So, do I just hand in my chip?

My ankle is feeling better, thank you very much.  I'm not in the big black walking boot anymore - I'm in a much sleeker, and aerodynamic brace now. 

Which one would you rather wear?

The great thing is I can wear a regular shoe with this new brace.  It makes getting around on crutches much easier.  My Orthopedist did say that I'll need to wear this brace for 6 more weeks.  But, the crutches can go away as soon as I'm strong enough to walk comfortably without them.  This made me "Mr. Happy Guy" last Friday.  Great news as far as I'm concerned.  Six weeks post ankle surgery and I could be off crutches within another month.  Maybe.

The timing of this news was good.  A couple friends from the usual morning running crew  dropped me a line to check in and see how things were going with my rehab.  This was great info to have as I provided updates.  So, with all this on my mind, my first thoughts over the weekend were: "When do I think I can race next?"

Suffice it to say that the North Face Endurance Challenge 1/2 Marathon in May is out.  So is the triathlon in June I was targeting.  That one bums me out as I had a top 10 finish / 1st in AG podium last year.  I was really looking forward to getting on that course again. 

I'm also not going to be able to do the Stamford Olympic triathlon this June as well.  I had some redemption on my mind after I received a time penalty at this race last year which bumped me from an age-group podium finish.  No redemption this year, apparently. 

So now we're into July and August.  I'm registered for two races during these two months and I'm pretty sure that, while I may be able to jog with some nominal level of discomfort, I won't be able to run with any great intensity.  Same goes with the Toughman Half Iron triathlon in September.  I just don't know what I'll be able to muster on the run.

This isn't to say that I couldn't do the swim, the bike, and then just jog easy through the run.  I could.  But that would suck, in my opinion.  I have enough Type-A / OCD triathlete in me to know that if I was having a great race and then jogged the run I'd be a mental wreck.

What's a person to do?  Hence my opening question.  Should I do the swim and the bike and then turn in my timing chip?  Could I do that?  I mean, of course I can.  But the question is, should I?

I say "should I" as I'm a bit conflicted.  Not all these races have an Aquabike category.  And for those that don't, what impact will I have on other athletes?  If I were to pass someone on the bike course - and they see that I'm in their age group and, as I would, attempt to reel me back in - this person is going to burn a bunch of extra energy.  More to the point, they're going to burn energy chasing down someone who was never going to be a factor in their race.  I'm sure I could sit here and dream up all the reasons that I have a valid plan in the works.  Heck, I can justify almost anything if you give me enough time.

I want to race as soon as possible.  Dare I say I NEED to race!  I'm going absolutely stir-crazy not being able to get outside and run or ride.  Swimming is great.  But 15 minute sessions on the bike trainer are getting old.  I know that as soon as I'm able to ramp things up, I'm going to want to race as soon as possible.

So, again, what's a person to do?  I need input here folks.  If there's no Aquabike category at a race, do I pull a DNS (did not start) and volunteer?  Or do I do what I can and turn in my chip once I get to T2?