It's sad for me to announce that I must drop out of the 2008 Ironman Louisville. I would have been athlete #1937.
I'm loath to admit I was too quick to return to full training while recovering from the knee troubles after the Boston Marathon. As a result the tendinosis never fully healed.
But, worse than that, I have been diagnosed with at least one micro-tear of the medial meniscus of my left knee. It's a bit swollen due to inflammation in the joint synovium. It's painful to straighten the leg and there's a "clicking" feeling when I walk.
My surgeon's prognosis is possible 80% recovery with physical therapy and rest. If recovery doesn't progress in six weeks then surgery may be needed.
His adamant advice is: Do NOT race Ironman Louisville.
Sur' - sur'- surgery?!
'BoomerNation, I can't find the words to express my disappointment with the news. It's not me to leave unfinished business, or toss my hat into the ring only to pull it out when things aren't going my way. No, I have never DNF'd a race. And, not that there is anything wrong with a DNF because I know there are athletes much stronger and tougher than I and they have pulled the plug mid-race. I've always believed that it is far better to give it your all in the pursuit of the finish line and pull out, lest cause serious injury, than it is to have never started.
However, after further examination, I am submitting to a DNF... or worst, a DNS (Did Not Start). Looking back, almost a year ago, I registered for Ironman Louisville with much anticipation of private accomplishment and public acknowledgement of a goal fulfilled. This was to be my third Ironman race and the first run not for charity or altruistic motives. No, this race was for the joy of the sport and the love.
But, not all is lost... so I have learned. It's been said that the real fortune is not found on the other side of the finish line but in the journey to the start line. Thems wuz pretty lofty words for a simple boy like me to understand... until now. Because today I know I am living those words. Although I won't have a finisher's medal around my neck, I have found fortune in this past year. What I have gained is confirmation that swimming, biking, and running for the fun, the fitness, the friendships, and the lifestyle are noble purposes. What I have gained is unwavering commitment to those things that are good, worthwhile, not ordinary, and stand up to the winds of doubt.
Although I am deeply disappointed that I won't be racing Ironman Louisville, I know I've gained more in the preparation than I would have ever gained by not registering for the race.
Now I turn my attention to healing and renewing.
After all... Ironman Lake Placid 2009 is only 11 months away.
"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."
-- Jackie Joyner-Kersey