Sometime in the summer 1996 I did my first triathlon in Logansport, IN; in 1999 I did my first IRONMAN triathlon in Panama City Beach, FL. There are several thoughts that go through your head when contemplating such a huge step into the realm such as the magnitude of an Ironman. Am I fit enough, do I have the right equipment, should I get this gadget or that gadget, do I have what it takes to finish? And I’m sure a lot of my decision making process had to do with ego and my own psyche. I heard the horror stories as well as the successful ones and decided I needed to go for it. 5 years and a total of six Ironman Triathlons after the first, I was glad I took that 1st step and entered, and for me, they’re some of the greatest athletic accomplishments in my lifetime, (except for my complete blowup at IMUSA 2000 on the run) SIDE NOTE: After looking over my results again, I was surprised to see that I was only a scant 42 seconds behind a certain Mr. Luchinski after the swim, this after having to stop not once but twice after getting my goggles elbowed off and then kicked off my face… Of course he went on to crush the bike and run unlike moi!!
One of the biggest influences on my decision back then was one of my training partner’s, Scott Beasley, whom at that time had already completed around 5 or 6 Ironman triathlon’s and had qualified and competed at the World Championship’s in Kona for 4 of them, so he already had completed ~10 and was considered a veteran, and mentor to a lot of us. He had the knowledge and experience of what it took, and I was training with him so therefore, I had what it took…right? Obviously in reality it doesn’t work that way. I think in a way, he’s influencing me again in this decision.
So goes the decision in my upcoming attempt at getting into the Pikes Peak Marathon. When we make many decisions, we are sometimes more or less logical about them. And it is arguable that all decisions are, ultimately emotional. When we use logic to make decisions, we seek to exclude emotions, using only rational methods, and perhaps even mathematical tools. Yet some of those same Ironman thoughts start swirling through the brain, am I fit enough, do I have the right environment to train for this, do I have enough time, blah..blah..blah....Yes, it is just another marathon, 26.2 miles, but it’s Colorado, it’s 7815’ of vertical gain, yes it’s like breathing through a straw at the top (at least for those of us low-landers), yes the weather could get pretty nasty, etc.. I could probably think of a few dozen more excuses NOT to do it, but they don’t really matter. I could very easily psyche myself out of doing this, but I won’t. What matters is that it’s a challenge, like any other impediment we face in life. There are many obstacles to overcome, but toil, grit and endurance will help overcome them all.
Scott is in Mexico this week preparing for the Copper Canyon Ultra marathon which is a 48 mile race starting from the bottom of Urique Canyon of the Copper Canyons in Chihuahua, Mexico. He has also informed me that he is about 75% sure he’s going to try and get into Pikes as well...
I’m feeling great this morning, yesterday’s run was fantastic. Pace was effortless and heart rate was low. I think it’s time I schedule an AeT run to see where my marathon pace is currently at. I’ll probably try to get one in here in a couple of weeks. By then all the snow should be melted on the local track. This week there calling for temp’s in the 40’s and maybe a 50 thrown in there.