I really can't believe that after almost 1 year of training for this event I'm finally on the door step of actually running it. I am very tired of training. I've put many things in my life on hold for this selfish pursuit. I can honestly say this will be a "one and done" event. I've neglected far to many things at this point and need to refocus my energies on what's really important in life. Like family, food (I can't wait to have a big bowl of ice cream, or a couple of donuts), and fun. I'm finding that I have a very short fuse these days. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
At the same time I'm extremely excited to get on that plane and head down to Panama City, FL. This has been a life long goal of mine. From the first time I saw the Hawaiian Ironman on TV I decided that one day I would compete in one of these races. I've always believed that you can do anything that you set your mind to. For and Ironman it takes 4 things. First you have to have the burning desire, without that you will not do all the training required and will cut workout short or skip them all together. While doing some of my longer bricks, many times I would think that I was tired and should stop, but I just kept telling myself that I would only be cheating myself and "NEVER GIVE UP" (more to come on this). Second, you need the time. The amount of time you spend training is insane. I've been averaging 3 hours a day on week days and 5 hours a day on weekends. That doesn't leave much time for anything else. Third, you need a good support system. My wife has been fantastic. I've been generating mountains of laundry with up to 3 workouts a day. She has also been great keeping me fueled, with all the special nutrition I need. I think she's running to the store 2 - 3 times a week. I can't thank her enough. Fourth, you need the financial means to do an Ironman. It's not cheap. I started adding it up the other day and total ended up being.....WTF, WAY TO MUCH!!!!! An example of this is I dropped my bike off at a local shop where it is to be picked up and transported to FL for me the other day. They checked it over and called me up. "Mr Graham, we have some bad news, your front forks are cracked and need to be replaced". Oh SH#$%@$@. So now I have to spend a couple hundred dollars more or risk a catastrophic failure.
Good thing I'm not doing any more of these things because they are so tough to enter, but the WTC who puts these on came out with a new program yesterday. You join their Access Club for 1 year and you can enter early before anyone else for the small fee of $1000, and then you have to pay the $550 to enter the race.....WTF!!! Talk about corporate greed. They have made this so the average person is not able to afford these races.
Goals in order if priority
1. Finish at all cost. I worked so long and so hard at this I can't back down. My father taught me many years ago what the secret of life was "NEVER GIVE UP". I've always competed with this in mind. You just never know what is going to happen. Look at the Red Sox in 2004. I now pass this learning on to my kids and I think it is sinking in with at least 1 or 2 of them, the 3rd I'm not so sure of.
2. Finish in 13 hours. With all my training I think this is the most realistic goal. My targets are a 2 hour swim (this is very conservative), 6 hour bike, and a 5 hour run.
3. Finish in 12 hours. I'd have to be having a very good day but this is possible. The way it breaks down is a 1:45 swim, 5:45 bike and a 4:30 run.
4. Finish in 11 hours. I would have to have the day of a life time. 1:30 swim, 5:30 bike, 4 hour marathon. I can do any one of these three alone but adding the three together will be a real challenge. I doubt this will happen.
My focus for the next couple of days is to maintain my fitness, I can only do harm now if I try "cramming for the test", and stay relaxed. During the race I'm going to stay within myself and never push it until that last 13 miles. At that point I don't think I'll anything left in me to push but you never know.
If you want to track me on race day my # is 1883 and you can go to www.ironman.com or www.ironmanlive.com
I've been running and racing in the NE area for more then 35 years. Yes that makes me old!! This blog reviews workouts, injuries and what I'm thinking about during races.
What does the "PHAT" stand for? Pain...Heavy At Times.