Ahhhh, forever the dreamer….The last few days have been thought provoking in that notreallythinkingthathard kind of way.I had two good friends race IMC this weekend. Who am I kidding? This is like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. If you’re a triathlete, you PROBABLY knew someone racing some long distance event. If you didn’t directly know someone, then it was “I have this friend who knows this blogger who introduced us on Twitter”, type of thing. Still, less than 6 degrees. How do you like THAT, KEVIN BACON?For these two friends, I tracked them whenever I could. Of course, this is grounds for self-reflection.Until this year, I had started to dread triathlon, FORGET long course (half or full).Now, I really love sprints. LOVE them. I wish the bike and swim were longer, but a 5k? Heck yea. I can definitely run a 5k.(If I ever sponsor a race, it will be something like a 3000m swim, 50 mile bike and a 5k. Now THAT’s a race.)But to go long? I just don’t know. I’m scarred.I’m scared. I know I have to get over my issues. If I don’t, I’ll never do it again. I want to do another.There’s more. Go to the bathroom. Get a drink. Get a snack. I’ll be here.My concerns/issues/excuses:1.) For a long time, I was so-so-so-slow. If you think you know slow, you don’t. Trust me on this one. I’m not talking about your “On my easy days, I back off to 9:00 pace.” Um. No. I’m finally making strides in getting faster. I’m so-so-so-afraid of going long only to find myself back in “plugger” mentality. It really takes mental fortitude on my part to not slow down. Think about this, I went slow for years. YEARS. It’s like a habit. Hello, my name is Tea and I’m a Slow-a-holic. Trust issues, right? I trust Ricci. I don't trust myself.2.) Training partners. The irony is that the training time doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is loneliness on the bike. I swim with a masters team. I’ve run long by myself for a long time. But riding, that’s hard. Over the years, I’ve looked into a tri club here and there. It just hasn’t seemed to work out. I’ve also found a cycling group that meets on Sat mornings. My schedule never really matched up this year, but maybe next year? Maybe when I’m actually ready to do this. 3.) Timing. When I first signed up with Ricci, I thought 2014 would be a good year to do IM again. My youngest goes to college. My time is more MY TIME. As the year has gone on, I didn’t like that idea of a date. I don’t want to do anything before I am ready. (See number 1). He says to me: “Pick a goal time for the half iron. When you hit that, they you can move up.” Two days later, my Mike says the SAME THING. Obviously, Team Mike2 have these GREAT ideas. But they are both dealing with someone who is scarred and scared. Thinking I can outsmart them, I keep changing the goals. The further I put it off, the more I will fool everyone. First it was sub 6. Then, it was 5:52. My most recent goal? 5:30 for a half iron. Now that’s dreaming. BIG. Part of the reason for that crazy goal is that it feels almost impossible. It’s not that it IS impossible. It’s almost impossible. As someone whoshallremainnameless says, “Almost only counts in horseshoes” and “grenades”.I can’t even tell you if that’s realistic. Could it happen in 5 years? Would it ever happen? What if I hit 5:40? I don’t know, but I sure as heck don’t have to answer that now. I haven’t even broken 6 yet. I don’t have plans (yet) to do that.4.) My last IM experience was horrible. It was really bad. I can’t go through that again. I know things have changed. This is just me. Keeping it real. As they say in the ‘hood. I see my friends training for Ironman, year after year. They have fun doing it. Don’t I deserve that? Don’t I deserve to have a good experience? It doesn’t have to be insanely fast. It just has to be a positive experience.Why all of this now? It’s been on my mind for awhile. I don’t feel like this is something that I HAVE to do to prove something to myself. It’s just something that I want to do. Ironman/Triathlon isn’t who I am. It’s something I do because I like it. I guess, ultimately, that’s what I’m afraid of losing again.