28 November, 2007

A Big Deal

Category: Exercise,Motivation,Racing,Swimming,Triathlon — Moose @ 11:45 pm

So, if all goes right in a year I’ll have finished an Ironman race. Let’s let that sink in. An Ironman. Wow. This is definitely a big deal.

A 2.4 mile swim to start, 112 miles on the bike in the middle, then 26.2 miles of running, a full marathon at the end. It’s easy to see why they allow racers 17 hours to finish the race (7 a.m. to midnight).

I’ve known for years that I eventually wanted to complete an IM race. It’s all RNJTM‘s fault – he generously took me up to see him race his 3rd 4th IM Canada in 1999 and ever since it’s been sitting in the back of my brain, waiting for the right time to happen. When IM Arizona announced a second race in 2008, with easy online registration, well, I jumped at it. After an hour or so of contemplation, that is.

This isn’t something one can enter into lightly – it’s going to involve a lot of time, and a lot of foregoing of other activities. Folks who’ve done marathons know what I’m talking about – early bed times, not going out drinking with friends, and lots of time on the road. Just add “in the pool and on the bike” to the “on the road” part.

I know where my first steps are, getting back to my regular exercise routine, reducing my caffeine and alcohol intake, and spending some quality time working on swimming technique. The swim is my big limiter (along with nutrition) – if I can keep my heart rate down during the swim, not have a panic attack, and stay on a good rhythm, then I can get through the rest of the race much more easily than I’ve done to date. I’m getting there, but it definitely needs polishing. Get to test that in May here locally, thankfully.

Did get in a swim this evening, mostly drill work to retrain me how I should be feeling in the water while I’m swimming. It did help – wasn’t terribly fast, but was more comfortable than it’s been in a while.

I’m still processing the magnitude of signing up for this race. I know I can do it. Might not be terribly fast, but I know I can finish it with the right training. Doesn’t mean it’s not intimidating, or freak-out worthy, but I know I can do it. The fun part is going to be the long runs and rides well into cooler weather here in DC (October and November), then adapting to the warmer temps in Tempe.

But before that, it’s getting the base built up, which is where I find myself now. Wow. This is going to be a lot of work.

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