I’m not so sure if anyone is particularly interested in MY Ironman journey. There have been lots of other Ironman journeys from many other people that have had to overcome many more physical and emotional obstacles than I ever will. Some of those achievements have been awe-inspiring and others super-funny.
My goal, therefore, is to valiantly strive for mediocrity and in the process perhaps be both occasionally half-impressive & half-entertaining.
My rationale for doing an Ironman is emotionally very hard for me to write down. Here’s some background.
I’m probably one of those types that ‘wants to do their best’ and THAT provides my motivation. Others may well see my behaviour as ‘being competitive’. I’m sure, like me, you have some non-sporty ‘friends’ who refer to you as ‘competitive’ in either a slightly insulting way or at least a dismissive way. If being self-competitive is a crime then I’m definitely GUILTY as charged. Really I don’t normally care if I beat ‘her’ or ‘him’ or ‘you’, just so long as I’ve almost achieved that slightly unobtainable goal I set myself for that particular race.
My, more positive, friends would refer to it as ‘being motivated’.
ndeed your successful friends, the ones that moan a bit and dismiss your sporting efforts, would probably be the ‘competitive’ ones that throw their competitive efforts into doing well at work for some random shareholders and directors that they have never met. They’re probably more competitive than me, trying to out-do ‘Jo Smith’ for that promotion with a bit of office back-stabbing. I’m pretty sure I’ve never ever back-stabbed anyone in a race – unless you call ‘having a nice chat’ or ‘stopping to help’ back-stabbing.
Anyway, my self-competitiveness almost morphed into proper competitiveness when I found that I could actually win things. I remind my regular reader that I did once win a pair of socks in a 10k race. They didn’t fit. But I did win them nevertheless. Luckily a series of annoying injuries nipped the proper competitiveness in the bud and I returned to being self-competitive again.
The point of saying all that is that I got myself into the position where I ALMOST started to look down a little on people who were doing ‘Bucket List’ marathons and triathlons and the like. ‘Bucket List’ has certainly never been a phrase with which I associate myself.
Yet here I am doing a Bucket-List Ironman as I finish off a bowl-full of Humble pie.
The goal is simply to finish. The sub-goal is not to embarrass my inner-self and end up being forced to walk with my occasionally cramp-riddled legs. I have some magnesium oil spray to try against that most heinous of endurance conditions.
This blog focusses a bit too much on gadgets so, of course, my Ironman journey will also have to glow and moan in equal measure about those gadgets. I’ll start off with this photo:
I have a new lens, so I can now get ‘up close and personal’ with the gadgets. The Garmin 920XT seems to be the obvious weapon-of-choice on the grounds that:
- One of my other weapons-of-choice is an ANT+ power meter (Favero BePro…super cool and works)
- I want to record every last second of every kind of data; muscle oxygen, stride mechanics, HRV, the lot. (I’ll never look at that data again but it will be there in SportTracks just in case). C’mon Mr BSX or Mr Halo get your hydration monitor sorted out, I want to measure hydration as well – actually that will probably be quite useful. I might even go data mad and use some of Xert’s clever CIQ apps – such as Time-to-Exhaustion, although I would expect to reach that state after about 5 hours…oh dear.
- Most other watches are not going to last 10 hours with all the bells and whistles turned on. And indeed they probably aren’t going to last longer than 10 hours either as that >10 hour eventuality may well be required (maybe, perhaps, definitely). Apparently I will be YET ANOTHER year older and more decrepit in 2017.
Then there’s the Mizuno Wave Rider 20s. I’ve just got this year’s model (20). We’ll see if they are sufficiently cushioned for the poundings-to-come. But at least they are blue and perfectly match the 920xt’s aesthetics.
I think I will end each of my posts with a new, personal Ironman secret.
MY IRONMAN SECRET: Despite publicly under-selling myself I’ve found that I can normally sneak a Top10 AG finish in smaller Half Iron distance events. Especially when there are 11 AG competitors. I suspect the competition will be tougher at a ‘proper’ Ironman branded event. We’ll see. If I never mention this again, you will know it is MUCH tougher and maybe my Top10s will morph into a Top 100 🙁