Why would anyone want to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112, & then run a full marathon? Because if it was easy everyone would be doing it. It’s about doing something because it is hard and testing your limits. You have to want to suffer to do these type’s of distances. I don’t mean putting yourself on the limit all day for us age groupers. But at a certain point in the race it’s going to hurt and hurt real bad. At that point the race begins. For some that will be on the bike at mile 80 while for others it will be on the run at mile 16. I don’t know that answer yet. I will on Sunday in Louisville. I know when running marathons I use to always say “life begins at mile 20”. I am sure for Ironman this suffering will be well before mile 20 of the run.
We all have reasons on why we decide to take up this Iron distance or decide to run a marathon. For me that reason came 10 years this fall. I was in a relationship going down hill quickly. I can tell I wasn’t happy, I was overweight, and was suppose to planning a wedding for the following summer. I remember sometime in early October on a Sunday afternoon while watching some NY road race I said to my fiance I would like to run a marathon. She looked at me and laughed and said you’re to fat and lazy to run a marathon. I am paraphrasing what she said but that’s what basically came out of her mouth. She was right I was fat (weighing about 205) and did seem at times a bit lazy. But what she said to me has always stuck. To this day this is what partially drives me. I will always have a chip on my shoulder for what she said. Even if she was sorta right. The rest of that post can be read here.
I didn’t know how to push myself as an athlete until I took up biking. When you join a cycling club you are around all different types of riders. I learned early on I wanted to get myself to the next level. The club I joined, QVV, they were so friendly and helpful. I remember being in pace lines and being on the limit about to be dropped and people encouraging me to hang on. Members like Chris, Paul, Dan, T, Liz, Anson, Pauline, Gail, Mike, Wendy, James, CR, and several others taught me skills and the passion they have for the sport. It was riding with them and doing several century rides that in the back of head I knew someday I would want to do an Ironman.
When I started running again in 2012 after taking off the better part of 5 years I knew I would be attempting an Ironman within a few years. My time on the bike made me a much faster runner and the ability to learn how to suffer and truly push my limits. After talking about Ironman over the summer with a friend I decided to start quietly training for it.
Training for Ironman has been such an experience. You learn to recover very quickly. A workout in the past may take a day or two to recover but after doing several two-a-days you learn to recover in time for the afternoon’s or evenings workout. Training on tired legs are one of the keys I feel to improving. Swimming 3-4 days a week, biking 4-5 days a week, & running 3-4 days a week means a lot of workouts when your body isn’t feeling 100%.
So Why Ironman? Sunday is about the journey to where I have come from to where I am going in life. It’s to prove to myself that I can accomplish anything I want in life but I have to be willing to work hard for it. Sunday isn’t a one time event for me. This is the first of several that I will do in my life. Being around these athletes is so energetic and a positive vibe that everyone has to see to believe.
The one thing every aspiring Marathoner, Ironman, or whatever distance you choose is this is not an individual sport. More details coming on “I Didn’t Get Here Alone” in my next topic.