This word gets used a llot in sports. “It takes sacrifice to get to the top, to obtain your goals”, etc.
Often in endurance sports it has a definition I disagree with. You need to sacrifice a lot for that goal. Sacrifice sleeping in, eating the foods you like, having a social life, fun in general, the list goes on. If you have read more than one or two of the training entries on this blog you know that I do things a bit differently.
However, there is truth between those lines. The higher your goal, the more you MAY have to sacrifice to achieve it.
There is a saying in the mountaineering world when traveling on a glacier, “You don’t worry about the crevasses you can see, you worry about the ones you can’t.”
In sport the toughest times you will often face are the ones you never saw coming. I often wonder if that is because there’re so difficult you never imagined having to deal with it? Or is it simply because you were not prepared as you should have been?
As I prepare for the Ironman world championships in Kailua- Kona, Hawaii things have gone well. Recovery far better than last year after IMC, I slowly started training, getting myself to a point where I could “handle” the Steamboat Springs stage race and get some good training out of it, without digging myself back into a hole. I did that pretty well. A few days of recovery and I was feeling great, ready to go for my 1 week of focused training in all 3 sports. The only full week of real training I would have between IM lake Placid and IM Hawaii. Then, bamb a cold struck. Time is NOT on my side here. One HAS to be healthy and rested for an IM, or any big endurance event. yet I am still a shadow of my former self from June and July when I did IM lake placid. The classic catch 22 “I want to be more fit/prepared but I must be rested, healthy, motivated and fresh for race day.”
I say this in every training seminar I do:
“The biggest limiter every athlete faces is TIME”
Now as I finish up this post with completely backwards writing we need to take another steep back. Before I was even at the starting line in Lake Placid in which was able to use my body that cast the shadow I which I speak of, I avioded a potentially catastrophic disaster. Getting sick 3 weeks out from my biggest race of the year. I did this with a very large amount of sacrifice. The twist here is that the sacrifice was not on my part but my wife’s.
Lindsay had been very busy with work, traveling a lot. In the middle of a 2 week work trip on the phone one night I could hear it in her voice. “are you sick?” I asked. A long pause. “… I’m sorry baby, I tried, I've done everything…” she felt horrible. She knew the place I was at. Just finishing up a huge 2 week training block, ready to rest, perform well at one last Oly distance race and then drain a tank I had been filling for the last 2 years in less than 10 hours.
It’s likely she could have come home and all would have been fine. But when you prepare all year for one day the risk was kinda high. Lindsay decided, and yes this was her idea, she would return from her long work trip and spend two additional days at a friend’s house in town not comeing home to get more clothes and not seeing me. This was to ensure she was not contagious anymore. I thought this was a bit ridiculous but she tock words that I have used before “if we are gona do this, let’s do it 100% or not as all”. Motivation to come up with the goods on race day at Ironman Lake Placid? You could say that.
The biggest sacrifice that was made to achieve a lifelong goal of making it to the ironman world championships was not made by me… crazy. Life still amazes me, every day. my wife amazes me, everyday.
Next post I’ll talk a bit about IM recovery, starting training up again and what it was like for me. I will also be posting, daily in the last few days leading up to the IM Hawaii. Stay tuned!