For whatever reason, I decided it would be a good idea to do another Ironman. The problem however, I could do this thing on 10 hours a week of training or less. The key here, would be less.
What started off as a way to get it all back, ended up being a lesson in patience. It was also a lesson in work life balance. Work was crazy in 2012, with managing a large brand and launching a new one. On top of the work, my kids activities have reached a point where every weekend is filled with a game or a practice. I told myself at the start of this training that I would not sacrifice my life at home. I would sacrifice my training.
So what does all that mean? It means you get in 2 Century rides and only 4, 2+ hour runs. My weeks were filled with some 1 hour efforts here and there, but I averaged only 7 hours a week, counting my long ride on weekends. Many of the long rides were only 3 hours, because I wanted to get back for Parker’s baseball games and Hannah’s actives as well.
I also had a setback when my training partner, Linda Trinkle went down in a horrible bike crash. Linda was on pace to easily win her age group and make a trip to Kona. On a century ride about 50 miles from the house, she clipped my back wheel while we were leading out about 25 other athletes. She went down hard and broke her shoulder and a few ribs. Linda’s race dreams ended that day, but her hard work to recovery was an inspiration for anyone that followed her. Seeing her at the swim start reminded me how lucky every athlete is that gets to toe the line of a big race.
After the bike accident, I had a weekend trip which meant no long ride, then I found myself only 2 weeks out.
The beauty of Ironman Texas, is the race start is 5 miles from my front door. I get to sleep in my own bed, wake up, do an Ironman, and sleep in my own bed again! It does not get any easier than that. It is also a course loaded with people you know cheering you on. The downside is the 90+ degree Texas heat.
So when the are was over, I took great joy in my results:
56 minute swim
For a 10:38. I basically equaled my first Ironman in 2005 with 1/2 the training.
The part I liked most, was realizing the journey can be as exciting as race day. Maybe it is because I have laid it all out there and achieved a goal, or maybe my life has changed as I watch my kids grow up around me. Either way, I was quite pleased with the day.
As far as my kids, there was one set back. I had to miss my son’s playoff game to race. Good thing they won, because I was there to watch the World Series game 5 nights later.
After hanging in transition for a bit, I packed up the bike and gear, called Shani and she met me on the corner with my son after his game. They picked me up and I went home. No fan fare, no new tattoos, no trip to Kona. However, I had a smile on my face and the pride and satisfaction that comes with pushing yourself over 140.6 miles.