So, 2016 was set up to be a completely different season than the usual - instead of early season footraces, a big triathlon or two in the summer, and then a fall half or full to finish it off, I decided to travel to expand the season into Florida 70.3 in April, Timberman 70.3 in August, and then a fall 70.3, either Austin or Arizona.
The season started off strongly enough, with an usually mild winter (I RODE my BIKE on CHRISTMAS!) that made early season training easier than usual. I even somehow managed to obtain THREE amazing sponsors.
Florida 70.3 went fairly well with my best triathlon swim ever despite my OWS experience of the season consisting of paddling around in the lake in my skin suit for 15 minutes the day before, my first ever penalty (don't even talk to me about the new draft zone), and the fact that it was EARLY APRIL. Only real complaints were the run (a personal worst 13.1 time, HIM or open half-marathon) and the fact I got my fourth 6:50 70.3 in a row. For real. LOL!
After Florida, I got sick and admittedly struggled after that in one way or the other the rest of the season. My Time Trial series was unusually slow, although I did get a good day and squeaked out a four-second PR. I DNFed the Hague HITS Oly after not being able to swim against the foot-high waves in Lake George that morning. Not panicking was a huge improvement but it was still frustrating after all the hard tempo and interval work I had done to speed up for it.
The Mini-Tris went the same way - my fastest time was three minutes off my PR from last year - when I wasn't working speed at all. In the middle of all this, my training (especially my running) was not going well at all a majority of the time.
The final nail in the coffin for the 2016 season was when I found out within the space of 24 hours (not exaggerating) that I would need extensive and very expensive dental work, I had not one but two close family members coming home for end of life palliative care, and my responsibilities for one of my clients was changing and would likely include my first business trip in seven years in August.
So like that, Timberman was out and my coach and I powwowed and decided to use August as a month off reset to take care of shit and get my mind (and hopefully non-cooperating body) back into it.
The next week was Ironman week, at least here in Lake Placid and I felt that itch. It started as a "huh, maybe that will truly set 'reset' and fresh start" early in the week and by Sunday night the voices were whispering in my head and I knew. I was being called again.
So this morning, on the exact 5-year anniversary of my signing up for my first Ironman, I plunked down my crying credit card for Round Three.
Ironman whispered, and I am answering its call again.