On Nov. 5, 2011, I will be competing in Ironman Florida in Panama City Beach. It’s a long way away, but I’m pretty sure it will be here sooner than I could have ever imagined. This is a huge leap for me, but it’s a journey I’m looking forward to taking along with my wife and children. While I will be the one in my family doing the actual race, over the next nine months, my family will be sacrificing (aka suffering) just as much — if not more — than I will be.
In reviewing the training schedule I will need to undertake, it’s clear that there will be a lot of early weekday mornings when I will be either A.) at the pool B.) running or C.) cycling. In fact, most of the time I will be doing at least two training sessions per day. The weekends will be an entirely different story. Some days will require 3,000-4,000 yard swim sessions, followed by 4-5-hour bike rides. Needless to say, I will be out the door hours before the sun comes up and won’t return until lunchtime some days.
This is the point where I realize I am a lucky man. My wife might not be entirely on board with my goal, but she realizes that it’s something I want to do and is supporting me as best she can…so far. The perils of being married to a competitive person with an addictive personality. It’s a bad combination.
I made a vow to her that I would never let my training get in the way of any family activity/responsibility. One thing is certain, I won’t be competing in any races on Mother’s Day like this dude did. Bad move on his part!
If that means getting up at 4:30 a.m. in order to be at the pool when it opens at 5, that’s what it will have to be. I never sleep past 6:30 on most days anyways, so my body will get used to it over time, I figure.
Occasionally she tells me I’m crazy, which is hard to argue with. When she does, I simply tell her… “but I will be an Ironman!” She then tells me (with a smile on her face) that I’m an idiot. Again, it’s hard to argue with her about that.
Between now and November, my plan is to compete in at least two Olympic-distance triathlons and then the Augusta 70.3 Half Ironman in September as a warm up for Florida. It’s going to be an interesting year for sure.
But before I get started full-time on Ironman training, my last official non-triathlon race will be the Publix Georgia Marathon on March 20. I ran it last year in 3:28. This year, I plan to see how my legs will do over 26.2 miles, following a long bike ride in the morning.
Let the Ironman fun begin.