it's hot, humid, non-wetsuit river swim in the Ohio. But the finish is legendary. Plenty of places to stay, not a far drive.

Or, for the same miles away from home and less entrance money, could always go for a non-WTC iron distance. Perhaps a family weekend away at Cedar Point doing the Rev3? My parents could easily drive up to watch me. Lake Erie swim. Flat course. Not as many spectators or other triathletes. A few hundred athletes versus nearly 3,000 for Louisville.

So it's not like there aren't options. I was excited about Madison. But I could easily get excited about anything I listed above. Maybe when a triathlon door closes, God opens a triathlon window? Stay tuned.

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