To Race or Not to Race...

That is the question. Coach Gerardo informed me today that there are some open Oceanside 70.3 slots through an adventure travel company.  I'm torn.  On one hand, I feel I'm just rounding into form again and love the idea that I've got plenty of time left to do so before Wildflower 70.3 this May.  There's no pressure on me, especially with my busy work, writing and general "life" schedule right now, to get ready for a race that's less than two months away.  Do I want to heap that upon myself?

Well, I am a glutton for punishment.

My friends Rusty (whom I cheered on at Vineman 140.6 last year) and Bob (Ironman Arizona fellow finisher) are both racing Oceanside -- Bob took one of the open slots today.  That's almost enough alone for me suit up a month earlier than planned.  However, here's the wrinkle.  Gerardo wants me to treat the race as a "C" event on my schedule -- meaning the pace should be far less than all-out.  But he also thinks I can break 5:30 there as well.  Keeping in mind that I did Vineman 70.3 in just a few minutes past 5:30 this past summer with a lot more intense training, I'm a bit skeptical.

Then again, I've repeatedly proven myself wrong when I doubt my training and all the hard work I've put in.

Finally, the last bit of the puzzle, is this: Am I capable of doing any Half-Ironman at anything less than my all-out best pace?  Especially with two of my friends by my side, not to mention my Fortius teammates? As my friend and teammate, Karen, pointed out at our coached swim workout tonight, I'm "one competitive little (guy)."  Honestly, I know I'm incapable of treating a Half-Ironman, especially one I pay a premium price to enter, as anything less than an A-level race.  This will be especially difficult given that I'll be attending South by Southwest Interactive as a panel participant the weekend I should be peaking for Oceanside training.

As I'm typing this, I can see the negatives outweighing the positive reasons I should race.

But that just makes me want to do it more!

Oh, what to do???

Has this ever happened to you?

What did you do?  What would you do?  To race, or not to race?

126 days and counting.