I am surrounded by Ironman finishers. I am in awe of them all. Most of them have completed more than one. When talking about the events that I wanted to do, they would often ask "when are you going to do a full?" I always answered...NEVER!
My road to being a triathlete started after my 1st century bike ride in 2009. My century ride took me a while and I decided that if I can stay on a bike for 8 hours then I could do a triathlon. I had not planned on long course events, at all. Sprints were very do-able with one exception, my biggest hurdle...running.
In the beginning of 2010 I joined a group of friends as they were training for an local half marathon. I had never run any distance. You couldn't even catch me running up the street without being winded. I always used the excuse that I had bad knees (which is true and my family can attest to their constant creaking). I knew that if I could start training with them I would learn how to run. My thoughts were to just figure out how to run a mile. It was hard. I was taught to run an minute and walk a minute. That was the only way it was happening. I used this technique for a long time. One day I found myself waking up to the idea that I could run a 7 mile run, then I did a 10, then I realized...I am running this half marathon with my friends. It wasn't my original plan but it was happening.
After that run, there was nothing that could stop me. I just need to get faster. I had continued to run and completed a few more century rides over the years.
At Christmas time of 2010 friends of ours paid for my husband's entrance into the Ironman Arizona for 2011. This was their way of getting Dan to commit to this crazy idea since one of them had already completed two. Dan took him on his first century ride and now this was his turn to take Dan on his first Ironman. This is when participating in the the long courses came into mind.
I would train with Dan, knowing that I wanted to get a few sprints under my belt and we could train together. Mostly, we went to the pool together to work on our swim. Dan and I hadn't really done much lap swimming before so we needed a little bit of help. This was a fun adventure. Thankfully our friend Cara was able to give us some pointers and some direct instruction. We made it to the pool quite a bit and was able to slowly get comfortable with distance. We signed up for some lessons from a swim school. One thing I was determined to learn was how to flip turn. This seemed like a pretty good technique for pool swims but one I would learn was not the best thing for me to do.
My entire life, I have spent having having to consider motion sickness; on boats, on rollercosters, on car trips, on planes, while scuba diving or anything that created a motion that I was not in control of (even when someone spins me in my desk chair). This is something I didn't consider when learning the technique of the flip turn. I was able to perform it well and always on my mark after my turn. Once I was done, I was spent, I had to go home and sleep. It was not a good idea. So much for cutting my time on my turns.
During Dan's training and my co-training, I signed us up to do a sprint Triathlon that is held locally near the University of Arizona. It was the first in a three part series. I thought it would be fun to do all three and would serve as great training for Dan in the vein of bricks and what the Tri prep is like.
It went as well as it could, it was a nice morning workout. I was hooked on the idea of a Tri. My friend Cara mentioned doing a 70.3 in Racine, WI that year and I was thinking it would be fun to do it with her since she was one of my Ironman Idols. Then...she found out she was pregnant.
Suddenly, I was in the mood for a 70.3 (which I had never thought about before) so I searched the ones available. My requirements; fairly warm weather and no ocean, then I found Boulder 70.3 August 6th, 2012. We signed up, we were in...locked and loaded and we made a plan.
The training started a bit later than I would have liked and we really didn't use a formal training plan. I just listened to my self and compared it to my bike as far as nutrition and preparation.
In August we drove to Boulder via Albuquerque. This was a brilliant idea. It allowed us some time for acclimation to the elevation. We did a training ride around our hotel and followed it up with a short run. Then we headed to Boulder and competed in the event, which is a whole other blog. Not today.
After Boulder, I felt like I could do anything. I was riding a wave I didn't want to get off. I was ready to sign up for more events right away. I didn't sign up for any other Ironman distances but I did do the 3rd Sprint in the series at the UofA. We missed the 2nd one due to it being sold out. I had also signed up to run in an half marathon with some girlfriends.
I was so happy to be able to complete that half marathon. I felt that it was my vindication for my 70.3 since my run was less that stellar, almost non-existent. I needed that Lady's Speedstick Half Marathon to shake me back up. My friend, Mairead kept me running to where I found my self with outwalk breaks...huge accomplishment for me. I had such a great time running with my girlfriends and the talk of another half was mentioned but I wasn't considering it. Then...Dan registered me for that half, as a gift. I was running again, and I again, really enjoyed the event. Those two half marathons made me want to be a better runner.
I have never considered a full marathon, that is insane!
Then I finally admitted to myself, what my problem is and why I would never do a full Ironman. I am afraid of the Marathon and the long swim. I discovered in Boulder that I had never considered the swim to be an issue. I could float on my back and I can get through it but I never considered the motion sickness I would get with choppy water. Thank goodness that on race day, the water was calm.
The only events I will do this year will be a sprint or two and possibly another century ride. I need this year to work on my run and swim. I decided that if I can be comfortable in the water and swim easily without fear of getting sick again, I would have no issue on the rest of the course and the run, well...there is time to work on that too.
So I decided, today, after watching yet another person I know become an Ironman and watching my good friend, Kristen Lodge, complete insane events such as the Triple T in Portsmouth, Ohio...that...I want to do it, I can do it and I will do it!
So this is my blog...my goal is to write something every day during this adventure. I have 18 months from today to figure it out.
Wish me luck!