CAVEAT: This post sets out my personal opinion on what’s right for me. I’m not meaning to criticise anyone else’s decisions, but if you feel as if I’m being rude, please feel free to let me know- nicely!
Once or twice (ok, ten or twenty times) every season, and a few times every off season, I get a flash of the “should I?”s
Should I just bite the bullet and do Ironman? (well, an iron distance race… I’m a Wanaka girl at heart…)
Why not? I know it’s on my bucket list, I’ve built up a decent enough endurance base, I’m financially secure, child free, and working fairly predictable, ordinary hours. Now’s really the best time for me to take on that challenge…
But deep inside, I feel like Ironman is something that (for me) has to truly be earned, and I don’t think I’m anywhere near earning the right to race yet. I’ve always felt a little uneasy when non-runners or non-triathletes take the plunge from couch to marathon, or mini-tri to ironman. No disrepect to them- everyone chooses how they want to challenge themselves to achieve their goals, they put the hours in, and their ironman is as much of an achievement as anyone else’s, but that journey is not for me.
For me, respecting the distance and respecting the sport go hand in hand. I did 8 half marathons, and took over ten minutes off my time before I ever considered doing a full, and I think that’s the way I’ll approach Ironman too. I didn’t want to be a marathoner- I wanted to be a runner. And now, I don’t want to be an ironman- I want to be a triathlete. It’s not about how slow or fast you complete it, it’s about how seriously you take it. And for me, in my endurance sport journey, completing an ironman for the sake of striking it off the bucket list, just isn’t taking it seriously enough. I’ve said to Phil before, and I’m saying it *out loud* now:
I will not do Ironman unless or until I am fit enough to aim for a sub-13 finish (*or I turn 49, if that happens first…)
I don’t care if my first Ironman is sub-13 or not. But at this stage of my fitness, I want to know that sub 13 (or even sub 12:30) is in my reach, because that’s when I’ll know I’m ready. Does that make sense?
Stay tuned for my non-Iron race plans for the season later this week!