The Road to Deception?
With Texas around the corner everything should be ready to race right? Well, not exactly. World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of the Ironman triathlon, greet us the almost 2000 registered athletes with some news. So let's recount the dilemma.
A month before the race: Everyone was starting to freaking out. Why? Well the race didn't have an approved bike course. Which means that the 112 mile bike we are training for, wasn't existent whatsoever. The reason for this was that the previous course was under a lot of renovations and constructions, so it wasn't safe for us athletes to ride through there.
Three weeks before the race: we finally received the news that we have a bike course. We didn't know the actual course, elevation or where was it, but we just knew that we have a course to ride 112 miles.
Two weeks before the race (this week): We get the breaking news that the course is 94 miles and not 112 miles. Hell breaks loose. When I heard the news I was FURIOUS. A lot of people were. We couldn't believe that Ironman waited a whole year to get their shit together in 4 weeks to get the course together. Isn’t this supposedly is a “North American Championship”, and it should be taking with the most seriousness of the case? People have been training for this for months! [At least for me has been 20 weeks (5 months) ] All the sacrifices of training early in the mornings and trying to fit every workout in our busy lifestyles, just to reach the title of "Ironman" erased away by 18 missing miles.
Ironman is an ideal put in numbers. "Swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and run 26.2 miles, brag the rest of your life." An ideal of challenge beyond the limits of common people. "Ironman 70.3" stands for a half ironman race, and you know that "Ironman" is 140.6 miles and not 122.6 miles. You are paying and training to finish 140.6 miles. So does doing 122 miles doesn't make me an Ironman? How should I feel when Mike Reilly says "Alberto, you are an Ironman" when is not actually accurate. Should he say "87% Ironman" to be more accurate? Or when people ask, should I say “Oh yeah, I have done 2.87 Ironmans” instead of saying I have done three?
I have done 2 already and I could care less. But I feel bad for the first timers. I would have been pissed is this one was my first one, and not receiving the complete experience. Luckily the organizers have giving some people options to transfer the race to other venues. The problem is that the training will continue, and you will need to peak again for that race of your choosing, since the peak for this race will be lost.
After my furiousness have passed, something hit me. The Houston area right now is in the middle of it’s worst flooding in years and has been declared a “State of disaster” by it's governor. Seven people have died, a thousand had to be evacuated, flooded 1,000 homes and caused more than $5 billion in damage. I read some comments on Ironman's social media page, of locals saying “a lot of people have lost their homes” to“you should be glad you are having a race at all.” Yes, the situation have been bad.
So should I still be furious about the race? Yeah. Should I be sad about the people in Houston? Yeah. You see, this is a situation that both sides are correct. Ironman has had a lot of time to plan a race (a year), and the flooding’s happened a month before the race, while we still haven’t had any bike course. And yes, I do get that in order to plan an event of this magnitude, you need city permissions, close roads, organize security, volunteers, and basically stop a whole working city, not only for a couple of hours… but for a full day. On the other hand, you cannot prepare yourself enough when nature hits you. Nature is something you cannot control. Coming from another nature’s tragedy (Ecuador’s Earthquake) I know how horrible it is. So yes, my prayers are with the people of the Houston area are and I am very thankful to them for letting us having our event.
WTC has had a lot criticism through the last years. But something that always have been a priority has been their athletes security. Ideologically they have been doing good lately, like helping Ecuador’s relief efforts via Ironman Foundation or letting people pull out or transfer races based in North Carolina due to the controversial law against LGBT groups by stating that “IRONMAN is an all-inclusive sport and we will continue to always provide an arena for all individuals to pursue their goals and dreams of becoming an IRONMAN.” It seems you are finally doing things correctly WTC.
The actual Road to Texas update
ANYWAYS, this should had been an update on the progress to Ironman Texas. So finally the apocalyptic training has ended. This week the volume has started going down (which has been very welcome). I'm been trying to handle my pains and right now taping has been helping a lot with my knee.
But hey! what means taping? As I said last week, I'm feeling to pieces (at least that's my feeling) and I literally I am putting myself together with TAPE. Kinesio tape that is. Kinesio taping gives support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. It is also used for Preventive Maintenance, Edema, and to treat pain. Kinesio taping is a technique based on the body's own natural healing process.
Surprisingly enough, Kinesio taping has help around my vast amount of injuries in the past, and as before, it is helping me with my pain in the knee. Now, the pain is not exactly in the knee, but is caused by the overuse of my quad muscles on my left leg. On another part, I tried taping my Achilles but without success (actually hurts more with tape), but at least it lessens one of 2 evils. Body just hold it together one more week! Kaioken!!!
"I absolutely must not lose!!!" Will my Kaioken x20 will be of no use in Texas?