This topic is an overarching theme for this site. I hit something of a midlife crisis two years ago at age 34, which may sound a bit ridiculous but for an endurance athlete, that’s getting long in the tooth! I had just been a recreational 5-10k runner, but I’d always wanted to run a marathon and it struck me on my birthday that I was getting close to a age where I wouldn’t be able to run one competitively (at least in the sense of qualifying for Boston). So I started training. New Years of this year I set four goals:
- Run a marathon under 3 hours and qualify for the Boston Marathon
- Complete a run over 100 miles
- Qualify for Western States lottery
- complete a full Ironman triathlon
I’ve accomplished #1 and have confidence of running two races, one in November and the other in December to fulfill #2 and #3. #4 is my primary goal and it is proving difficult.
This weekend I went to Custer, South Dakota to complete a half Ironman triathlon as indicated on my post Pre-race Preparation. I failed.
Despite the weather being in the 80s during the day, the mornings in the Black Hills were frigid as was the water. I have a hard enough time as is doing the swim and athletes were shivering in their wetsuits. And I have no wetsuit. The half length was two laps and I was going numb and cramping during one, so I called it and downgraded to Olympic distance. I was second to last on the swim and got lapped by several half length swimmers.
Despite that, I finished top ten in Olympic since my running is well above average and my bike is average to slightly above average. Still, the failure stings as I have registered for the final full ironman length race of this year which is just on the 22nd of this month. That will be the last chance I have of completing my goal for this year. I have serious doubts about being able to finish the swim.
So that’s my someday: complete a full Ironman. And I hope that someday is September 22nd. Wish me luck.