Thursday, September 2, 2010
OH MY GAWD! 9 Days to go! So who's bright idea was it to sign up for Ironman Muskoka anyways? Who should I blame for all this suffering? Well that has a bit of history that I would like to share.
Twelve months ago Mrs. Lord of the Chainrings returned from work and told me about her day as usual. One of the gurls she works with is into running and had told Fran that her husband is looking to get (back?)into triathlon and do an Ironman. At the time, my initial reaction was something along the lines of "pfft yah right, good luck with that as he is going to die. Let him do a couple small tri's and he'll change his mind.". Now at this point, I had no triathlon experience. I didn't even know how far an Ironman was. Admitedly I might not have even known what disciplines were involved and what order they were even in. Yes, I was ignorant to say such a thing but you have to understand where I was coming from. I know from experience that as a weekend warrior you dream big, set lofty goals and then its quite common those goals turn into sliding goals that tend to get smaller and realistic as reality sets in. I know this as at one time I was quite successful at mountain bike racing. Life got in the way and I took time off. When I decided I wanted to get back into it, I was mentally still in race mode but physically in washed-up has-been mode but I didn't know this yet. Going into my first race in a very long time I had high hopes of finishing quite well. About 10 minutes into the race I started to suck wind and didn't remember it being so hard. 20 minutes into the race I was adjusting my goals to 'I just want to finish'. 30 minutes into the race I was saying 'I just want to come out of this alive'. Yes reality set in, it was a cold hard slap in the face. So I figure I understood what this guy was thinking when he said he would do an Ironman. Or so I thought...
Later that evening the seed was planted. Ironman. What is it? Why does this guy think he can do it? I looked up the distance and started putting real world applications to the distances being discussed. Swim 156 lengths of a pool, Bike from Brantford to Niagara Falls and back, Run from Brantford to Downtown Hamilton. THAT IS NUCKING FUTS! I would have been amazed by someone just doing the bike split alone, nevermind the rest of it. One of the quotes I came across was, "If you have to ask how far an Ironman Triathlon is, then you are not ready for it.". Well that sums it up, I don't think I would ever want to do that.
Now at this time we were looking for a big goal for 2010. Our big goal in 2009 was to dominate the Clydesdale category at a 24hr mountain bike race. A 2nd place finish and practically not clydesdales anymore our team contemplated doing a 3 day mountain bike stage race called Crank the Shield. I wasn't sold on this idea as every race so far has been plagued with rain and mud and I can't fathom 3 days of it. I suggested an Ironman but it was quickly brushed off as insane. The standard 'I cant run', 'I dont know how to swim' and 'I dont want to die' excuses were tossed about. The seed was planted in them though.
Weeks passed and I had this knawing sensation in the back of mind. I love a challenege. I never lose. I can do anything. Is that guy(I'm looking at YOU Lopes) really going through with this Ironman thing? And then of course those classic words that drive most everything I do "Well if HE can do it, then I can do it!". I started watching Ironman race videos and came across this Ironstruck website that blew my mind. It was able to outline everything I was feeling and thinking about this inner drive to always be improving myself and dreaming big and capturing goals. It really hit home. I took some great advice from this site, especially the "I believe in you" portion. You will have to dig through the site to read and understand what is meant by that, but ultimately I look back at my initial reaction to my wife telling me about that guy saying he wanted to do an Ironman and I now realize that I was completely wrong. Anyone is capable of amazing things and sometimes something as simple as someone believing in you can alter the course and place you on the path to doing great things. While the Ironstruck site is not well laid out and some of the best content is buried, it's worth reading the Ironstuck revalation. Those that get it, do.
That seed planted weeks ago had come to fruition and now I had a dream. I shared this Ironman dream and the Ironstuck site with my like-minded teammates and it hit them just the same. We still had our sights set on Crank the Shield, however that same knawing sensation ate away at the other guys over time. I think if it wasn't for the mud races, we would have been doing Crank the Shield. Surprisingly one of the deciding factors was the IM Muskoka is televised and has some well known glory associated with it. Crank the Shield doesn't mean much to anyone.
Now there are no full Ironman distance events nearby, THANKFULLY as in my ignorance I might have signed up for that instead! So we signed up for a more reasonable 70.3 with the expectations of doing a 140.6 in 2011 if we didn't die in Muskoka. Of course, that hasn't planned out well as we have already registered for Ironman Lake Placid this year and still have only done a few sprints under the belt. Yup, dream big. *Gulp*
On the training font - The last couple nights I've gone a short run with my dad. He likes his quick short run along the mountain brow. He does the same route every time and has timed it down to the last second. He is way more experienced at running than I am but he does the same short route constantly. I am trying to get him to take it up a notch and add some distance. I'm pretty sure I can coerce him into a 10km run by next year. Maybe even get him into a half-marathon one day. He's capable of much more.
I'm working on getting a new phone too. The one I have is b0rked and its a real pain to take photo and video for the blog. Thus I'm short interesting pictures. Oh and I forgot to post the purple-people-eater picture from the race on the weekend. I'll try to get that up soon.