No Tahoe for You!

Ironman Lake Tahoe 2014 was cancelled at the last minute.


I’m not doing well with this – I’m petulant and frustrated, in several different directions.

Now, I’m one to practice and preach acceptance, but sometimes, as St. Cindy told me, “…you just have to accept that you can’t accept something”.  And that’s where I am right now. To quote Larry Niven – “I know I’m going to have to get over this sometime. Why not now?”  — to answer Larry Niven, “…because I can’t”.

It’s not as simple as “I trained for a long time and spend a lot of money and travelled and got out of my comfort zone and set up transitions areas for the race and got up and got to the start of the race and didn’t get to do it”. It’s a little more complicated than that.

For one thing, this was the second IM/2 that I signed up for and trained for(*) – the first was St. George, in May, when I squealed like a girl and couldn’t even start the swim. So then I backed off, redirected my efforts, spent a lot of time doing open water swims so that wouldn’t happen again, and then brought all of that to the table at Tahoe.

However, whenever I get near an open water swim that goes straight out into a lake, I get the willies; even though I’ve done three Olympic distance OWSes, something goes awry in my belly when I see those buoys heading into the infinite distance. So, even though it certainly seemed that I was ready to do IMLT/2, it was still possible that I might not have been able to start – or that the stress of the swim might have worn me out and kept me from finishing. “Probably not”, sure, but there is NO WAY TO KNOW THAT I CAN DO IT UNTIL IT IS DONE.

So I was full of fear while setting up T1 and T2 at Tahoe, and full of fear when I went to bed Saturday night, and full of fear when I got to Kings Beach on Sunday morning. I had my wetsuit on and was prepared to walk out into the water and get it done, while at the same time terrifed – as my friend Harlan would say, all I could really do was pray for a Russian air strike, because doing the race and not doing the race were both unacceptable options – although I knew that I was going to do the race, my reptile hindbrain and my adrenals had not signed off on that way of thinking.

So when the cancellation came,  I was angry and relieved at the same time – and angry at myself because I was relieved, and angry because I wouldn’t be able to get the monkey off of my back such that I’d not be afraid any more.

That’s a lot of anger, and a lot of other fear that wants to be released as anger. So I just directed it at the World Triathlon Corporation, since I figured they wouldn’t notice one more angry triathlete 🙂

There was so much going on inside that I was worn out just being alive; I went back to the house and lay down on the bed, and I was OUT; deeply asleep very quickly, such that when my wife woke me up an hour later, I was groggy and couldn’t form simple sentences. Or make simple decisions. And this resulted in us staying in Tahoe another day.

Now it’s two days later and I still don’t know what to think or how to feel or what to do.

So I signed up for IM/2 St George next May, because not doing that race once isn’t enough – I want to not do it again next year. But I’m not willing to drive all the way to Tahoe again to not do a race; St. George is less than four hours away, and that’s plenty of traveling to not do something.


(*) – I also signed up for, and didn’t do, the Utah Half, a non-WTC event; the week before that took place, I found out that it wasn’t a wetsuit swim, and ALL of my open water swimming had been in a wetsuit or happy pants, so I wasn’t about to try that, and I then signed up for the Cache Valley Century bike event for the same day; immediately after signing up for that, the Utah Half sent out an email saying that wetsuits would be allowed, and then I was confused – and then the forecasts for both events were solid, certain thunderstorms following a week of heavy rain, so the night before, I decided not to do either event, and did a century on the trainer in my home gym, instead. I’ve certainly not done a lot of things this year.




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