well, that was fun. I officially ended my ironman preparation today, canceling the condo rental and initiating the race withdrawal process as well.
Long before I signed up last July and in anticipation of that day I visited an ortho in Boston to get an idea on the likelihood that my left knee IT band problems would hold up to the training volume. Like any good doctor he made no commitment, but the early indications were good so I signed up.
My training started in January and I ramped it up pretty good through February. March 1st I spent 3 hours on the trainer and developed some pain in my right knee, along the inside edge of my knee cap. Classic Patella Femoral syndrome. I rested a few days but kept going for the most part, thought the intensity was slipping. Despite the easier efforts, the pain worsened over the next few weeks.
First it was uncomfortable when I ran but fine when I stopped, then it would hurt while riding, then would hurt for some time after rides and finally it was just sore all the time. I shut it down in mid April for 8 days but upon resuming the knee felt bad again. The training became more spotty as that was the only thing that would keep it from hurting constantly, but this past Monday was the final straw when my right IT band started to ache.
Giving this up for good wasn't easy, there were more than a few people who were/are inconvenienced and I feel I've let a few people down. But no race is worth an injury and I want to be healthy for cyclocross.
So it's done. I won't sign up again. I can't say I didn't try, so I don't expect to feel guilty about not getting to the finish line. Maybe when I'm 60 and the kids are gone I'll consider it again... but probably not.