That was the thought which faced me a couple of weeks back.
I only intend to do an Ironman once and so, at the end of it, I wanted to be able to answer the question “Have you done an Ironman?” with a simple “Yes” or “No”.
Most likely, the people that ask that question wouldn’t know that, if you haven’t done an Ironman-branded event then, technically (legally?), you are not an Ironman. Rather, instead, you are an Iron-distancer. That certainly doesn’t sound catchy and you certainly wouldn’t be able to get the M-dot tattoo, would you?.
Most likely the person that asked the question wouldn’t care at all about the differentiation. Actually they probably wouldn’t care about triathlon, probably, unless a Brownlee or Jorgensen medal was involved in the discussion. They were probably just making polite conversation and wondering why you were looking a bit skinny and weren’t drinking. Or maybe they were eyeing-up your lycra? Maybe they thought that Brownlee/Jorgensen were the Ironman Olympic Champions? We know better of course 🙂
Either way, I thought, “if you are going to do it once then do it ‘properly’ “.
That’s no disrespect to some of the other Iron-distance events – no doubt some are ‘easier’ and some are ‘harder’ than the average Ironman-branded event. Probably some are more expensive, including travel, and some are cheaper. Either way they are going to be ‘challenging’.
Challenging is an appropriate word. Finishing that difficult Sudoko in your newspaper can be ‘challenging’ but sometimes, in this modern media-obsessed world, awesome superlatives are over-used to wanton oblivion for the simple purpose of dramatic & ill-advised (over-)effect.
I’m not quite sure exactly how difficult an Ironman will be.
I have a fair idea. I’ve done a few half distances and once you understand that you actually have to train for them (ahem) then they are not so bad and, with a good course on a pleasant day, can actually be a very rewarding to consume illegally high amounts of sugar.
But it REALLY is not a good chat-up line to start out by saying that you are a HALF-IRONMAN / IRONWOMAN / IRONPERSON. No-one likes half-measures. Then again, if you’ve done two half-ironman race would that make you an Ironman/woman/person 🙂
What about a marathon then? That’s a challenge.
Yep. It is.
But the ‘challenge’ of the marathon is sooo-1970s, I plan to do one this year wearing a John McEnroe headband. If you are vaguely fit and can run 10k relatively easily then 30 more won’t be too difficult in the grand scheme of things – still harder than your Sudoku and, of course, hard if you are only just planning on getting off the couch today to do one in 3 months time. But doing that marathon-thing after you’ve cycled 100 miles is probably tricky…after 112miles, even trickier.
Whilst ‘OK’, I’m not the world’s best swimmer and like to think myself half-decent at the bike/run bit but, honestly, after you’ve cycled ‘a fair way’ running becomes considerably more difficult than you might think it should be.
Just let there be no lingering doubt that you might not have done it ‘properly’ and therefore have to do ANOTHER one! Train hard and always give the 110% your maths teacher told you you should..