Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Full Iron???

Last weekend was Ironman Lake Tahoe. I'm not sure if it was the proximity to Stockton or the fact that I completed a 70.3 race earlier this year, but I had quite a few people ask me if I was doing this race. I would just laugh and say "No". The people asking had no idea what kind of training and strength this race would require...heck, I don't think I have a true understanding. I guess I should just feel flattered that they thought this was something I could do.

Ironman Lake Tahoe
Change of Heart

Before completing Barb's race, the 70.3 I just mentioned, I always thought that one day I would eventually do a full Ironman race. I've read plenty of books about people that have completed a full iron distance and figured that if they could do it, I could too. My favorite part of the books is always when the author reaches the finish and hears their name called out. I like to imagine hearing my name at the finish line..."Tracy Pengilly you are an Ironman!" Just to experience that moment is enough to make me want to do that race...well, it was enough until I tried racing half that distance.

After completing Barb's race, my desire to do a full Ironman waned. Actually, I decided I was never going to do a full Ironman before I even completed Barb's race! As I was finishing my 13.1 mile run, I noticed the competitors rolling in on the bike. They we're finishing the 112 mile bike course of Vineman. They looked hot and tired...and they still had a marathon to run. I could not wrap my mind around the enormity of the task in front of them.
This photo captured how I was really
feeling towards the end of Barb's Race
Fortunately, endurance racing is a lot like childbirth. At the time you are going through it, you vow never to do it again. Then a couple of months go by and you start thinking "Well, that wasn't so bad..."

Support Needed

I am once again entertaining the idea of completing an Ironman...and by entertaining, I mean I'm back to reading stories about it. If I decide to do one, it won't be for a couple of years. I still need to increase my fitness and work on my swimming, biking and running skills. I will also need the buy in of key people...first and foremost...Hot Stuff. Without his blessing, an Ironman just won't be possible.

While I may not fully understand the amount of training required, I have read enough to know that you need the support and understanding of your significant other. This support is essential!

I would also need the support of my teammates. Not that I'm planning on having a workout buddy for all of my training, but for the times that I do need someone (open water swims and long rides)...I can't expect HS to always be the one. If HS was going to do all my training with me, he may as well sign up to race too! (Just kidding, Honey...relax!!!)

Location, Location, Location

Another thing I'm kicking around is where I would like to race. Lake Tahoe is out...it's cold and it's at a much higher altitude...no thank you!

I like the Vineman course but it's not an official Ironman race...I wouldn't get to hear "Tracy Pengilly you are an Ironman!" at the end of the race...no bueno!

So the search continues...

What I'm thinking right now is maybe...MAYBE...doing Vineman in 2015 (I'm doing Barb's Race again in 2014) and waiting until 2016 to do an official Ironman race. However, if I wait until 2017 I would be competing in 50-54 age division as a 49 year old! (FINALLY! Having a December birthday pays off!).

Lots of things to think about...plenty of time to think...