I signed up for my first ever Half Ironman also known as a 70.3 this month. I have been wanting to and the best way was to sign up when registration opened. I’ve found that when you don’t register for something it really doesn’t become a priority and then you back out of it. I remember growing up I saw Kona televised 1 time and thought man those guys are absolutely nuts and to a degree I’m sure they are. In the back of my head though I wondered what it would be like to finish. So why a Half Ironman (70.3), am I crazy?
I did my first triathlon back in September 2010 as a sprint triathlon. The first ever Tri-Rock San Diego. The excitement, the nervousness of not knowing if I could finish it since I couldn’t run 3 miles back then. I had a LOT of fun and enjoyed it and said I wanted to do one every year there on out. I didn’t think of doing anything but a sprint distance, it was short and fast. I had to skip the 2011 Tri-Rock because the Minnesota Vikings played the Chargers in San Diego and I chose football. I kind of regret it a little bit now but I ‘m not dwelling on it. I made the choice to watch my favorite team get spanked by the Chargers. The Tri-Rock 2012 came around and I thought it would be fun to do a relay. I did the swim, Josh did the bike, and Jojo did the run. I knew I could do the bike and the swim but I still dreaded that run. I was 310lbs and running just was not fun (it still isn’t). So I swam the 500 (No wetsuit) in around 10 minutes and I felt really good like I could have gone more. It set the seed of a possible Olympic distance triathlon in the future, I didn’t know when.
ITU – International Triathlon Union happened in April. That race changed me, and I didn’t plan on even signing up. My friend Diane sent me a message about the race in mid March cause of a buddy signup package she wanted. Once I found out that we didn’t have to do the same distance I was in. She was doing the Olympic distance with her husband Dave who signed up before she did (Diane is an animal she puts me to shame when it comes to races). So I decided to do the sprint distance. 750M swim, 12.5 mile bike, and what seemed like a 4-5 mile run instead of the a 5K. It was late April, I didn’t have a wetsuit, my bike was not tuned up, and I wasn’t sure I could run the whole thing. I prepped everything the night before but forgot my 1 thing that no athlete should ever forget… the timing chip. So come race time I just had my arm watch going. I completed it in 1:32 minutes. I did have to walk some of the run because I wasn’t really confident in my running as I am now. I felt really confident on the bike as I was passing people the entire way. But overall for no training I felt that I could really do an Olympic distance with the right training. That is when I finally felt confident that if I trained for an Olympic distance and got the right gear i.e. Tri-bike, actual wetsuit, and such I can do it. So I changed my Tri-Rock distance from the Sprint to the Olympic distance. I am actually more nervous for that race than I was for the Rock N Roll 13.1 and the Utah Valley 13.1. I’m hoping to place in the Top 5 at the Tri-Rock.
So now comes the 70.3, I set my goal high and still attainable. My swimming has improved and my running has improved by beating my PR’s on back to back 13.1’s in June. I just need to keep it up, and shed some more chub! The bike though is going to be the roughest for me now so I really need to focus on that a bit more. 56 miles is a long way and there is killer hill starting at mile 31 and going through mile 36 that lots of athletes have had to walk up. Maybe this might be a stepping stone to attempting a full Ironman 140.6 before I turn 40. Only time will tell.