Sunday, March 18, 2012
Third Times a Charm: My Journey to Ironman St. George
Two years ago, I was just starting to ramp up my training for my first ironman, what I would later learn was one of the hardest (if not the hardest) ironman course in the world. After seeing Julie Moss crawl across the finish line of the Hawaii Ironman almost thirty years earlier, I, like many others, had always wanted to do an ironman. I had originally made a goal of doing one when I turned forty, but life got in the way. I decided that I wasn't going to let the age of fifty pass without doing an ironman. What I didn't plan on was a bike accident six months before the race which left me with a broken clavicle and a broken hip socket. Fortunately, everything healed, leaving me with four months to prepare. Looking back at my training logs, as of this time in my preparation for St. George 2010, I had somehow managed to do 5 long runs (over 2 hours), the longest one being 16.7 miles. I had done 5 long bike rides (over 4 hours), the longest one being 5 hours/88 miles. I ultimately completed my first ironman in 13 hours and 18 minutes, walking half of the marathon, but still doing the marathon in just over five hours. I was hooked, and it didn't take long for me to sign up for the 2011 Ironman St. George. By this time in my preparation last year, I had completed 7 long runs, the longest one being 20.1 miles. I had also done 6 long bike rides, the longest one being almost 5 1/2 hours/100 miles. I improved my bike time and finished my second St. George ironman in 12 hours and 44 minutes, again walking half of the marathon and completing it in just over five hours. I thought I was done with ironman until I watched the 2011 Ironman World Championships and realized that I wanted another shot at St. George. I spoke to my coach and started my training. I've done 13 long runs (fifteen if I count a couple of "two a day" runs), the longest one being 21 miles on my daughter's 21st birthday. I've done 10 long bike rides, the longest one being almost 6 1/2 hours/90 miles as part of a 360 mile/6 mile vertical week of riding. Over the past three days I biked a solid 3 hours (58 miles), ran 18 miles and biked 3 1/2 hours (63 miles), and I'm feeling good. I have seven weeks to go before St. George and I feel better than ever. I don't know how I'll do, but I know I will enjoy the race once again!