Hawaiin Ironman Conclusion
Ironman is a lifetime experience that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. I am happy to have finished.
I had dreamed of doing IMH for years and wondering if I had what it takes consumed me all of the last year. And now that it is over, I'm sure I would do it all over again. It was a once in a lifetime chance and I can say I've been there and done that. The memories will stay with me forever.
I'm not sure I could have trained more than I did, and working up to forty hours a week is not something I think I'll ever be able to do. That is what I had tried to work up to, but 30 were the max for total training hours in one week. I know now exactly how my body reacts to stress, it's hard to sleep. I was lucky in that I had a job that allowed me to work late afternoons until midnight so I could train lots of mornings.
I've gained 10 pounds and lost it again since then and now that the season has started, I'm inspired enough to not only get up and swim in a steaming outdoor pool at 5:30 am on a cold morning, but sit and write these words. I'm not sure I want to do Hawaii again soon although I can't wait to do the 13 or so other official Ironman events.
It takes a lot of determination and long hours to succeed at Ironman, and variety is the spice of life. Just like the marathon and 10K, it's getting so there is a triathlon somewhere in the world, every weekend of the year. And so why do the same one over and over, this is why I became a triathlete, to break up the boredom of just running everyday. All it will take is the continued gift from the big guy in the sky of being able to train and save enough money for travel and entry fees.
It's easy to take life for granted and riding my bike reminds me most of how vulnerable we all are. The old saying, "you can get killed just crossing the street", is too true, it does happen. I get scared out there on country roads with no shoulder and yahoos screaming down on me. I want to make the sacrifices worth something. If tell someone I biked for 6 hours and ran for an hour they don't understand until I explain I'm doing it for a triathlon. And some still don't.
I never would have imagined that I could stay on my feet and be active for that long, in that kind of sun and heat. I can only give credit to a power greater than myself, I just showed up and put one foot in front of the other. I also have to credit my girlfriend who believed in me and supported me.
I love Hawaii, the music, the people, the ocean, and the weather is not bad either. And I will return, maybe to die if I'm lucky. I wouldn't mind being cast out to sea there. My guardian spirit the shark waits for me there under the crashing breakers off the north shore. But will I go in debt again or spend less quality time with my girlfriend? Never.