I’ve done it. I’ve really gone and done it this time. Dublin Ironman 70.3 August 2016. My date with destiny. Flirting with disaster more like.
Firstly, I fundamentally disagree with the sexist title of this event and I want to state unequivocally that this is crap. There have been women competing in these events (and positively kicking ass in these events…) for years now so cut the crap and change the name already.
Secondly, I’ve been stalking Ironman events online for a few years now, astonished at the sheer colossal tasks involved in completing one of these monstrous events but I’ve always dismissed the possibility of taking one on. The reason for this is not complicated. These events are insane. No way two ways about it. Why would you and how the bloody hell could you run a MARATHON after cycling 180 km? That kind of crazy boggles my mind. I can’t even go there. Not yet anyway. And that’s not even mentioning the water part.
Yet I can’t help being attracted to the idea of doing an Ironman. Oh you know what I’m talking about. Someone suggests you can’t do something and your immediate impulse is to prove them wrong. Or maybe that’s just me. Kinda like when the other kids at school (and a lot of adults) laughed at the idea of me becoming a barrister when I grew up. It always stuck with me and it made me even more determined when it came to study, work and getting where I needed to get. I can never decide if this competitive instinct is a good characteristic or a bad one – yes it concentrates your focus, gives you drive, ambition and ultimately aids a higher achievement than you otherwise probably would accomplish, but at what expense?
Good or bad, I have a competitive streak. She there. She not going anywhere. And Ironman has been taunting me for too long.
Last year Ironman 70.3 came to Ireland for the first time and after some considerable confusion and uncertainty, it was recently confirmed that the event is to return this August for a second time. I was too late last year to register, by the time I’d plucked up the courage to take the dive and I bitterly regretted it when the day came around. I even cycled the bike course a few times to get a wee taste of what it would be like. Then, when it sounded like Ironman would not be returning this year, I was even more sorry and was convinced that I’d blown my chance.
Alas, the rumours were wrong and when registration opened yesterday morning, I was in like a horse out of the gates. I’ve never done a race on this scale before, with the longest endurance event I’ve ever done being a marathon and it may well prove to be the case that I’ve bitten off more than I can swim, cycle, run.
But I’m fired up. I’m game. I’m giddy with excitement. And in 5 months time, I’ll find out if I’m iron.
At least I’m only half-mad. 😉