No Memorial Day triathlon.
Due to my fairly substantial case of anemia, I have to flush 2 months of training down the crapper. Per my doctor's orders I'm allowed to exercise, but if I get short of breath or fatigued I have to STOP what I'm doing. So basically I can walk, ride my bike at a leisurely pace, or swim with frequent breaks.
I'll just tell you it totally sucks. And I've considered doing it any way. After all I completed a marathon (with elevations that practically make it a hike) with said anemia. I didn't know it at the time, of course, but all my symptoms where there. Surely if I can walk 26.2 miles and be fine - swimming 350 meters followed by a 10 mile bike and a 2.6 mile run wouldn't hurt me, right?
I got the news on Friday and all weekend long the great theologian Kenny Rogers spoke to me:
You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'emI remembered the soldier from the Mountain Man March, holding his cell phone. Unwilling to make the call that would make the previous 20 miles worthless, all the while knowing that he didn't have it in him to complete the last 6.2.
Know when to walk away, know when to run
You never count your money, when you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin', when the dealin's done.
This decision sucks.
I know there are several of the Sisters broken right now, so in a way I know I'm not alone. Its also not at all the same. I feel like I could go do the triathlon tomorrow. Its an injury where putting pressure on my foot/knee/leg/back is painful.
I feel fine. Athletes are use to fatigue. Those of us with exercise induced asthma are use to shortness of breath.
I can do this.
In the back of my head, however, I have my doctor wagging her finger at me. With severe anemia, racing could put too much strain on my body. Said strain might lead to congestive heart failure.
Do you see my frustration? These aren't things that are likely to happen. I'm throwing away 2 months of training "just in case".
I realize there will always be other triathlons, and in the end I decided to take her advice. I haven't been performing up to the best of my ability lately (and know we know why). When I finally do compete in a triathlon, I want to be able to give it my all. To do my best. Not hold back during the bike over fear that I might be taxing my body too much.
I fear gaining weight.
I fear losing conditioning.
But mostly I fear the anxiety I would feel if I allowed my fear dwell on the problem, not what the problem is keeping me from. Because at the end of the day its not about the race. Its not about how much I weigh. At the end of the day I'm severely anemic and probably losing blood somewhere I shouldn't be.
And if I let it, that prospect could scare me sh*tless.
So for now I'll focus on my fear of growing back into my fat clothes, because that's the only way I know how to function.