Um, yea. Last fall? I registered myself for Ironman Wisconsin. Kind of on a whim. More of a “just on the weird offchance that I decide I want to do it, then I’ll have that option open” kind of thing. And then decided not to tell a soul about it, you know, because I’m all about the drama. Or something like that.
I don’t know that I was ever really serious about doing it. All along, while secretly wanting to be called an Ironman, there’s a large part of me that has absolutely no desire to put the time and effort needed into the training. I mean, it’s not like my idea of fun is climbing on my bike for a “short” 3 hour trek after having spent 7 hours in the saddle the day before (and let’s not even mention the running and swimming that most likely was squeezed in there as well).
And so, here I sit: it’s January and I feel like I ought to make a decision. I thought it would be an easy decision — don’t do it, never tell anyone that you signed up. But now… but now… there’s this little voice that wonders if it might be possible. Wonders if all that’s holding me back is that the enormity of this task scares the pants off me.
And what am I scared of? Scared of failing – of course. Scared of being too lazy to train for it the way I’ll need to. Scared that my body won’t hold up through the training. Scared that I’ll do all the training and then have something stupid happens that ends my journey before the race is finished. Scared that I’m not fast enough. Not committed enough. Not up to the challenge. Just not good enough. And that then – epically – publicly – everyone else will know that too.
Being rational about it, though, the ability to successfully complete an Ironman takes more than just will, heart and a butt of steel. It requires time. And resources. And more time. And money. A willingness to forgo a social life. And some time on top of that, of course. Coming into play are whether I’d be able to ever get enough sleep to support the long hours of training each week. And the necessity of having to not only give up softball, but also anything else that didn’t fit into the training plan. That’s a huge sacrifice.
But in the face of all that, there’s still this whisper, this call to do something great. Doing something that only a very small percentage of people have ever done has this draw to it, and it’s slowly reeling me in, robbing me of all logical thought.
And so…. well, maybe… perhaps… I just… might… possibly… train for (gulp!)… an Ironman.
I’ve done my homework: I’ve looked at the training plans. Hyperventilated over the number of really, really, REALLY long bike rides I’d have to get in over the summer. Grew physically tired looking at some of the peak 20-hour training weeks. And have now started mentally rearranging my life to accommodate the craziness. I’ve tentatively told my softball teams this would be a year of just being a sub. I’ve talked to my boss and got the okay to work the later shift one day a week to ensure that I’d get at least one full night’s sleep a week. And – most importantly – I’ve begun the work of putting in base miles to prepare for training to start at the very end of April.
So, I guess – right now at least – I’m in. Kind of. We’ll see how things go between now and the official start of training. I totally am reserving the right to reclaim my place in reality, though, and back out. Yes, that’s my big ol’ disclaimer to my little announcement.
So… who wants to go for a bike ride? Just something short? You know, like, 7 hours or so?