Ironman Los Cabos race #656
I did it. I signed up for Ironman just now. Today is the Ironman World Championship and it felt like the right day to commit. It’s been one month since my first triathlon. I set a goal to aim for Half Ironman about a week after the race but the past two weeks I’ve been watching Ironman videos, reading up on the event, talking to people, and had a dream that I was in the race below. I dropped $732.50 and committed to Ironman Los Cabos 2014. So what is an Ironman? An Ironman Triathlon is the longest distance in triathlons and the biggest commitment of endurance races. It consists of 3.86 km (2.4 mile) swim, 180.25km (112-mile) bike, and a full marathon 42.2km (26.2-mile). Ironman events have a time limit of 17 hours to complete the race, with a mandatory swim cut off in 2 hours 20 minutes, the bike cut off 10 hours and 30 minutes after the swim start and all finishers must complete their marathon by midnight.
No one wakes up one morning and decides to do an Ironman. It takes time for the mind and body to agree on pursuing such a challenging athletic event. I know it will require motivation, discipline, mind strength, and a tremendous amount of commitment to training over the next five months. The training alone is its own challenge. I actually started basic week 1 training on Monday since I had a feeling I’d sign up today with a tri friend. I’ve read a lot online and am waiting for The Triathletes Training Bible to arrive in the mail. I need to come up with my training plan, figure out obligations I need to work around, and research equipment that I’ll need while keeping a budget. I’m pretty happy I was able to purchase an Xterra wetsuit normally priced at $400 for only $127 with shipping thanks to the Kona Ironman World Championship week special. The race entry fee, flight, accommodations, a quality bike, and other expenses will probably add up to more than I’m expecting although I’m pretty good at meeting budgets.
I’ve mentioned the idea of an Ironman to a few people and haven’t exactly received the most reassuring feedback. That’s okay though and no reason to hold myself back from trying it. I actually ran into the guy who sold me my running shoes today and he thought it was crazy. I sent the Ironman link to my friend Jeff two nights ago and received the following response. It frightened me just a bit.
“are you doing a fucking ironman? That’s insane. You are crazy! Dude…It’s a REALLY BIG DEAL.”
Am I freaked out? No, but in the mornings I am usually very calm and have a hard time believing I am doing this and in the evenings I am pumped up and visualize myself in the race. Even though I’ve done my research I don’t think I fully understand the concept of what I am going to do. Perhaps I’m a little naive. I have very little experience, embrace the newness and feel ready to navigate learning curves. From what I read people go through breakdowns and breakthroughs in their Ironman training. I get that. The only thing I can compare that concept to though is business. You generally come out even stronger after a breakdown. Can I do it? I don’t even know. Right now I know that I couldn’t but with training and preparation I think I can. I will do everything I am capable of for the next half year to make sure that I make it to Los Cabos, cross the finish line of the greatest race I will ever compete in, and become an Ironman, I promise to put in long days of training, I will adjust my nutrition, I will hydrate, and I continue to learn along the way. I will stay committed to my yoga practice which is an essential part of my training. Yoga will play a big roll in preparing myself mentally and physically along with decreasing recover time and reducing the chances of injury. The triathlon slogan really should be SWIM…BIKE…RUN…YOGA.
If you’re an Ironman I am open to suggestions and I’d love to hear from you. Sports are in some ways about discovery, right? I look forward to learning and discovering as much as possible through the Ironman. Athletes have until midnight, 17 hours, to complete the event. Right now I’m on the 16:59 plan.