Isn't that what they say?
I had my heart set on Utra520K Canada (formerly Ultraman Canada) for 2016. This is a HUGE 3-day event that would push me absolutely to my limits. I really, really want to do this race and had it planned for next year.
Then, I had some medical issues this year that kept me on the sidelines throughout the entire triathlon season. This was especially frustrating because I felt physically fine, but spent most of the summer having testing done, etc. After a great discussion with Brian, we decided that the timing is not right for me to compete in Penticton next summer. In my heart, I know this is the right decision. My health and my family come first. So, we mapped out a three year plan for me to get to Ultra520K Canada in 2018. We'll have a much better understanding of where things stand with my health by approaching it this way. And, it gives us plenty of time to plan for such a big event.
This led me to think about planning our races seasons. I think often we develop tunnel vision with our athletic goals. "I want to do an Ironman before I turn 40." "I want to do a marathon next year." But, what about long term planning and making sure all the pieces are there to allow us to be successful?
Things I would encourage all athletes to think about as they look toward their goals…
Am I truly ready to take on this physical event? Do I have the skills and experience necessary to do it right?
There is NOTHING wrong with taking one or two more seasons to hone your skills, gain experience, shore up your weaknesses, etc. You will likely have a better experience at your goal race in the long run.
Can I put the time/work in to complete my goal? If you just had a baby, relocated to a new city, started a new job, have super busy kids' schedules with sports, etc, maybe the timing is just not right. Everyone has a different family dynamic and only you can step back to decide if you truly can carve out the necessary time to train for your event without sacrificing TOO much along the way.
Is your body ready to train and race? If you have been injured, ill, or in the case of many of my friends - just had a baby - allow your body to be truly healed. I have certainly made this mistake. You're the only one who knows your body, so listen to it and allow it to heal when you need to!
The bottom line is that triathlon will always be there. I fully intend to be on the starting line at Ultra520K Canada in 2018 as long as I get accepted. But, I also know that a LOT can happen in three years. So, we'll move forward with the plan and continue to be flexible when needed.
I guess sometimes chasing your dreams means pushing them out just a bit to get there, at least in my case!