Last November I made a huge leap for myself - I signed up for Ironman Arizona 2009. Actually, I didn't even sign myself up, since I couldn't get through on active.com. Mike Zero managed to sign himself up, then got back through again and signed me up.
Man, that seems like a lifetime ago.
Triathlons didn't always sell out a year in advance. No, you used to be able to sign up the day before certain races. There are still a few out there like that, but in general, the races that I want to do, do sell out very quickly.
It's frustrating because you are committing to doing something 365 days later that requires you to be super fit, but you never know what's going to happen in that time that may derail you. Of course, sitting there a year ago, I would have had no reason to think that I wouldn't be able to race.
So now, being mid-September, I'm already out of the game for a number of 2010 Ironman events. I don't foresee being physically capable of doing one before July anyway, which only left Lake Placid - a race I have no desire to do. Then comes Louisville. I am pretty sure I could wait to sign up for this one, but after going to it this year and seeing how great the weather was, I know next year will be terrible if I go to do it.
Next up: Wisconsin.
I remember when Wisconsin began. My training partner at the time had just become a card-carrying professional and went out there for his IM debut. The race quickly earned a reputation as a challenging bike course, and over the years would be known for its inconsistent weather, its amazing organization and fantastic community support. At the time my friend went 9:55 and was 18th overall. Wow.
Brennan's sister has done this race the past couple years, so he goes out to watch. During my trip to Madison last year for Chima's wedding, I was awed by how awesome the place was and really felt like that would be a race I would want to do. Alyssa decided she was going to sign up for next year and the thought popped into my head.
I went online around 4pm on Monday (I don't remember this race opening to active.com in the past few years) and began filling out the application. My favorite was the section regarding "overcoming obstacles or adversity" on your way to the race. I filled it out, thinking that I've got a pretty good shot at making it onto TV.
Then I came to the payment section. Nearly $600. I contemplated it for a second, then a few minutes more. Last year I took this leap, but given my current situation, I just couldn't do it. I closed out the browser and forgot about it. The idea of spending money for a race in the future isn't the problem; the problem was I spent the money last year, can't do the race this year, don't have that money back and can't spend money I don't have on a race if I just don't know how my rehabilitation will go. And it's not just the race entry, it's everything - flight, hotel, bike transport, days off, etc.
It was sad, because it just appears as if the Irongods are working against me to allow me to ever do one of their races. I don't even want to think about next November yet (and IM Florida or Arizona) and those are the last two remaining races. There's always the SetUp Events Beach 2 Battleship in November, but that sells out just as fast as an Ironman event.
I've already signed up for Eagleman next year, which had gone up $15 from last year, and Columbia opened up a little over a week ago.
Columbia is a race that sold out in February 2001, the first year I did it. I think I registered in January. Then each year this hysteria was manufactured by the race director and the idiots that do these races that you had to sign up earlier and earlier. By 2003 I was signing up in November. After my two year hiatus, I was signing up in October.
I thought I might at least have a few weeks this year, but when I went online on Tuesday they were down to 260 spots. Not bad, I thought, probably have another week or so.
Or not. Thank God Pat emailed me this morning, informing me that as of 9:15am there were 15 spots left. The time was now 9:55am and I had to haul to get through it. I filled everything out, was appalled at the $130 price tag for the race (2001 it was $75) and when I got my confirmation, there were only 9 spots left.
Amazing. I am the 10th to last person they are going to let in that race.
But who knows if I'll be able to race or not. I may not have a time trial bike, I may not be running. Only time will tell!