Today might go down as the day I officially lost my mind. The coming year might determine that for sure. You see, this morning I registered for Ironman Texas. For those of you unfamiliar with this, an Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, then topped off by a full marathon run of 26.2 miles, for the grand total of 140.6. I am not going to lie and act like this was something I did on impulse. I have wanted to do it for a very long time. It just wasn't right time wise. I also kept finding excuses for why it wouldn't work, then I finally realized that I just have to make the jump and do it. So, a few months ago I started talking with Ken about it, because if he wasn't fully on board, it was a no go for sure. The time, money, and energy this is going to require are not to be underestimated and I wouldn't do it without his full blessing and support. His reply was simply, "I don't understand it, but go for it". He has never understood why you would pay for such misery, even for a 5k :)
So then I went about trying to pick a race. Honestly, that wasn't very difficult. Due to religious reasons, I will not race or train on Sundays, so that left me simply 3 options in North America for an Ironman branded event. They were Maryland, Florida, and Texas. I honestly considered all of them, but expense wise, Texas is just so much cheaper to go to. Plus, the time of year is fairly good. I know that it is early season, but that doesn't scare me. Most of my bike training will on the trainer, but I have never minded my trainer either. I also like the idea of getting it done before school even gets out for the year, then I can kick back and enjoy my summer with no pressure to get ready for this big of a race.
Also, I was raised in Texas. This race will have a definite hometown feel for me. I love Texas, and even though I have been in Utah for the past 16 years, there is a huge part of my heart still there. What a neat place to do my first Ironman!
I know that if I was to go with a non-branded 140.6 I would have had many more options. Down the road, I might consider those. But, call me a race snob, but for my first, I want the whole experience, which after reading race reports and blogs posts, and forum threads, just isn't quite the same at any other event. Yep, I want to hear Mike Reilly officially tell me I am an Ironman. Not a Bear Lake Man. Not a Vineman. Not any other spin off of it, I want the whole enchilada on this one!
I already have my training lined up as well! I spent hours pouring over training plans and finally decided to go with the Matt Fitzgerald Minimalist Plan. It is 22 weeks long, which means I officially start December 15 with training. I picked his plan because it just made sense to me. It also keeps in mind that I will still be a wife, mom, and full time teacher in the midst of all of this and I don't want to cheat any of them while I am at it. It will average 12-16 hours a week in training, which is still a stretch, but most of those hours are on the weekends with the long runs and rides. Even for those, I will be getting up obnoxiously early to get them completed so I can still have something left of a day with my family.
So, with all that, I am in! I am so excited and terrified at the same time! I watched the webcams of the race yesterday in total awe and analyzed every thing from what they were wearing, to the bikes, how the hydration was set up on the bikes, to the signs people were holding along the run course, etc. I have heard many people say that with an Ironman, the joy is in the journey and the training and the race is the celebration of that. So, let the journey begin! I am excited to see what the next 363 days hold for me and what I learn and discover a long the way!
In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing all!