Ante up, bitches .. doh, I’ve done something silly

I’ve been playing with fire ever since one fateful night sitting at a bar talking with one of my wife’s friends about doing an Ironman. I think we all look at athletic accomplishments with a sense of awe and they are certainly inspirational. For me that translates into envisioning myself accomplishing the same thing, maybe with a little too much pride, maybe with a little too much ‘look at what I did!’, but also with a firm grasp of how much I gainĀ  from setting lofty goals and following through with them. So as I talked with her about what it was like and what it took to finish, my mind quickly wandered into pictures of me slogging it out in Hawaii with Al Trautwig’s NBC play-by-play in my ear.

A year after that I finished my first Olympic-distance triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) after 16 weeks of training on a mountain bike and lots of short laps in our pool. Another year worth of training, this time much of it with a local triathlon group found me competing in my first Ironman 70.3 (1.2mi swim, 56mi bike, 13.1mi run). I bailed out after the bike on that one and carried the disappointment for quite awhile afterwards. Flash-forward another 2 years: 6 months of coached strength work and team workouts and I did several Olympic-distance events in one summer. Many of the workouts were with a small group of athletes training for Ironman Nice 2013 and I saw pieces of what they went through to get there.

Upon their (triumphant) return from Nice the call went out on Facebook to sign up early for Ironman Boulder 2014. I was included because I had worked out with them. I spent a couple of days journaling, soul-searching and talking through it with my wife and decided against it because of the commitment. I told my coach ‘Nope’ and put it behind me. Then, with a little prompting I did a complete 180. Was it peer pressure? Maybe a little, but all they were doing was fanning the flames.

 

 

I went back, re-analyzed, re-hashed family concerns, pros and cons. I talked about it so much my wife finally said she just wished I’d make up my mind so she didn’t have to hear about it anymore. So I did.

Now the fire is burning out of control.

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