All good things must come to an end. Which ultimately includes this blog.
Realistically, I’ve done what I set out to do: chronicle the journey over the last 8 months. It’s been an enjoyable experience for me to do, and has added to the enjoyment of the Ironman. It gave me an outlet and a way to share this journey with those close to me, farther away, and even folks I’ve never met. It will be a great thing to read in a few years and look back on. It was a lot of fun.
But honestly I don’t really like talking about myself enough to continue it. So, this will be my last post.
For the last post, I’d like to summarize the experience for those who might be thinking about embarking on this journey themselves: It was 100% worth it, and I’ll never do it again.
I spent eight months focused on this like I’ve never been focused before. I found ways to make a lot of workouts happen in and around my life, and they were therapeutic. It was great to have such a definitive purpose to the season. It was neat to think about doing something that I never thought possible, and then achieving it. It was so rewarding on race day to finally accomplish the goal. It truly was, as many people said, a celebration of everything I’ve done. The prep to get to the Ironman was the REAL Ironman test. The rest of it was putting the finishing touches on it.
I had the good fortune of having great support along the way. Many times my family moved things around or did things to support me that really helped. My coworkers were really understanding of times when I had to leave a bit early to get a big workout done during the week. Everyone around me took an interest and was encouraging–even those that don’t really care about Ironman or triathlon or any of it cared about me enough to ask. I know not everyone has that, so I am truly blessed. I thank them for all of that support.
That all being said, it is a big investment and a bit of a leap of faith to put so much into something for so long. You can’t foresee everything that will happen. Jobs change. Lifestyles change. There were many challenges along the way: finding good places to bike, weather, time, injury, work, skipping out on social things, missing events because you have a workout, fatigue and soreness at all times. It’s not something I want to put myself and everyone around me through on a consistent basis. When I am doing an olympic distance if I miss a big workout along the way it will not kill me. When doing this, there are big workouts you simply cannot miss.
Not to mention the big workout in an olympic plan is 2:45. Not 7 hours. I had midweek workouts longer than that.
It took a big toll on me, physically and mentally. I tried to stay positive but looking back on some of those posts you can read it between the lines.
So I’ll never do this again. That’s the bad news. The good news? It doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter because I am an Ironman now. I’ll be one the rest of my life. I did the distance. I don’t need to prove to myself I can do it again. It takes a lot of pressure off me for other stuff too, because I literally feel like I have nothing left to prove, to anyone, in this sport. I can do short races, relays, aqua bikes, whatever. I can not worry about my time or distances. I can just enjoy the fact that I am a triathlete and do whatever suits my fancy. I know I could do that before, but it always felt a little like I had something to prove.
One more glorious benefit: forever now, when I tell people I do triathlon and they immediately ask “Oh, so you do Ironman?” I can say “Yes, yes I have.”
For all of you who came on this journey with me, thank you so much for reading. I hope you are successful in all of your endeavors, and if this blog was inspiring in any way to you I’d love to hear it.