I've had quite a few people raise their eyebrows a bit at this relatively-last-minute bid for my third Ironman. And I can't blame them!!! I've questioned my own sanity more than a few times. And even though I've had a solid past few weeks of training, that word is "weeks" when it should be "months." I honestly have no idea if that will be good enough or if I'll totally fall apart 125 miles into this thing. An Ironman is a different beast and I know full well that you have to respect the 140.6-mile distance! So I thought I'd let you into my brain and explain why on earth I'll be towing the line at IMNC next weekend.
|Race #1 of 3!|
*My biggest goal for the year 2016 was to PR the Ironman... and go 140.6 miles in less than 12 hours. Stats show I would have been dang close to that time -- and I believe I could have gutted it out and made it happen -- at Ironman Texas in May. But due to the missing miles on the bike course, we'll never know for sure. So I wanted one more shot at it!
|IMTX 2016 bike.. all 95 miles of it.|
*Yes, I would absolutely go faster (and have a much more sure chance at sub-12) if I did a proper build-up and raced an Ironman next year instead. It pains me that I won't be racing Ironman Texas! But I'll be focusing on the Boston Marathon in the spring and, well... We want another baby after that. :) And once we have baby #3? I don't see myself doing another full Ironman until all of my unborn children are in school. So it's like now or in 7 years! That's a loooong time to wait. And I've always half-jokingly told my mom that patience is a virtue I'm not meant to acquire. Ha!
|A little throw-back to being 9 months pregnant with my Summer Girl! Hard to do IM with a baby bump. ;)|
*I don't feel like I have a real Ironman PR. That sounds dumb to say out loud and obviously doesn't really matter, but it's the kind of thing that will drive me crazy for 7 years. When people in real life find out that we've done Ironman races, they almost always ask how fast we've done it/how long it takes us. And then it's like, "Well, the first year I did 12:54, but I had just barely learned how to swim and bike, so I was a lot faster the next year and did 11:11, but that's not a real time because we were missing miles on a bike course with a million turns, oh and my listed time isn't even that because we had this lightning delay and the weather was crazy, but anyway, if the course was right, it would have been more like 12 hours, give or take, because..." I mean, can I just lay off the run-on sentence and give a freaking number? 😂 Matt gets to say "9 and a half hours." It's just simpler that way!
|That 12:54 -- when I had a normal answer for a normal question. ;)|
*More importantly, I want to have that answer for myself. I don't want to spend the next few years wondering how fast or slow I could have gone. I want to *know.* Before signing up for IMNC (when it was selling out during my layover en route to IMTX), I quickly called my non-triathlete best friend for her input. Liz told me to do it, because she knew that question would eat at me... and that I'd try to remedy that with crazy ideas like trying to squeeze in a full Ironman with a two-month-old or something. Haha! Let's just say she knows me well. :) This way is much more sane.
*I already have a pretty rocking endurance base. I know it seems like I'm winging this thing -- and in a way, I totally am. However, I also happen to have about two years of Ironman/marathon training in the bank. And I'm banking on that base coming through on race day! So while it seems like I'm just throwing this together, in reality, I've been training for this race since October 2014... I just had some recovery/other life things to attend to this summer before building up again. :)
|After a 3:21 in STG last fall. All that running has to count for something, right??|
*Finally, and perhaps most importantly, WHY NOT? Because it's not the "right" way? Well, neither was jumping straight to an Ironman without being able to swim more than one consecutive lap. ;) Because I might not meet my goal? Here's the thing. A sub-12 is obviously a lofty goal for me at this point (when you swim 2.4 miles in 1:40+, there's not a lot of room for error on the bike and run). But if I didn't do this race, I would always wonder what might have happened. How it could have gone. I would regret it! I'd so much rather show up, give it my best shot, and miss my goal -- but know that at least I had the grit and the courage to try. And who knows what will happen on race day anyway, right? I fully believe that I could have a magic day in Wilmington. Either way, I am really anxious and excited to find out!
|Tapering in Kona was a party, so I have that in my favor at least! :)|