Returning to the sport was always in the back of my mind. What I loved best about sprint distance triathlon was that, with a reasonable amount of fitness, I always felt like I could pull off a respectable race. I even swam a 4K open water swim last month and finishing gave me the confidence to seriously think about signing up for a sprint distance race this summer. But when I went out for a sprint distance brick workout earlier this week (20K bike ride, 5K run), I struggled and ended up in tears because it was so hard. The only thing that kept me going was having read the race report of my pal Jared Chartrand (aka Irondad
), who spectacularly crashed during the biggest race of his season, a half Ironman that would have qualified him for the World Championships. The crash meant he lost his chance at qualifying, but he still finished the race. Here I was all pouty because my 5K was hard, and the reason it was hard was that (a) I’m no longer in my 20s, which is when I last raced, and (b) I’ve spent the last year running and cycling slowly and avoiding all speedwork.