The Ironman journey culminates with the crossing of the finish line and hearing “You are an Ironman” along with the cheers of spectators.
The race can take up to 17 hours to complete. Believe it or not, that’s the easier part. The hardest part is getting there.
The actual Ironman journey is in the training: the long bike rides through the country, the early morning swims, and the joy of long runs.
Along with the swim/bike/run training comes the strength training, injury prevention work, proper nutrition and, when you can manage, enough sleep!
It’s the early bed times, the missed parties, and the days you go through like a zombie. It’s the snowy/windy/icy/rainy training days.
So why do people do it? Each person has their reason, whether it’s for the challenge, to test your limits, to inspire others, or to gain confidence in knowing what you can achieve with hard work. Some people do it after battling illness, losing massive amounts of weight, or going through a life change.
I’m not sure why I do it. I’ve always loved running. I love to cycle. And I love endurance sports. I can’t imagine a more fun way to spend time with my husband. And I like to challenge my myself.
My Ironman Coeur d’Alene journey has been an interesting one with lots of ups and a couple downs!
I arrived home from five weeks in Asia on March 14 with a few extra pounds on my body and a lack of fitness!
In the 13 weeks since we’ve been home, I’ve worked hard to increase my endurance and keep healthy.
I learned to love my bike trainer, riding hours on there and setting a new personal record of 5 hours, 38 minutes. Outside rides haven’t been as plentiful. However I did get in one glorious and hilly ride in Jasper and a solo 100 miler to test my mental game.
My running mileage stayed quite low due to knee issues and then foot/ankle problems. I went from running three days a week to zero days to two days per week.
But, I ran 13 miles twice and felt strong running in the Oliver half Iron tri. I also pool ran twice and was surprised to find I enjoyed it and could work up quite a sweat. My favourite training run was definitely our family trail run in Jasper!
I practiced yoga once a week and strength trained twice nearly every week. I also foam roll like crazy and keep up my physio exercises. Massage is one of my favourite luxuries, and I’ve been going about once a month. Glorious.
I’ve only been swimming once a week. I decided to only go once instead of forcing myself a second time and despising it! My practice swims have been faster than other years, which I credit to extra strength training. My Oliver time didn’t reflect that, but I feel much stronger.
We competed in one practice race a few weekends ago, which further ignited my love for the sport.
The journey is coming to an end after a challenging few months. We leave for Coeur d’Alene on Wednesday. I can’t wait for the energy of the town, the spirit of the athletes, and the power of the spectators.
My goal is to have FUN, regardless of my times or pain and discomfort I’m feeling!
Why do you compete in running, triathlon, or anything else?