It’s been 13 days since I woke up and reality as I knew it drastically changed. I spent the first week slightly troubled by the injury, but hopeful I’d rest, ice and be ready to go as planned on race day. But things took a turn for the worse six days ago and I’ve spent that time dealing with the loss of a dream and finding a way to accept it. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. But the way I’ve dealt with this has been a surprise even to me. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and the most important thing is that I’m deeply changed by this journey. I have discovered that while people, activities or events can make me happy, I no longer rely on them for my happiness. I determine my own happiness and if I gained nothing else, I’ve gained a strong sense of self and am content with the path I took and the choices I made.
With only one choice remaining, I have no doubt I’ll be content with whatever I decide. I saw my podiatrist today and looked at the MRI films. There is definitely something wrong with my plantar fascia, but it’s hard to say 100% that it’s torn. As my injury stands today I will recover rather quickly and can resume training and move on to my next challenge. If I attempt to do any portion of the marathon, walking or running, I am risking further injury and longer term damage. There is no guarantee this will happen, but it’s a risk I have to accept in order to make my decision. The possibility of a full rupture is very minimal since it would require me running or walking through tremendous pain that I would hopefully realize was a sign to stop. That said, there is just as good a chance I could get off the bike, feel pretty good and walk the entire race trouble free. There is even a chance I could run/walk it at a very easy pace. Only I will know the right choice and I won’t know it until I get to T2 on race day.
I’ve been touched and overwhelmed by the support I’ve received throughout this ordeal. I think the most comforting thing is knowing I won’t be letting anyone down by not finishing the race. On the flip side, I hope I’m not letting anyone down if I choose to attempt a finish. I realize it might not be the “right” thing to do in many people’s eyes, but at the end of the day, I have to be able to wake up Monday morning and feel good about whatever decision I made. The right one will hopefully be the one that feels best in the moment.
I arrived in Madison tonight and within minutes, received a call from friends to meet up for dinner. It reminded me why this race is so special to me. I've been here less than half a day and am already having fun. That's what this was always supposed to be about.
My dad looked at my training numbers for the year and shared something with me tonight. If you divide them by the Ironman distances, I've already completed the swim 33.51 times, the bike 22.44 times and the run 24.5 times. For that, I'm proud. If all the stars align and the day decides to be kind to me, maybe I'll complete them all one more time.