Ironman Hawaii

Posted by on April 15, 2010 in Training

Well, I just checked the website to see if I got into the Ironman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii and the news is… (drumroll)…  that I didn’t get in.  I had a feeling that I actually would get in this year, but it’s okay that I didn’t.  What that means is that I’m going to sign up for Ironman South Africa held the last weekend of April 2011.  So, I have 53 and a half weeks until race day.

Ironman is such a different beast than anything else.  But with two under my belt so far, and with my intention to hire a personal coach, I know that I will have a good race.  The pre-race jitters and psychological torture of Ironman Lake Placid will not exist this time.  The dilemmas with my running following an incorrectly surgically-repaired left knee will not exist this time thanks to the correct and effective procedure this past November.  The only issue I can foresee is the ability to get in my long rides and runs during the winter.  That is, with the race in April, I’m going to have to train from October through April and the cold weather will make it difficult to get in my 80, 90, 100, and 110 mile rides.  Running in inclement weather has never been a major issue; it’s really just the bike.

One possible solution is to make once a month trips to warmer environs.  That could mean the Carolinas or Florida or even southern California.  Another solution is to finally invest in some quality cold weather gear, e.g. better gloves, booties, undergarments, etc.  I have good equipment already, but a couple of pieces warrant replacement.  I’ve held off to save money, but this is the Ironman for God’s sake!

So, here I am, already contemplating this next huge goal in my life.  It’s funny though; now that I’m better acquainted with my brethren within the triathlon team, and with many of them accomplished long course athletes, I kinda feel like making a big deal out of an Ironman is silly, but I just can’t take it for granted.  This body was not born to be an Ironman; I willed myself to get to the finish line.  I’m neither a natural swimmer or runner, and it’s through my father’s genetics that these legs enable me to be somewhat competitive on the bike.  Truly, I believe I’m more of an athlete as the good coordination I have (I think from Mom’s side) has always made sports something in which I easily excelled.  The Ironman itself isn’t that hard; you just do it.  I know, that sounds trite to the non-endurance athlete, but it really is just that simple.  To be a fast Ironman… that’s an entirely different story.

First up is Alcatraz.  17 days and counting.  I’ve watched a bunch of youtube videos about the swim and the course in general and have a good feeling for what’s ahead of me.  Interestingly enough, I find myself comparing it to that which I faced during Ironman Lake Placid.  And now, with Ironman South Africa in my future, I’m finding myself more at peace with the challenges at Alcatraz.  I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune come race morning!

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