Almost exactly a year ago I was having dinner with my wife outside in shirtsleeves at a nice Italian restaurant in Chicago's goldcoast. Normally that would be a very pleasant evening - but in the back of mind all I could think about was that I'd much rather need a sweater. It wasn't the kind of weather I had hoped for when I started by training for the Chicago marathon 24 weeks previously. When it's beach weather on marathon day - you're in trouble.
I won't be sitting outside tonight because it's raining and chilly. Does that make me happy? Not really. All the rain has made the Delaware River dangerously high and they have canceled the swim for what was to be my first 70.3 half-Ironman here in the beautiful Poconos of Pennsylvania. Most of you probably know how much I hate swimming. But, I actually do find myself a little conflicted - after all, I did work pretty hard on my swim and I can't really say I've finished a half-iron after tomorrow. Plus, riding a bike for almost 3 hours in 45-50 degress and rain will be miserable. But, the other part of me is thankful that I don't have to pull on that anti-breathing straghtjacket (aka a wetsuit) tomorrow morning.
I'm certainly not the first to make this point - but training for one or two goal endurance events per year is a gamble. So many things can go wrong. I guess that's why it's so sweet when things go right.
It could still be fun tomorrow. Usually being in a competitive situation makes the cold not so bad - plus it will give me an opportunity for a decent run. And as some friends have already pointed out it will certainly give me a higher finish than I would have had with the swim. The whole bike thing is tricky though. I was pumping up my front tire this afternoon before leaving my bike at the transition (now start) zone this afternoon when I started sounding air rushing out of the tire. I was able to get a new inner tube and the bike is fine - but it is a reminder that I have to rely on equipment tomorrow as much as myself.