Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Top 5 Reasons for doing an Ironman 140.6?

Why??

I get asked this question a lot after I tell people the distance of Redman.

Usually I come up with some stupid answer in order to get out of that conversation, because I understand how daunting a task this seems, but as I am deep into the heavy miles of my training plan, I have had a lot of time to think about different things, and a lot of those times I think, "Why am I doing this? It's crazy!". So this post may ramble or it may drag on, but I have my 5 top reasons for doing Ironman.


  1. The Ultimate Test- Right now, I can not think of anything else that is going to test a 41 year old former athlete, physically and mentally like Ironman will. I know am pretty sure I can handle the physical part, but mentally am I tough enough to grind it out? Yes, I know it will hurt and I will be sore, but that is part of it. The two go hand in hand, either I can do it or I can't. Either I can make or I won't. Physical and Mental challenge.
  2. I Enjoy it- I really do like to swim/bike/run. I joked with my bride that I wanted "Ironman finisher" in my obituary when I die, but honestly, no one else is going to care if I finish one or not. No one that cares about is going to change their opinion of me because I could run far. For me, it is a time with no cell phones or emails, time for my thoughts and a way to fight off old age.
  3. To Be an Example-  I want my kids to see that their father set a goal, and he worked his butt off to achieve it. I know my running has not trickled down to my kids yet, and it may never, but I know they know that dad is getting up and training before they ever got out of bed. I want them to know that in life, you have to be willing to get up early and work and sacrifice personal time to achieve a goal.
  4. The Finish Line- I have about 4 different versions of how I think the finish line might look like when I cross it and how I will react to it. I know my 1st marathon finish was extremely emotional for me, so I imagine this will be also. I know people say the last .2 of a 26.2 mile run is the hardest, but I think that .2 will be the sweetest! I always hated people saying "the race is the reward for all the training", but this is going to be epic when I hit that line.
  5. The Self Discovery- Now I don't mean to sound like some hippie loving tree hugger, but I think I have discovered a lot more about myself training for this than I would have if I weren't going for it. I have discovered a lot about myself, which may be another post coming up. I am mentally tougher than I though, but am I tough enough? I am more dedicated than I thought, I mean who gets up at 4:45 to get a run in before church?? I discovered I am also an early morning kind of guy!  Who knew? I have learned that I can use these natural God gift abilities I still have to motivate others.

I could go on. I didn't mention the tattoo, or the finishers gear I could rock at local races. I didn't mention the fact that people think I eat a great diet (which I don't! Shhhhh) I didn't even mention the part about people automatically assuming I am a fast guy (which I am not, but I guess it is all relative). There are many reasons people take on challenges, some we can understand, others we can't. So basically, if I asked every racer on the course why they were doing it, I guarantee I'd get 100 different answers, and I think that is what makes this sport so great!!!



16 comments:

  1. I love wearing my finish shirts around and people asking me two things. "Did you do that?" and my answer is always followed by "If you don't mind my asking, how old are you?". That's when I think I must look like I am in my 70s because after you are living the Ironman lifestyle, not doing them seems unusual. That's when I realize the 30 or 40 something people asking the question can't fathom the concept of going 140.6
    Enjoy the count down

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    1. and I look forward to being able to say I finished!

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  2. Terrific list! I would totally get the tattoo if I ever did an IM (I think). I don't have any now, but that's definitely one you earn! I think you should add it to the list :)

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    1. Oh I am getting the tattoo, already got a vision of it, but I have to finish first!

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  3. Those are all great reasons. Mine are such a mixed bag of reasons and currently I'm so tired that I'm trying to remember why this was a good idea?? HAHAHA. If there were some sort of Ironman that involved setting a sleep record, I'm in!

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    1. No one ever said it was a "good" idea! :)

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  4. Great post James. That last .2 was the best I felt the whole run! :)

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    1. the whole run will probably be a run/walk for me!

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  5. This helps me "get" it. I love #3. You're right; even if our kids don't become triathletes, whatever they do I want them to be willing to work hard and sacrifice for it. You're a great example of that. And, you got me into to running. I never thought I'd be up at 6 a.m. to go run 4 miles on the Greenway with some friends like I did this morning! Proud of you!

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    1. Thanks for putting up with all this Babe!

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  6. I also questioned my "why" while I was training. You have good reasons. Keep up the good work. Oh and even I got the tattoo.

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  7. Great reasons! You are an inspiration to more people than just your family.

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  8. Great reasons! I'm not sure if you read nycrunningmama.com or not but she just finished an ironman last week and she's got some great posts about it!

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  9. Great list, there will be a long phase of "no longer enjoyhing it" and is putting it nicely. But during this journey, you will learn something about yourself, which is the most rewarding part of the process, regardless of the final outcome

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