I did it.
I signed up for Ironman Canada 2015.
Don’t laugh. Please.
3.8km swim, 180km bike and a marathon run (42.2km) in under 17 hours.
11 months from now!
Never mind that the reason I did my first triathlon was that running for longer than 30 minutes bored me to the point of giving up; that I have the concentration span of a goldfish with ADD; that I have never attempted a triathlon longer than a sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5k run), and even then my times could at best only be described as mediocre; that I can’t even conceive an 8 hour bike ride, let alone be nervous of it; that I have recurring shin splints or even that I have been unable to run at all this summer due to a stress fracture in my right fibula, that hasn’t even healed yet.
Why let any of those reasons stop me?
I blame Karis. I met Karis at the 2012 Apple Triathlon, the first for both of us. What a relief it was to see another person with a mountain bike that day. We were pretty even, I was faster in the water, and she was faster on the bike. In 2013 we both upgraded our trusty mountain bikes to road bikes and did it again, both a little bit faster. A mere eight months later, Karis completed Ironman Lanzarote – considered one of the hardest in the world. (See more about Karis’ adventures here).
If she could do it, I reasoned, why couldn’t I?
Karis agreed, pointing out that I only needed to maintain a speed of 20kph on the bike. Surely I can do that? Surely.
And so, with all of these thoughts dancing round my head, I filled out the online registration for Ironman Canada.
And then I closed the window. This is ridiculous!
And again. What are you thinking??
And again. I’m not good enough
I needed another opinion. So at my next physio appointment (remember I’m going to physio because my ankle is fractured and I can’t run) after engaging in small talk (mostly centred on how I can’t run and the fact that the doctor actually advised I quit running altogether) for a while I bit the bullet:
“Sooooooooo, how worried would you be if I signed up for *cough* Ironman?”
I saw him hesitate. Oh no, this was such a stupid idea, what do I say now? why did I bring this up?
“I don’t plan to run the marathon”
“No-one runs the marathon”
“but, I don’t even plan to try” It sounded feeble even to my own ears.
“I think you can do it” and breathe.
He rallied then, reasoning that I could already do the swim and with a little bit of training should be able to do the bike, and I ought to even be able to run part of the marathon by then, perhaps 10k? He even managed to say all of this with a straight face and without the cartoon dollar signs taking over his eyes. Thanks Greg! I don’t want to know what you said to your colleagues after I left that day.
That enthusiastic if not quite ringing endorsement of my abilities was all I needed to actually click the submit button on my next visit to the IMC website.
Wow this thing is real now. $725 is quite the commitment.
My mother always used to tell me that I could do anything if I put my mind to it. I’m sure she wished I’d put my mind to a few more things back then, and I doubt she had a 17 hour triathlon in mind at the time. And everyone knows that mother is always right. Right?
So here it is, time to prove it.