Erich Wegscheider

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The End of Triathlon

The clock read 4-hours, 19-minutes, and 24-seconds. I didn’t know it then, but that marked the end.

After 53 races and nearly 8 years, the triathlon chapter in my life closed.

The decision to step away was not at all premeditated, but rather a long process of unconscious decisions. In short, the opportunity cost to race triathlons was falling out of favor. That, and the impetus to race alludes me. Though, I still love to train with reckless abandon.

Earlier in the year, wishful thinking led me to believe that triathlon was still a majority stakeholder in my decision-making, but I subconsciously vetoed everything triathlon-related. For instance, I sold my TT bike, worked out a deal with a company, got cold feet, and bailed – I still don’t own a TT bike.

I maintained a fairly rigorous and balanced multi-sport regime for awhile, but began questioning why I was doing it. If avoiding a “dad bod” was the rationale, I figured I could get by on a lot less effort. Eating like you give a shit helps, but I mastered that art long ago.

So, what happened between me and triathlon?

I don’t know specifically, but it’s over. In large part, the atmosphere of the sport wore on me. I became put-off by its personalities and brands. Honestly, bad-mouthing the sport isn’t my goal. It’s just not for me right now or in the foreseeable future.

Oddly enough, I still hold an active elite license and have eligibility through 2016. However, I’m not deserving of that status. I could probably call myself an “Elite Age-Grouper,” but seriously, WTF is that non-sense!? Elite = Pro; Age-Grouper = Amateur. Why is triathlon the only sport that can’t clearly define the difference? It’s oxymoronic.

Whatever the case, running has my heart now. I got into Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, a ~ 104 mile ultra in Japan, so that’s my focus for the year. Running had been progressing well; I overcame a knee injury (by not running), ramped up to 50+ miles a week, and was developing some leg speed again. However, I might have gotten overzealous on speed work. Particularly 200s, because my Achilles flared up.

I do realize that 200s have no place in training for a 100 mile ultra. However, I did the Across the Bay 12k and am targeting the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon (which is this weekend) to qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon.

As of now, I can’t confirm that I’ll be on the start line, but I hope I will.

If I do toe the line in San Diego, it won’t be as a triathlete.

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