I met with my coach, Gerardo, after work tonight to talk about the next eight weeks of training heading into Ironman Arizona. After what was supposed to be an "easy" three hour ride became a struggle to finish yesterday on sore, jet-lagged legs, I knew I needed to slow down, take a step back, and reassess my "real" fitness and race readiness. My mind was telling me "Hell yes!" But my body was telling me... "Quit dreamin', kid." Together, Gerardo and I decided that racing at Malibu this Saturday was not a wise choice if I was seeking a top five podium finish.
Our thinking was that my immune system is weakened due to all the air travel, and my wife is sick with a fever and sinus infection, staying home the past few days. I was her man servant caretaker yesterday, in fact. At Malibu, I'd go all-out at the race and be incapable of holding back, which would further tax me. I've got Ironman 70.3 Silverman in Las Vegas in a couple weeks, which is more important to me, and is a better lead-in to Ironman Arizona in November. I could make better use of this weekend with a long base-building ride. The logic is too great to ignore, much as I love racing.
Shockingly, I'm totally OK with this decision. Deep down, I knew it was the right one even before I set foot into G's house. Plus, I've already achieved my main goal for the season -- Age-Group All-American status -- and this race won't affect that one way or the other. My secondary goal was to attain Ironman All-World Athlete "gold" status this season. I need three Ironman-branded races to do it, and I've got one in the books (Oceanside, in March). So Silverman and IMAZ are therefore higher on the priority list.
So, I flushed a couple hundred bucks down the drain for Malibu -- a race I always look forward to. The scenery, the chaos, the pancakes at Coogies in Malibu Creek afterwards. But I think it was a smarter choice for the long haul. Disagree with me? I'd love to hear why. I'm always open for a debate.