I spent almost all day yesterday glued to the live broadcast of the Ironman World Championships in Kona. It was its own one-day endurance event, let me tell you. At one point I took a break to go meet some friends for lunch, but otherwise I watched from the pros’ swim start until maybe 1000 of the age groupers had finished and I had to go to bed, exhausted. I tried to make sure I kept taking in plenty of fluids (beers) and nutrition (sweet potato chips), and I think my race strategy was right on target. I’m pretty sure I set a new PR in couch-sitting, but race officials are still checking the numbers.
When I first decided to race in a triathlon, I found myself googling triathlon training blogs, and I found a whole network of cool, smart, badass women athletes who were blogging about life spent swimming, biking, and running. Many of these women were doing Ironman races — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. Yes, you have to run a full marathon after swimming and biking those extreme distances. It’s insane. And it’s awesome.
Three of my favorite bloggers raced in the World Championships yesterday, Bree Wee, Frayed Laces, and Beth from California Training. It was awesome to not only watch the big-name competitors battle for first place, but also to see these ladies cross the finish line after having read their blogs and followed their training adventures for over a year now.
I’ve got no plans to sign up for an Ironman race any time soon, so don’t worry about my sanity. But watching yesterday made me think a bit about my marathon training and how happy and excited I am to be working toward that huge goal. And today, as if I weren’t excited enough, I am spending yet more time tracking athletes online and getting psyched. My friend Sho is running the Portland Marathon, and Scott from Run Vegan, Meghann from Meals and Miles, E from One-Twenty-Five, and a friend from work (with no blog to link) are all running Chicago. I’ve got my online athlete trackers locked and loaded (and obsessively re-loaded and re-loaded again) as I follow their progress along their respective courses. Go, go, go!
In the midst of my marathon excitement, I looked at the Rocket City Marathon site and noticed that the race is almost sold out — so I went ahead and made it official by signing up. I guess I’m feeling confident after my half, but I’m not gonna lie. The idea of running that race twice in a row is a little scary. But you have to trust the training, right? Run the miles and you will get there. I know this. And I am excited to make it happen.
As for the Ironman? Ask me again in a couple of years!