Wicked Wednesday Prompt #328: Someday

This topic is an overarching theme for this site.  I hit something of a midlife crisis two years ago at age 34, which may sound a bit ridiculous but for an endurance athlete, that’s getting long in the tooth!  I had just been a recreational 5-10k runner, but I’d always wanted to run a marathon and it struck me on my birthday that I was getting close to a age where I wouldn’t be able to run one competitively (at least in the sense of qualifying for Boston).  So I started training.  New Years of this year I set four goals:

  1.  Run a marathon under 3 hours and qualify for the Boston Marathon
  2. Complete a run over 100 miles
  3. Qualify for Western States lottery
  4. complete a full Ironman triathlon

I’ve accomplished #1 and have confidence of running two races, one in November and the other in December to fulfill #2 and #3.  #4 is my primary goal and it is proving difficult.

This weekend I went to Custer, South Dakota to complete a half Ironman triathlon as indicated on my post Pre-race Preparation.  I failed.

Despite the weather being in the 80s during the day, the mornings in the Black Hills were frigid as was the water.  I have a hard enough time as is doing the swim and athletes were shivering in their wetsuits.  And I have no wetsuit.  The half length was two laps and I was going numb and cramping during one, so I called it and downgraded to Olympic distance.  I was second to last on the swim and got lapped by several half length swimmers.

Contemplating the swim

Despite that, I finished top ten in Olympic since my running is well above average and my bike is average to slightly above average.  Still, the failure stings as I have registered for the final full ironman length race of this year which is just on the 22nd of this month.  That will be the last chance I have of completing my goal for this year.  I have serious doubts about being able to finish the swim.

So that’s my someday: complete a full Ironman.  And I hope that someday is September 22nd.  Wish me luck.



  1. Mrs Fever

    There is a difference, I think, between changing course and failing.

    My husband has had hypothermia; as a result (and added in with some other medical complications), he has no tolerance for cold. Especially not cold water. So reading that you attempted the swim without cold-water gear made me think of the potential for hypothermia and shiver in my seat. Brrr!

    But regardless of the cold, you didn’t quit.

    You didn’t exit the challenge entirely or walk away or just give up.

    You changed course.

    And in so doing, perhaps you figured out a few things you’ll need to do differently (invest in a wet suit!) if you want to re-route yourself onto a trail that leads to completing an Iron Man.

    This is not failure.
    It is an opportunity for growth.
    An opportunity you’ve taken.

    That, to me, is success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nopantsendurance

      Thanks for the encouragement, it’s not a full failure, I suppose. I’ve failed to finish my share of ultra races. The thing with triathlon is that there are few races and they’re super expensive, so it’s not so easy to just toss in the towel and try again next month. If I can’t get it done on the 22nd, I’ll have to stew in that feeling of failure for a whole year. I’m apprehensive about it.


  2. ThePinkSeam

    As a former high school and collegiate heptathlete, I am completely familiar with having to face/challenge physical limitations in the pursuit of goals. I have every confidence that you will do better your next Tri. And really, *that* should be your focus—improvement. Unless you have been training in water as often as you’ve been running, you must be realistic about what you can accomplish in that leg of the race.

    It’s good to be competitive and motivated, but you have to also manage your expectations and take into account your current resources (e.g., your energy, your preparation, recovery time, expenses, etc.). Failure is giving up. You did *not* do that. You just discovered what parts of your training need to be tweaked. On the odd chance you don’t meet your goal, ‘stewing’ all year is what will fuel your motivation to train better to accomplish your goal the next year.

    Best of luck next week! I’ll be rooting for you from my sofa! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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