Why Ironman – my final count down!

IM Cairns intrainingHow did I come to the decision to do an ironman? Well quite simply it had always been on my radar. I believe in my early twenties I watched Hawaii and visited Forster Tuncurry to watch a few Swiss mates complete ironman Australia and the fire was lit. The fire has been dulled at times by, like all of us, life, marriage, kids, house chores and of course work.

Well I’m now inside the last fortnight of my preparation for my first full distance ironman triathlon.  It has been a journey probably 20 years in the making.  My amazing supportive wife helped me make the decision to attempt an ironman late last year, 2014.  As a family we knew it was going to be a big commitment and one I certainly couldn’t make without her support.

To give you a quick glimpse into my last 6 and 12 month of training here is a quick summary of the kilometres I have covered across all three disciplines:

  Swimming (km) Bike / Cycling (km) Running (km) Training Hours
My 12 moths to IM 142.2 6187.5 735.8
My 6 months to IM 81.7 3526.2 552.3 199.2

I have spent the last two weekends building my confidence via some big sessions and longer training sessions.  I competed in the Noosa Ultimate Sports Festival 3.8km (4.0km by Garmin) ocean swim and the 100mile (160km) cycle.  I also incorporated an additional cycle and two runs off the both bike rides.  This weekend I incorporated a half marathon and another longish brick session (90/10).  Do I feel ready?  Have I done enough?  Is it too late to cram in extra km and hours?  All self-doubt questions, that I cannot entertain and simply I need to believe that I have done enough and am ready to finish my first ironman.  There is no room for doubt in my mind.

I have spent my most recent session reflecting and constantly thinking about my race plan and goals.  When asked ‘what are you hoping to do’ I have always said that I am simply happy to finish.  Although deep down and following my own personal reflection I am targeting a 1 hour 3.8 kilometre swim, a 6 hour 180 kilometre bike and a 4.5 hour 42.2 kilometre marathon, totalling 12 hours for my first ironman (including some very slow transitions, I do not intend to be in a rush through transition).  Will I be disappointed if I blow out past the 12 hour mark, probably not!  Maybe just a disappointed as excited as I will be if I come in under the 12 hour mark!

Also at this point I have been reflecting on the sacrifices made to get me to the start line.  Not just personal sacrifices, but my family have sacrificed many hours and missed plenty of my time as I have bank hours and kilometres of training at every and any opportunity available, probably some that weren’t available but I took them anyway!   If you have read any of my other post, you will know that I have three amazing children that are desperate to have their daddy back.  I have had lots of questions over the past month, in particular from my children about why I have to train so much, when are you coming home and how long is this ride/run going to take.  I have battled these guilty feelings during many a training session.  However when at my lowest, my rock, my amazing wife, has and no doubt will continue to do so long into our future, stepped in and stabilised our ship, helped re-focus me and driven me to continue to achieve this long standing lifetime goal.  At this point it would also be remiss of my not to mention my mother and father in-law who have stepped in and looked after our kids when my training overran, or I worked late, or simply I needed a rest!  Also my own mum and dad have also contributed along this journey as well.

So when I line up at the start line of Ironman Cairns, I do so not just for myself but with, and for, the amazing support team that has travelled and experienced this journey with me over the past year.  To them I say a massive and heartfelt thank you.  Without each and every one of you I may not ever have had the chance to attempt an ironman.

Keep watching this space to follow my experience through my first Ironman.

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