In May just before the entry fee price was to go up for Muncie 70.3 which was also the week before I was to begin training for the race, I could only focus on the dread of training for a half ironman (HIM). Up until last year I had done a HIM every year since my first go at the distance. Last year I had taken a break from long distance training and racing to mentally recover from Ironman Wisconsin (IMWI) in 2011. For the summer of 2013 it was never a question of doing a HIM or not, but which one I was going to do. Once you go long, you don't go back...right? I knew I could get through the back to back rides on the weekend, the 3-4 hours of training on Saturdays, and the extra-early mornings during the week. With just a few days left to sign up, I realized I didn't want to get through anything, so I told Wes I didn't want to race a half this summer, or really ever again. His response was "then don't", and I realized I don't have to. Up until that second, it never really seemed like an option. I felt a huge wave of relief, and suddenly became happier then I have felt in a long time. Sounds crazy, I know.
So, instead of signing up for Muncie, I registered for two olympic distance triathlons and a 3-part duathlon series (my first duathlon), on top of the races I had already registered for. All of these races had cash prizes, which was a nice incentive, and they were all local, so more opportunities to camp with our new travel trailer.
I happily trained and raced through my first few races, and was doing good, but something was missing. The coaching I had been using for IMWI was geared towards long distance athletes, and I was no longer one of them. Endurance Nation was a great fit for me for the past few years, but with only doing shorter distance races I was about to repeat their short-course plan for the third time. I needed something new to jump-start my desire to train, race, and become a better athlete.
For several years now I have known about the greatness of Daniel Bretcher's coaching. A local phenomenon and former co-worker, Ron Gierut, has been coached successfully for a while, and two other friends, Ebe and Jeremy, had signed on this year. By mid-June, Ebe was already having a break-through year. I finally decided it was worth getting over my fear of trying something new...if Daniel would take me being it was already into the racing season. He did, and I haven't looked back since.