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Not mine, my sister's. She is a firefighter and has been having lots of back and knee issues the past few years (Did IMWI with me in 2006). Today were shift physicals and her doc recommended against training for and doing another IM because of the long-term affect it will have on her knees and back (both required for her career).
She had signed up for IMLOU and I'm doing IMWI, so we had planned to spend a lot of our summer together training (we live 4 hours apart, but manage to get together a lot for long rides/runs).
She called me today crying (not unusual) but said she was so worried about how disappointed in her I would be. Obviously she had/has other reasons for doing IM, but she said the most upsetting thing was that she was disappointing me by dropping out.
To be honest, I'm a little disappointed because she knew last year when she signed up that she had a lot of work to do over the winter with PT and strengthening some of her muscle imbalances, and I don't think she was very diligent about it, but it's all in the past so there is no point in bringing it up.
So this is why I need the advice of the Womens: What can I say to her to make her feel better about having to back out, and how can I get over my own little secret disappointment (more disappointed that our training won't be the same - we might be riding together sometimes, but with different intentions)
She's coming to visit tomorrow so I'm sure we'll spend some time this weekend talking about it - what should I say???
Right now I am not sure much will make her feel better. I guess you can let her know that there are tons of other good races that are much shorter (70.3, oly, sprint) that will let her train with less time and stress to the knees, etc. Her work ($$) is more important than racing.
Of course don't let her know that you are a little disappointed but you look forward to training with her still. When she starts to come around and feel better, give her a copy of a weight training routine from Triathlete magazine or some other source.
I know a few folks who continued running too long and did permanent back and joint damage. That cliche "well at least I have my health" really means something. Your sister's ability to remain healthy her entire life is way more important than missing one crazy race. How else are you guys going to ogle all those hot widowers when you're old and grey if she's complaining all the time that her back hurts:)
Seriously, I don't think anything will take all the sting out of this decision, but looking at it in the long run, it's definitely the right thing to do.
How about involving her in your IM training? Can she ride train with you? Can she swim train with you? (maybe even on easy days if that's all she can do) Can she be your voice of reason/motivator for your race? Can she volunteer at your race? Can she mentor a training group? Plenty of beginning triathletes would value her input? Does she even want to still be involved in tris?
Without knowing her prognosis it's hard to say but I think there's ways that you can still "do it" together just on a level different to that that she previously anticipated.